TN80: How to raise funds for your charity or NGO – Derry Deringer

As seen in past episodes with our guests Claudia Landini (#77) and Sonia Balcazar (#79), running a charity or an NGO can be a great way to complement or build a portable career. But not only that, it can be a source of fulfillment and purpose that a lot of expat partners look for.

In this episode, you will find great advice on how to run a non-profit in a professional and sustainable way. Derry Deringer will share with you his tips to get what nonprofits need most, money! Listen in to his advice on how to raise funds and build relationships with your donors.

Derry Deringer is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). He built most of his career working for NGOs such as the United Nations World Food Program. In 2012, he founded his company, Deringer Consulting, to help small and medium-sized nonprofits improve their fundraising, performance, and leadership.

“I realized starting my own business was the path for me when I could answer three main questions: Is there a need for the service I envision? Do I have knowledge in that area? Are people willing to pay for my services?”

Highlights from this episode

  • How Derry started his consulting business
  • The agreement he made with his wife to make sure to commit to the family’s revenue
  • The type of audiences that usually fund an NGO and the type of funds to raise
  • How to convince an institution to donate
  • The donor cycle and how it works:
  • Identify the donors and research their interests
  • Cultivate relationship
  • Make the ask
  • Stewardship
  • How to build a relationship with a potential donor
  • How to run the meeting to ask for the contribution
  • The difference between an individual donor and a business or institutional donor
  • How to find a sponsor to fund your events
  • How to keep donors and make them donate regularly to your nonprofit
  • The key indicators to measure fundraising performance
  • How to deal with competing nonprofits looking for funds from the same donors
  • The best time of year to ask for donations

“You have to enjoy the work you do because your work, your personal life, your spiritual life and who you are as a person are all intertwined.”

More Notable Quotes

  • My first client was my wife because she needed to be sold on the idea to start my business
  • I looked at the numbers financially and I had 9 months to make my business sustainable
  • I knew what my commitments were within the family budget and I made sure nothing in our family finances would change when I started my business
  • When you start a business, it is important to involve your spouse and your family
  • In philanthropy, you have the art and you have the science of fundraising. You have to manage both the numbers and the relationships well
  • Fundraising does not stop when getting the funds
  • Be donor-centered

Derry’s Book Recommendations

Derry’s Online Resources

  • Gail Perry – free fundraising tips
  • Pamela Grow – fundraising resources and advice for the one-person nonprofit development department
  • The Agitator – nonprofit fundraising and marketing strategies, trends and tips

Find Derry Deringer Online


Have you had to fundraise for your nonprofit or other philanthropic initiatives? Share your experience and advice below or share it in our Tandem Nomads Private Facebook Group with other like-minded expat partners. 

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