What Donors Want to Know About You

Here is a list of frequent funder and donor questions in five categories. After you draft a grant request or case statement for you nonprofit organization, use this list as a checklist to find out if you answered what funders and donors want to know.*

About relationships

How do I know you?
Why are you coming to us?
Who else will you involve?
What other money will you involve?
What public support is there for this cause?
If you are funded, what will it say about us?
If you are funded, what other impacts will there be on us?

About your organization

What is your mission statement and mission?
What is your history?
What is your track record?
What is your success rate for projects like this one?
What is your reputation in the community?
What are the qualifications of your staff and board?
For new organizations, what are the odds of your surviving as an organization?
What will happen after we fund your project, will we ever hear from you again?

About the need

Does your need fit our interests?
Does your need fit our rules, guidelines or beliefs?
Will you help with a real need?
What is the size of this need?
What is new about this need?
What difference will this gift make?
What happens if we delay funding you until our next cycle?

About the project

Who will you serve?
What services will be offered?
Where will you offer services?
What is your interesting, creative or new solution?
What are the credentials of the people who will provide service?
Why are you asking for money? Why is money neeeded?
What is a story or a picture of someone being served by this program?
Will you make a difference and to whom?
What lasting impact will you make with this gift?
What evaluation tools will you use?
How realistic are your statements, promises and request?

About budgets

How much money are you requesting?
What is your cost per person?
Why is this cost reasonable and effective?
What percentage of the money needed did you request from us?
What will happen after the requested funds are exhausted?
What is the overall budget of the project?
What is the budget of the nonprofit organization?
What percent of your income do you spend on overhead?

*You can also profitably review this list to prior to a site or personal visit.

For more help with obtaining donations at your nonprofit organization, read:

20 Ways to Say Thanks

The Gift Recognition Chart: Meaningful Ways to Say Thanks

Site Visits: Karen’s Top Dozen Tips on Hosting Donors

Waiting for Super Donor? What Your Board Needs to Know