There are people who know about these things.
For instance, the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training promotes the "connection between fundraising, social justice and movement-building." At their website, you can find free resources, as well as information about their workshops and consulting services.
GIFT says there are "three key things" to know about raising money. Paraphrased, these are:
- People give when they are asked, and rarely give when they are not.
- Donors are not ATMs. You need to thank them.
- You can't raise all the money your group needs by yourself. You need a team.
GIFT offer some free articles that you can download, and others that can be purchased for $3.
Also: Learning One's Body - A Talk With Bill T. Jones in which he talks about what it meant to receive one of those mythical NEA Fellowships in the early 1980's. The program has since been eliminated.
NEA: What did it mean to receive the NEA Choreographers Fellowships in the early 1980s?
Bill T. Jones: There was a sense of suddenly being a part of the club—that literally, at the federal level, someone thought what we do was important enough to be funded. And on a psychological, emotional level, that was certainly a lift, and one begins to walk a bit more straight and upright and to think more seriously as an artist…. So that was what I think it meant. It also meant that we could begin to plan. We could begin to look for and attract administration [staff], which was rudimentary. We made lots of mistakes: we didn’t really know how to get a board of directors. We didn’t know how to get the next piece made. We were just going to do it on sweat and enthusiasm. But the NEA imprimatur was definitely important to us. And the perception in the funding world that you were somebody that should be funded was very important.