Course:6: Optional Materials
Lesson:Fundraising and Grantwriting
  Fundraising and Grantwriting


Now that you have made your way through the basics of caring for historical records collections, you may have identified several areas where you need to make improvements. You may need to purchase smoke alarms and fire extinguishers for your storage area; you may need to attend some training on disaster response; you may need some funding to upgrade your storage equipment.

Your current budget may not allow for these kinds of activities and you are thinking, "This is a good idea, but how are we going to get the money?" No matter how large or small your program is, raising funds to support your work is always a challenge.

There are several ways to approach getting the money you need. If your program sits within a larger organization, you can make your case that you need an increase in your budget. If your program stands alone, you donít have this option and will need to think of ways you can raise money.

In either situation, fundraising and grant writing are two options that you can consider.

Lesson length icon

This lesson takes about 20 minutes to complete.

dollar sign on bills
Raising funds to support your work may be one of your responsibilties as an archivist.


Define What You Need

Before even thinking about how you will get the funding you need, you should clearly define what you need funding for and how much funding you need. In other words, you need to be able to state your case clearly and concisely.

        What do you need?

        Why do you need it?

        How much will it cost?

        Why is it important?

What Are Your Options?

When you know what you need and why you need it ,and you have articulated those things clearly, you will begin to think about what the best fundraising options are. If you are part of a larger organization, your first step will most likely be to find out whether or not more funding will be available in your programís budget. Larger organizations may also be able to call on the services of a development staff Ė people whose job responsibilities include researching and identifying funders, writing grant proposals, and meeting with potential donors. You should work with these people, if you have them!  

Most historical records programs donít have large parent organizations with development departments. In these cases it will be the staff and volunteers who work on fundraising efforts.

man's head with question mark
Ask yourself the questions at left to determine what you need.