Jump Start Your Nonprofit: Creating a Fundraising System That Funds Your Mission

  • Duration
    84 Minutes
  • Author
    Sabrina Walker Hernandez
  • Course Level
  • Year Created
  • CFRE Approved
    1.40 Points


Jump Start Your Nonprofit: Creating a Fundraising System That Funds Your Mission


Jump Start Your Nonprofit with Sabrina Walker Hernandez

Partner Content Disclaimer

We are excited to offer NEW “Partner Content” to our nonprofit community from our highly qualified and vetted experts. Partner content offers a deeper dive into some popular topics to better serve your nonprofit and its mission. 

Partner Content is created by experts in their style and teaching method and does not necessarily follow the CharityHowTo methodology of teaching. We are excited to partner with our experts in this way, and to offer their courses to our nonprofit community.

Welcome to Jump Start Your Nonprofit with nonprofit expert Sabrina Walker Hernandez! 

Jump Start Your Nonprofit is a  6-week fundraising program that allows you to work through getting your fundraising program set up and bringing in funds for your nonprofit. 

You will enjoy lifetime access to the online learning portal’s video lessons and downloadable scripts, worksheets, and action steps. 

This course is broken into 6 modules that take you through the basics of getting your fundraising program established for your nonprofit. Below is a description of each module and what you’ll learn throughout this in-depth course.

Module 1 - Engage Your Board

Board members play a critical role in the fundraising process. It is not just about soliciting or asking for donations. I would argue, there are many roles in the fundraising pathway, and each is equally important to raising money.

So how can you involve “ALL” of your board members in your fundraising?

The goal of the engage your board member session is the following:  

  • Understand the importance of the board
  • Understand the board roles in fundraising
  • Understand your role in supporting the board


Video - Engage Your Board Members

Support Documentation 

  • Board Matrix
  • Board Volunteer Recruitment Sites 
  • Sample Post for Board Recruitment 
  • Engage Your Board Action Steps

Module 2 - Creating a Case for Support

A case for support, also called a case statement is a great tool you can use to help you focus. Your case for support outlines the reasons your organization is needed and the impact you anticipate having.

It's the document you'll pull from when writing fundraising appeals or grant applications. It can also be the source of information for brochures, infographics, or community presentations. 

In this session you will learn:

  • How to write a case for support for a real donor with an emotional appeal for why the project matters and convey the impact a prospective donor can make through participation.
  • How to use the case for support wording to develop your campaign website, major gift proposals, campaign brochures, stewardship documents, and other collateral.
  • How to engage board members and stakeholder feedback in the wordsmithing of the case for support.


Video – Creating a Strong Case for Support

Support Documentation 

  • Case for Support Exercise 
  • Step-by-Step creating a case for support guide
  • Preparing a case for support worksheet
  • Sample Case for Support – El Portal Del Norte
  • Sample Case for Support – Mission Fulfilled 2030
  • Case for Support Action Steps 

Module 3 - Your Nonprofit Story

Learn to harness the power of storytelling!

Before there was formal communication, there were stories. It should come as no surprise, then, that nonprofits should be leveraging stories as a strategic tool to advance important missions. Effective stories are powerful because they drive action: spurring donations, mobilizing supporters, and more. 

In this session you will learn:

  • Tips on sharing your nonprofit story,
  • How to use storytelling as a fundraising tool, 
  • How to build emotional connections with your audience,
  • How to get everyone from your board to volunteers to program staff on board with story sharing,
  • Gain insight on how to develop a plan for using storytelling within your nonprofit work, and 
  • How to use storytelling in social media and the role of pictures and video


Video –  How to Tell Your Nonprofit Story

Support Documentation 

  • Sample Social Media Storytelling Post 
    • Juan’s Story
    • Jack’s Story
  • eBook Storytelling for Action 
  • Storytelling Checklist 
  • Storytelling Worksheet
  • Words to Evoke Emotions & Words to use instead of need
  • How to tell your Nonprofit Story Action Steps 

Module 4 - Develop a Prospect List 

You need donors and don’t have any idea where to start.  So, what to do? 

