Does your fundraising strategy consist mainly of a vague idea to raise “more money than last year” and little else? Without financial clarity, and a strategy to optimise your organisation’s sources for funding, your nonprofit will find it difficult, and next to impossible to secure the monies that it needs to operate at a sustainable level and create actual impact for your cause.
The following strategies can help your organisation broaden its base of financial support by increasing the number of sources it has for funding.
Rather than relying solely on donations from individuals, consider searching for grants that are a good fit for your organisation. Grants can come from Federal or State governments as well as public and private entities such as foundations and corporations.
The applications process is typically quite lengthy, and complex, and there is usually stiff competition for these funds, so your NFP can benefit by bringing on board an experienced grant writer to help them with the proposal and applications process.
Instead of trying to do everything on your own, consider reaching out to third parties for help in securing funding, and other resources, that will enable you to provide services and advance your cause.
Sponsorships and other collaborations can come from the commercial and government sectors, or might involving partnering with one more parties from the not-for-profit sector that will allow each to focus on performing the work that they do well. Groups can also cooperate and allow each to access resources that the other has to increase the amount of work that is performed by both groups.
Maximise Individual Contributions
Nonprofits can increase their funding simply by looking for opportunities to maximise the number and amount of individual donations that they receive.
To accomplish this goal, your fundraising approach should seek out ways to make it easy for supporters to give online, and give by their preferred means of payment.
Focus on encouraging repeat donors by developing a monthly giving program.
Approach board members and other key influencers that are connected with your organisation to reach out to potential big donors to support your NFP with a large contribution.
Crowdsourcing platforms can be a great way to raise awareness about your cause and encourage donations when they use storytelling to illustrate what is at stake if the issue your organisation is trying to tackle remains unsolved. Options to customise the message and share the campaign easily on social media will increase the number of folks that see your plea and follow through with a contribution.
Standard fundraising events, such as charity auctions, galas and balls can be a good way to raise funds for your organisation, but only if they are cost-effective to host. If your NFP will not make a net profit from the event that’s worth the time and effort it takes to plan the event and hold it, you may want to limit the number and type of events that you throw as part of your fundraising efforts.
Consider Options that Increase Your Capacity for Self-Funding
While nonprofits are not designed to operate at a profit, since their main function is to serve the public good, this doesn’t mean that they should operate in an unsustainable manner. Your nonprofit can increase the soundness of its finances to look for ways to self-fund its growth. Does your nonprofit have assets that can be used to fund operations?
For example, would you be able to offer beneficiaries a higher level of service if you charged a fee for certain services? Would rents or activity fees allow you to do more good work, without compromising your core mission and goals? Is there a way to invest some of your funds that will enable your organisation to generate a passive income stream that could be used to fund operations and build capacity? Would selling some products and services allow your organisation to raise the funds that it needs while remaining in alignment with your organisations values?
While each NFP’s answer will be different to questions like these, if income generating activities don’t violate your nonprofit’s values or create another conflict, they can be a good way to raise the growth supporting funds that your organisation needs to survive and thrive.