Why Support from Individual Donors is Vitally Important to LCNV

March 9, 2010 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Community Partners, Development, Donors, News | Leave a comment

I feel like I am just now getting used to the new year and to dating documents “2010.” But my life as a fundraiser is further complicating my transition. Since LCNV’s fiscal year runs from July 1 – June 30, Fiscal Year 2011 is just around the corner for us!

I kicked off my new year by spending a good chunk of time working together with Executive Director Patti Donnelly and Senior Director of Operations Randi Littman, reviewing the first half of LCNV’s fiscal year, analyzing what has worked well so far and what needs improvement. In February, it is my job to draft LCNV’s income plan, so that we know where LCNV will get the money that we need to support our vital programs.

LCNV’s budgeted income for our current Fiscal Year 2010 is pictured to the left. Our largest sources of funding are government grants, comprising over one-third of LCNV’s operating support. This money comes from several programs within the Virginia Department of Education, the Office of Volunteerism & Community Service (AmeriCorps), Arlington and Fairfax Counties, and the City of Alexandria.

Just four years ago, government support accounted for nearly half of LCNV’s budget! As the years have passed and the economy has changed, however, funding from government sources has decreased. LCNV has adapted to this change by developing a diverse funding portfolio that relies on hundreds of different individual, foundation, corporate and community donors, as well as the government. That way LCNV’s programs are not solely dependent on one particular source of funding.

Besides shifts in the economy, each year circumstances in the fundraising world change. Foundations and corporations shift their funding priorities. At other times, a nonprofit’s current campaign does not match up with the priorities of past funders. Sometimes a nonprofit can only receive funding once every two or three years from a particular grantor. These reasons are why it is particularly important to have a broad range of support from individual donors.

While figuring out which year I’m talking about can be difficult, the easy part is knowing that my work each day is helping members of my community read, write, speak and understand English and become confident, productive citizens.

~Suzie Brindle Eaton, Senior Director of Development

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