No Turkey Necessary: How to Secure Government Funding for Your Nonprofit

sign direction OPPORTUNITY-OPPORTUNITY made in 3d softwareAfter ten years of invitations and visits to his office, the governor will visit Opportunity Village, a nonprofit that serves people with intellectual disabilities in Las Vegas, Nevada. The CEO and chief development officer stand at the door. They’re armed with facts and stories. When the governor arrives, Rosalie, one of the people Opportunity Village serves, preempts all plans. She rushes to the governor and grabs his hand. “You must come,” she begs, “and meet my friends.”

When the governor departs 30 minutes later, he tells the CEO that Rosalie has done for more for Opportunity Village than all of the staff visits combined.

You, like Opportunity Village, can grow your government funding. In the United States from 1993 to 2013, fees from government agencies for community rehabilitation programs and residential providers increased 1 percent per year. With inflation at about 3 percent, service providers faced a 20 percent decrease in buying power. During the same time, Opportunity Village’s state funds have increased, adjusted for inflation.

How Does Opportunity Village Do It?
When Ed Guthrie began his tenure as CEO twenty years ago, he and the board adopted a strategy. It was to help elected officials to make Opportunity Village services one of the top three priorities for government funding.

To achieve this, they encouraged the families of those served to educate others about Opportunity Village.

They also sought to get influential people to tour the facilities. This includes legislators, commissioners, governors, and officers from both sides of the aisle. “I pick everyone,” said Ed Guthrie, CEO. He regularly invests time visiting in Washington, D.C. and Carson City. Experience, as Rosalie shows, changes everything. Visits change everything!

Finally, they invited influential people to join one of two boards. A total of 90 people serve on one the organization’s and related foundation’s board. Opportunity Village retains influential board members like university system boards. When a key industrialist joins a university board, he or she almost never steps down because of term limits.

Are you serious about securing reliable government funding? If yes, Opportunity Village provides a replicable model. Meet with elected officials. Build a community of influential supporters. Invite people for tours. You will generate great revenue and you won’t have much competition. Few people will consistently work this hard.

This story was collected as part of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams. To find more models and develop your customized income strategy, get your copy today.

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