Diversify Your Nonprofit’s Revenue

Grant funding is ultimately awarded to nonprofits that are sustainable. Grantmakers don’t want to fund a sinking ship. When reviewing your grant application, a grantmaker is going to be assessing whether your nonprofit is capable of withstanding major and minor changes in funding. Is the project/program solely dependent on grant funding and specifically our funding? Does the nonprofit have a diverse revenue stream?


Revenue is an amount of money your nonprofit receives. There are many types of revenue a nonprofit might receive.

Types of Revenue

  • Individual Donations – any donation received from an individual
  • Grants – funding awarded from granting agencies
  • Fundraising Event – the net income from a fundraising or special event
  • Rental – charge a fee for others to rent out your space
  • Sponsorship/Underwriting – a person or business pays for a certain cost generally in exchange for you to promote them
  • Interest from investments – any interest on investments your nonprofit makes
  • Membership dues – members pay an annual fee to be a part of your organization
  • Fees for Service – charging tuition for classes, selling tickets to productions, etc.
  • Volunteers – while volunteers are not money in the back, their hours are in-kind donations to your organization


According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, charitable contributions by individuals, foundations, bequests, and corporations reached $358.38 billion in 2014, an increase of 7.1% from the revised 2013 estimates and after adjusting for inflation. Individuals gave $258.51 billion in 2014, an increase of 5.7 percent from 2013. Foundations gave $50.9 billion in 2012, up just less than one percent from 2011.


So how is your nonprofit funded?

You are denied a grant. Individual donors and grantmakers change their giving focus. New officials are elected. You suddenly lose your rental income. The economy tanks. Things change. For your nonprofit to stay sustainable through changes (which will come), start diversifying your revenue and be more competitive for grant funding.


If you are thinking about adding in or expanding your grant funding revenue, take our FREE grant readiness assessment and participate in our FREE 30-day grant readiness challenge.


Which types of revenue do you currently incorporate in your nonprofit? Which types of revenue should you start incorporating?

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