As a nonprofit, if you are going to have success in your mission, you’ll need to have the necessary resources. But you can’t tread lightly on the development side. There are too many examples of nonprofit organizations that treat fundraising as a project and not a major part of the core operation. Well-developed nonprofits look at fundraising as the key driver for making everything possible. Here then, are the five important strategies for developing a stronger fundraising organization.
All hands on deck
Without exception, everyone at your nonprofit should be on the front lines as a fundraiser. That means all staff and volunteers even those on the program side should be keeping a close eye out for opportunities and possible donors. At the same time, in daily interactions with people they need to be cordial and project a positive attitude that reflects well on the organization. After all, nonprofits rely on the kindness and generosity of others so putting their best foot forward is not only necessary but an integral part of building a positive rapport within the community.
Develop a plan
Fundraising initiatives need to be thorough and well-thought out because if they’re not, the chance of failure is great. A successful nonprofit will have a grand plan in place for fundraising. It might need to be changed on occasion but it serves to help establish goals, outline responsibilities and defines an organization’s overall strategies.
Expand fundraising initiatives
The best fundraising organizations look to vary revenue sources. Relying on just one type of fundraising whether from events, grants or program fees can be a serious mistake, especially if the funds suddenly dry up. This is also true when relying entirely on a major donor or two for funding. It’s important to diversify and look for new sources of fundraising and there are plenty of them out there. Utilizing funds from government, gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations to raising money hosting a variety of events, using direct mail and online initiatives, there are always a number of alternative methods to employ.
Organizations have to track their progress and if they don’t, why set any goals? Also, why employ a number of different fundraising initiatives if you don’t measure the results. You need to know what works and what doesn’t so you’ll be in a better position to shift strategies. You may think things are going well but without setting goals and tracking results, you won’t know for sure.
When sales strategies are falling flat and the results are clearly not what were anticipated, there comes a time when strong businesses shift gears and move in a new direction. The same should be true with a strong nonprofit. If things aren’t working it may be time to look at another strategy. You need to do what you can to accomplish your goals and if changes are necessary, than make them. If it requires developing a new plan or bringing new talent into the organization then by all means do it.
Embracing new strategies and changing the course of your fundraising initiatives can take some time and can be a difficult adjustment for staff and volunteers, but in the long run your nonprofit will be in a much stronger position having done so.