Not sure where to start with your nonprofit organization’s development efforts? Learn the basics of fundraising through the resources on this page.

Fundraising Fundamentals covers four foundational fundraising topics that are essential to your organization’s development. Explore our on-demand videos for guidance from CCS experts on each of these topics and our guidebooks for topic overviews, relevant terms, instructions, and worksheets.

Discover Fundraising Fundamentals

Click on any of the topics below to reveal the resources.

board development and management

Nonprofit board members bring diverse voices that shape the future of the organizations they serve, and they help ensure the health, equity, and stability of our communities. An effective board takes some of the administrative burden off fundraisers so they can instead focus on the things most important to their cause.

In addition to providing general support to a nonprofit, board members also assist in organizational planning, resource creation, oversight of fiduciary duties, fulfillment of legal obligations, and recruitment of the nonprofit’s leadership and volunteers.

If you have never developed and managed a board before or want to ensure you are maximizing its efforts, our recording and guidebook below will help you:

  • Understand a board’s purpose and structure
  • Select the right governance model for your organization’s current phase
  • Prepare for and facilitate a successful board meeting
  • Implement DEI within your board
  • Prepare materials with useful templates

moves management

In the nonprofit industry, moves management is the term used to describe the processes of “moving” a donor or potential donor through engagement to giving. Since the most successful donation requests result from thoughtful relationship-building between fundraisers and donors, effective moves management can make all the difference when asking for a philanthropic gift.

The stages of moves management include identification, qualification, cultivation, briefing, soliciting, and stewardship. The last, ongoing stage helps a donor realize the impact of their giving as well as increases the likelihood of future donations.

Explore our recording and guidebook below to learn how to:

  • Introduce your fundraising staff to moves management
  • Activate a moves management system in your fundraising efforts
  • Utilize sample templates to build out new tools
  • Begin to build an engagement plan for your current and future donors
  • Prepare materials with useful templates

building your case for support

A case for support, also called a case statement, helps inform potential donors about your campaign and helps align your nonprofit’s vision to the donor’s philanthropic priorities. A thoughtfully created case for support tells potential donors and volunteers who you are, what you do, where you are, who you serve, and why. Additionally, a case for support can often inspire increased, transformational gifts from current donors.

A case statement should clearly define the problem your nonprofit addresses and how you are uniquely positioned to resolve it, emphasizing your work’s importance, urgency, and impact. Potential donors should want to learn more after reading it.

Explore our recording and guidebook below to learn how to:

  • Mobilize your organization to better tell your story and build a case for support
  • Build a toolbox to better reach your donor audience
  • Focus on ways to effectively share your case for support
  • Develop strategies to use your case in practice

asking for money / solicitation 101

Having a strong donor solicitation strategy makes all the difference when asking for donations for your nonprofit. Whatever the size of your organization, our resources help you feel confident in seeking financial support using the right approach, methods, and rationale. We help you understand fundraising terms, principles, basics of donor psychology, and more, from the case for support all the way through “after the ask.”

Explore our recording and guidebook below to learn how to:

  • Seek financial support for your organization
  • Follow the nine principles of fundraising
  • Identify the common fundraising approaches (annual giving, major giving, grants, and events) and their function
  • Effectively close a gift and maintain relationships with your donors

Elevate Your Fundraising With the Fundamentals

October 11, 2023

Learn how to elevate your fundraising with the fundamentals by exploring our video where we cover the four fundraising pillars and five common challenges.

Grow your fundraising knowledge.

We’ll email you helpful tips to guide you beyond the fundamentals.

About This Library

Fundraising Fundamentals was launched in 2020 by a volunteer group of CCS Fundraising directors as part of CCS’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

While open to all nonprofits, this library was created to provide meaningful fundraising resources and step-by-step guidance to emerging nonprofits that partner with communities of color, are led by leaders of color, or both. Often, the missions of these organizations focus on issues that disproportionately affect people of color due to institutional racism.