The New Volunteerism Project

The Archival Collection of
Ivan Henry Scheier

Section XI

Feasible Fundraising

June 1999

The page #'s refer to the pages of the "New Volunteerism  Project: The Ivan Scheier Archival Collection."
Five bound volumes placed in the Reference collection of the
Dayton Memorial Library at Regis University
Table of Contents Page #
Introductory Notes
"Earning Your Own Way: A Decision Checklist"(unpublished)@ 2
"Feasible Fundraising" Chapter 6 - "When Everyone’s A Volunteer" 3-8
Description, presenting background of methods for:

a) ‘Time Tithing’ @

b) ‘Cause-Related Advertising’ @

Further unpublished notes/handouts on ‘Time and Tithing’ 9-10

And ‘Cause-Related Advertising’ *

c) Establishing Your Own Friends Group" (unpublished draft) @


d) Organizational Leasing (unpublished rough draft) @

"Business enterprise in the Non-Profit Sector," 1984 (?) @ 14-18

Limited circulation publication, now out of print, Yellowfire Press, Boulder, CO. General Background and references as of that date, on earned revenue fundraising.

* One of the best and most complete publication on "Cause-Related Advertising" was a 1983 or ‘84 limited circulation publication from Yellowfire Press, Boulder, CO entitled "How Business Can Make Money Off Non-Profits and Vice Versa." Please let me know if you have a copy of that publication; most unfortunately, I’ve been unable to locate one.

@ -- permission for use-with-acknowledgment
-- Appropriate permission must be secured from the publisher for re-publication


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Introductory Notes on Feasible Fundraising
Ivan Scheier
June 1999

Alternative titles have been:

An Appropriate Technology for Raising Revenue
Fundraising Without Grants (Or Too Much Pain)

This subject area was never a mainline involvement for me but I did attempt to develop my own "slant" and niche. The essential main elements of that were earning vs soliciting/begging revenue in ways sensitive to the limited resources of needy groups. The latter is the appropriate technology part, best understood by inappropriate examples, e.g. giving electric washing machines to people who have no electricity or any real hope of getting it and/or giving farm tractors to people who have no way of maintaining or repairing them.

This properly suggests as a target group a kind of third world of fundraising, relatively week and small entirely or mainly volunteer groups. But, let it be said clearly, this approach and these methods can also be a significant source of supplemental income for larger more powerful groups who ordinarily subsist on grants, generous individual philanthropy, relatively fixed administrative allocations, and the like. Conceivably, the methods could also be useful for unaffiliated individuals, though at first hand, I don’t know of any examples of this.

Further definition is provided by the three quotes below. Only the second one is from a published manuscript (page 5 here).

"There are ways of getting money for a caring organization that do not require huge amounts of skill, time or other drains on organizational resources – thus avoiding the paradox of having in these senses, to be rich in order to get rich. The methods also tend to avoid fierce competition for available dollars, as in much of grant fundraising and more mundane forms of community fundraising. In the above ways, the methods are particularly appropriate for smaller, weaker organization, but can work for larger more sophisticated organizations as well. And though usually considered "{nickel and dime" stuff, they can and have in fact be used to raise considerable amounts of money."

"Here then are some first thoughts towards a more ‘"appropriate technology" of fundraising for all-volunteer groups; specifically, a fundraising process which is efficient, consistent with mission, does not overly drain leadership/membership time, and does not assume levels of sophistication and resources which are unlikely to exist. The goal is minimum deviation from "what comes naturally" to individuals or the organization in nature and intensity of effort. The following fundraising strategies offer something almost every member/volunteer/supporter can do – everyone doing a little bit, instead of a sacrificial few trying to do a whole lot."

"good luck with grants but it isn’t the only way or, sometimes, even the best way. A major alternative is community fundraising, sometimes also called earned revenue fundraising. But here, we must beware of "the 50 cents an hour" and "mission neglect" syndromes."

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Ivan Scheier
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340

For comments and editing suggestions please contact Mary Lou McNatt