Dear Kim:

Our nonprofit is relocating due to increased rent. How can we ask funders to help cover this unbudgeted (nightmare!) expense? We are just starting our Annual Campaign and I don’t want to lose general operating funds from our current donors to use for the move. What strategy would you suggest?


-I Needed This Like a Hole in the Head


Dear Hole in Head:

There is a tongue in cheek saying in fundraising, “When all else fails, try honesty.” I would call all your funders and tell them you had to move unexpectedly, tell them how much this move is going to cost you (include moving expenses, staff time, new furniture, letterhead, business cards, etc, and all ancillary costs). Many foundation program officers have discretion to make small grants for things like this. The money you get will have no impact on your annual request or other grant proposals you may have pending. I would do the same for your closest donors. Almost everyone has been forced to move at one time or another, and knows how expensive and what a pain it is. Also, put something on your website about the move, including a wish list. Donors will surprise you with their generosity, and it will not impact your annual fund as long as you make clear that your request is in addition to their already generous ongoing support.

Take care.

Kim Klein