According to the lamentations of capitol hill lobbyists, earmarks and appropriations are getting harder and harder to find Click Here to read more. Until transparency laws passed last year, earmarks and appropriations were often hidden bonuses secured by members of congress for their constituents. Some were good and some entirely frivolous (e.g. the famous “bridge to nowhere”).
This is of grave concern to many nonprofits however, because many nonprofits benefit from the benevolent, though often self-serving, largess of their particular member of congress. It is the unique domain of congress to determine how the federal budget is to be spent and, as a result, their’s is the corollary power. The wise nonprofit develops a relationship with it’s congressman with the hope of someday gaining the golden ring of an earmark or appropriation.
But what happens when the earmark and appropriation monies begin to dry up? Nonprofits must consider alternative sources of revenue. Here at the Thomas Scott Company we recommend a diversified portfolio of funding sources including grants, signature events, constituent subscriptions and contributions, major donors, and sustainable enterprise.
Now I know some of you are thinking, “I didn’t even know government earmarks and appropriations were available to us.” Well they are IF you have significant capacity and/or unique community impact… or a nice cozy relationship with your congressman!