Here’s step 2 of creating financial stability for your social enterprise.

Step 2 – The List


There’s more than one way to fund a sustainable mission. Donors are integral to your growth, but there are other categories you can pull from that will significantly boost your social impact. The more sources of revenue you can develop, the more reliable your income stability and potential for growth. Take about five minutes to write out your list of income streams, leaving room for sublists.

Operating Revenue
This category encompasses all the revenue your enterprise brings in from its daily operations. This line item can stand alone for now.

Event Income
This is the income your enterprise brings in from various events you host or attend. (Note that it doesn’t include annual fundraising dinners or other large-scale, once-a-year support drives.) Write down all the events where you can sell products or services, and also brainstorm some events that you could host, or dream of hosting, one day.

One-time Donors
These are your irregular donors. Donations from these persons or entities may come in sporadically, or perhaps all at once around Christmas or the end of the tax year. We’ll want to grow this list and the Regular Donor list; more on that in a moment. For now, create a list of all the people who might be interested in donating. Your list should be ten times the size of the actual number of donors you’ll need. (You may want to save this list for later).

Regular Donors
These are the people or organizations that pledge a monthly or annual amount. For simplicity, you can add this list on the same sheet as your One-time Donors if you like.

Fundraising Events
Large-scale, once-a-year fundraising events (like dinners, auctions, and so on), along with any other fundraising events you host, go on this list. Include every opportunity you have to gather a large group of people for the purpose of eliciting donations.

Church Partnerships
You likely have a church partner or two. Start making a list of all your current church partners, including which denomination (if any) that each one represents. Take note of how many of each denomination you’re currently partnering with. Now, make a list of every church in your geographical area that comes from those same denominations.

Denominational Partners
Church judicatories (or presbyteries, dioceses, conferences, etc.) are the governing bodies for many Christian denominations. If you’re seeing support from one church in a given denomination, it may give you an “in’’ with the larger governing body, which often has grants available for social enterprises. These grants are often short-term, so plan on phasing them out of your revenue plan by year 5.

Grants abound. You just have to know where to look. Start looking for grant opportunities and creating a list of which ones you need and what the deadlines are. This way, you can apply for grants each year without reinventing the wheel. Check with your local community foundation or nonprofit support organizations. Often they can help you to know where to look.

Any additional, miscellaneous funding sources can be listed under this category.