Don’t panic.  Start with friendraising.

Friendraising, it’s about crafting a donor-centered journey that predisposes them to want to give to you and keep giving as opposed to a one time or a token gift. Friendraising allows you to start the donor relationship with a real human connection.

Who are the people you need to make friends with?

The goal of this session will be to:

  • Develop a friendraising process, and  
  • Begin the identification process for potential donors


Video – Develop a Prospect List

Support Documentation 

  • Sphere of Influence/List Generator/Exercise Instructions & Worksheet
  • List Generator Tool
  • Sphere of Influence Tool
  • Develop a Prospect List Action Steps

Module 5 - How to Connect with Your Potential Donors (Prospects)

Now that you have completed the sphere of influence exercise you need to narrow your list to the top 5 individuals.  These top 5 people are those individuals who have the ability to make a significant gift to your organization and are inclined to do so.

You must build a relationship with these individuals.  The number one goal of cultivation is to build relationships. Cultivation is everything that happens between the time you identify a prospect and the time you make your first ask. You want to make at least five touches to these potential donors before you make the ask.

You must intentionally slow down and cultivate. You must court them is just like dating. You don’t go on your first date and ask someone to marry you. That is crazy, right?

The five touches before making the ask lead to reoccurring gifts, and not just one-time or token gifts.

Don’t leave money on the table because you skip this cultivation process.

The goal of this session will be to:

  • To learn the top 6 ways to cultivate, and  
  • Gain cultivation planning tools
  • To begin the first steps of a cultivation process for your organization.


Video – Develop a Prospect List

Support Documentation 

  • 5x5 Cultivation Plan 
  • Prospect Rating Grid & Instructions
  • Donor Cultivation Discovery
  • Script for securing a meeting 
  • How to Connect with Your Potential Donors Action Plan

Module 6 - How to Ask & Donor Stewardship

How to make the ask or solicitation involves many strategies, tailored to the individual donor or prospect. Regardless of strategy, when done well, inviting investment is not a “sales” exchange but rather an exchange of values. Individuals feel that their gifts are natural extensions of their goals and interests and that they have been invited to participate because you know them well. Solicitation strategies range from traditional direct-mail communications and online giving to face-to-face visits. Always provide in-person solicitations for major donors and prospects.

Recognizing your donors means showing appreciation and honoring their generosity. This stage of the cycle, often neglected, is critical to the sequencing of your development process. All gifts should be immediately acknowledged. Your gift policies should include specific practices for thanking and honoring donors, which may be differentiated by giving level. Communicate how their contributions make a difference in the life of your clients and assure them that their gifts are used as intended. Top-notch recognition is integral to stewardship, the next stage in the donor cycle.

The goal of this session will be to:

  • Understand the methodology and anatomy of the fundraising ask
  • Define Stewardship & Best practices 
  • Explain why a stewardship plan is important.


Video – How to Ask & Donor Stewardship

Support Documentation 

  • Sample Board Phone Script to Secure a Meeting 
  • eBook 26 Clever & Easy Ways to Say Thank you to Donors
  • eBook Donor Thank you Call
  • Sample Stewardship Calendar
  • How to Ask & Donor Stewardship Action Plan

About your expert:

Sabrina Walker-Hernandez is the President & CEO of Supporting World Hope. She has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, and leadership. One of Sabrina’s greatest successes is that she increased operation revenue from $750,000 to $2.5 million over an 8-year period as well as being responsible for the planning and operations of a $12 million comprehensive capital campaign in the 3rd poorest county in the United States. She has also facilitated numerous workshops with hundreds of nonprofit professionals and is a master trainer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Sabrina is certified in Nonprofit Management by Harvard Business School. 

She is an active community leader and volunteer in Edinburg, Texas where she is based.

Sabrina believes nonprofits enrich our world, and she works in partnership with them to build stronger nonprofit businesses. Nonprofits can achieve long-term success when they have effective leaders, sound strategies, and diversified resources.  

This course is the first step in making you competitive in fundraising which often determines how well, how far, and how long an organization can run in its race to realize its vision.  

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