Non-profits are borne out of the need to impact society, which like any other venture requires a well-established system of consistent funding. However, for smaller ones despite the promise of genuine impact, they face a plethora of challenges ranging from lack of structure, inexperience, and financial mismanagement. Here are some ways small non-profit leaders can improve their funding efforts.
Define Core Objectives: We are living in an unprecedented time, so why should anyone want to give to your organization? An important thing to do before soliciting external help is to do an honest appraisal by examining the objectives and needs of your organization. Why are you pursuing this cause? Who will benefit from it? What is your budget? What are your needs? When do you need resources? Having answers to these questions helps you put things in perspective. You will know who your potential supporters are and be able to start the conversations that will create an emotional connection. While on this, be sure to pay attention to their needs and how your organization can help meet them. Understand their priorities. Communicate your good works and never forget to express gratitude. Your sponsors should know how their help has allowed your organization to accomplish its mission.
Set up a team: Smaller non-profits do not have the luxury of recruiting professionals to manage fundraising efforts, but they can capitalize on the shared passion of like-minded volunteers who have some experience and will donate their skills and time. By forming teams within this group, not only will they will multiply efforts through ideas, knowledge sharing and network exchange; commitment, accountability, leadership and the much-needed support for cloudy days are examples of what teamwork can yield. Delegate and assign leaders who would be responsible for key activities including planning and budgeting, donor and sponsor engagement, operations and logistics management, and other tasks that will place the organization in face of the right audience through marketing. As much as possible, non-profits leaders should engage with volunteers. While some may not have fundraising experience, they can donate other complementary skills. For instance, you would need them to put the word out there or help with event set up or even sell tickets. And even in uncertain times, studies have shown that volunteers who cannot offer their time and skill are more willing to help financially.
Leverage on social media: Social media makes it easier for grassroots organizations to access a wider audience interested in community-based projects from all parts of the world, but effective and consistent communication, publicity, and using the right tools make this happen. There are legitimate crowdfunding websites that allow many people to contribute to causes or projects that appeal to them. A popular example is GoFundMe. There’s Global Giving and Causes by Facebook. These websites can collect secure donations efficiently by collaborating with prominent payment companies. Now that transaction processing has been taken care of, small nonprofits should focus on driving the right messaging. It is also important not only for them to have an online presence, using suitable social media channels to enhance visibility while pushing appropriate content will produce user reaction from even potential donors.