The 4 Components of Nonprofit Fundraising
The more and more I continue to do what I love—making Dream Big become tangible for youth and adults—the more I realize how simple fundraising is. I believe we look too much for the “gimmes”, to where we become blind to the simple stuff. Too many years have passed by where I’m looking for my donors to make recurring donations, but I fail to convert new supporters to recurring donors.
In most nonprofit cases, the donation components currently being done aren’t seamlessly connected. Passing out flyers/info, educating others, finding opportunities for supporters to contribute, and asking supporters to spread the word are unspoken requirements for any nonprofit employee. And for any nonprofit, we all leverage what we can to make a bigger impact. Unfortunately, I don’t always see a sustaining business model- it’s just a great fad they created but it won’t last.
Great organizations know how to make a fad into a lifestyle. For example, Starbucks has you buy their coffee, and also provides membership benefits. After your 12th star, you’ll receive your free product. You then bring attention to your reward because you bragged to everyone that it was free! By sharing their brand and your reward, you just brought new prospects to Starbucks.
As for nonprofits, it’s no different to apply the same principles. We as nonprofits need to think like a business too. Everything we do should make sense, and be part of a larger system. Take a look at how a basic system works and connects all the steps:
Bring Awareness to Your Organization – this is one of the biggest problems in the nonprofit industry. NPO’s (Non-Profit Organizations) don’t allocate enough funds to market their organization. People can’t support you if they don’t know about you.
Educate the Supporter – create newsletters, social media, events or anything tangible to educate the public about who you are, what you do, and how the community benefits from your organization. Give them a reason to support your group.
Provide Different Opportunities to Engage – don’t expect money. Understand that resources (e.g, in-kind donations) play a key role of your operations. Don’t be myopic by taking the cash and running. Find other creative ways people can give other than financially.
Create Donor Loyalty – one donor or donation cannot sustain the group forever, nor do you only want one person or donor. Bust the lid open, and generate more donors. Produce a brand where they can always support you without you hosting an event, asking for funds, or volunteering. Keep it simple by having t-shirts, mugs, or hard to throw away items visible. Find a way to stay “top of mind”.
Any simple project management tool can make this really easy to bring more clarity to a process. Again, don’t over complicate it. Use what you have and leverage it.
I write this because my business is personal. My struggles are for your gain. No strings attached.
Nathan A. Webster, MBA
March 17, 2019
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