By Elicia Tedrow
In smaller nonprofits, the number of staff on board and resources available are limited. One person may wear several different hats within the organization, leaving them with little time to devote to a single initiative. Almost 1.2 million nonprofits in the U.S. have annual budgets below $1 million dollars and there are many charities that have ones that are even smaller.
According to the Nonprofit Finance Fund, one of the main challenges that smaller nonprofits face is the lack of funding to support their efforts. Grants, sponsors and fundraising initiatives are essential to keep these organizations going. These tips are designed to help smaller organizations overcome digital fundraising challenges.
Partner with local organizations and companies.
Your organization may be small, but your impact is great. Highlight the great contributions and show how your organization and its supporters are helping to make a difference in the community. Many smaller nonprofits may be focused in a local area and can use this to their advantage. Engage with your community both online and offline to increase your reach, spread awareness and promote fundraising efforts.
Forbes Funds, which helps to advance the Pittsburgh region’s nonprofit sector does this well by partnering up with other local nonprofits and companies in the area. Recently, they partnered with BNY Mellon to promote UpPrize, a competition for entrepreneurs making a difference in their community.
Utilize cost-effective donor software.
Even small to mid-sized nonprofits can utilize donor management systems to help them communicate with donors, streamline processes and drive fundraising initiatives. The initial investment in a software is worthwhile in the end.
For example, instead of spending a large amount sending direct mail to addresses that may be outdated or incorrect, organizations can store and maintain accurate contact information in a cloud-based donor database. When any type of fundraising or marketing campaign is launched, contacts can be sent personalized messages through direct mail or through an online platform, canceling out any postage costs.
Engage with your audience on social media.
Social media is a low cost way to connect with your constituents and community. When it comes to social media, the 80/20 rule is golden. Talk about your nonprofit and what it is doing 20 percent of the time and 80 percent of the time talk about others. This shows that you are active in the community and that you are dedicated to making a difference and not just promoting your nonprofit.
Charity:water is a slighter larger organization that excels when it comes to social media. They partner with other organizations and engage with them on those channels, so they connect with those audiences while promoting a common cause.
Analyze data and improve.
Some nonprofits may continue to use one form of communication simply because that is how they have always done it. However, now it is easier and cheaper than ever for nonprofits to collect performance data on fundraising campaigns. Instead of following the usual routine and spending funds, valuable resources and time on methods that may not be effective, organizations can look at how certain campaigns performed. Then choose the most-effective method by analyzing hard data rather than being motivated by a gut feeling or intuition and hoping for the best.
Managing a small or mid-sized nonprofit comes with its own set of obstacles to overcome. With limited resources and time, fundraising is essential. By tapping into digital tools and software, small nonprofits can optimize their efforts and create more opportunities to connect with larger audiences than ever before.