Sustaining a successful non-profit is no easy task, given the ever-changing world of fundraising.
While employees, volunteers, and donors passionate about the cause are often seen as the most needed element, there is much more that goes into creating a stable organization.
A clear and focused mission
The mission is the core of the non-profit, defining its purpose and what it’s working toward.
This mission should be expressed to staff, volunteers, board members, and any stakeholders to ensure everyone is clear on and in alignment with goals.
This mission should be clearly articulated not only internally, but in public-facing materials and marketing efforts coming from the organization.
Financial stability and understanding
Understanding the financial needs of the organization and how its inner financial system works is key to sustaining financial stability.
The board treasurer should be an active partner with the finance person on staff in order to make this happen.
Diverse funding sources
To get the aforementioned stability, a good non-profit will not rely on one direct stream of money.
Funds can be raised from a mix of individuals, organizations and foundations, events, online campaigns, mail campaigns, and grants.
Grants given from entities like foundations, corporations, or government agencies are typically larger donations and a great source of funding. Applying for such grants can be a tedious process, so investing in a grants management system can make it easier. This type of software can help workflow around the application.
A good Board to back it up
This group of hand-picked or elected individuals is key in pushing the organization forward. Ideally, this group should be comprised of people with varying skill sets willing to share business knowledge, financial support, and the desire to help the organization improve.
This group should include people who understand the sector the non-profit works in and be people who are impacted by the work the non-profit does.
They should also have a wide network to draw from in the way of driving donations and helping to spread the word about the non-profit.
The board should also be supportive of and work well with the board’s chair, as well as the non-profit’s executive director.
Remember the mission mentioned earlier? This is just one element a great publicist or publicity team can utilize to help promote your non-profit.
You will need a plan in place that outlines the many channels in which your organization can alert the surrounding community about who they are and what they do.
Determine what makes our non-profit stand out and use that as a hook. Employ digital marketing as well as paper, like direct mailing.
Be repetitive. Studies show that people need to see a message seven times before it actually sinks in.
The world is ever-changing, and you need to be ready for it. Frequently assess fundraising methods and internal protocols to ensure you are doing things in not only an efficient way, but one that sees a great return on investment.
Also pay attention to your relevance, in both your community and the world at large. When others can make a connection with your mission, it’s easier to get them on board.