U.P. nonprofits get tips on fundraising

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - For nonprofits, finding sources of funding is vital to the success of the organization, but getting your hands on those funds isn't always easy.

That's why Northern Michigan University's Grants and Contracts office invited Matthew Downey, the director of nonprofit services for the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, to give U.P. nonprofits some fundraising tips.

Twenty-four people came to the event Thursday night.

"A lot of nonprofits across the U.P. will serve small populations, but for very specific needs, and sometimes funding can be very difficult to find," said Kristin Beck, Assistant Director of Grants Development and Training Coordinator at Northern Michigan University. "Especially in a rural area where access to large donors are not are not as easy to find. So how do you reach out to those donors and how do you find the money you need."

When it comes to securing funds from foundations, Downey said communication is key.

"Think strategically about how you approach those foundations," Downey said. "Form relationships with the people at the foundations and be thoughtful in terms of how you apply for funding."

Diversification of revenue is also important for a nonprofit's success.

"It's not just about foundation funding or individual donors or special fundraising events, but it's about looking at all of those things together and having a good strategy for multiple sources of funding," Downey said.

A handful of NMU students were also in attendance Thursday night.

Community health education major Linnea Hadden came in hopes of expanding her knowledge about grants. She graduates from NMU in the spring.

"We've been taught a little bit about grant writing and this is just right up my alley," Hadden said. "I thought this would be a great place to do some networking and just kind of get a little bit more involved."

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