For more than a decade, I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of grass roots nonprofits which have outstanding missions, with leaders who are truly passionate about their work. These altruistic individuals have founded nonprofit organizations with the aim to provide vital services to their communities. Unfortunately, most of these newly formed nonprofits are continually struggling to make ends meet. Sadly, many will fail within the first few years of operations, simply because they can’t get the hang of the fundraising game. It happens time and time again.
All too often, I find that the founders of nonprofit organizations believe that fundraising will be easy. Who needs a fundraising consultant? You are, after all, addressing an important issue with a unique and innovative program. Why wouldn’t others be just as excited as you, and line up to contribute in response to your fundraising efforts? Plus, you’re a 501(c)(3), so the grant money should start pouring in any day now, right?
Develop a Fundraising Plan
It’s important to remember that, no matter how vital your work is, you’re competing with 1.5 million other 501(c)(3) charities that are also continuously fundraising. In order for your fundraising solutions to be successful, they will need to be well-planned, diverse, and developed to stand out from the crowd. That’s why it is so important to begin each year with a comprehensive annual fundraising plan, which maps out all of the fundraising solutions your nonprofit will employ throughout the year.
Developing a fundraising plan each year will ensure that your fundraising efforts are continuous- to engage and retain supporters throughout the year- and that they include a variety of methods that will reach your various bases of support in different ways. The assistance of a professional fundraising consultant may prove to be vital, especially if it is your first year tackling a formal development plan.
Diversity is Key
So, what does a successful fundraising plan look like in 2019? Diversity is key. Don’t count on funding your organization solely with big grant dollars. It’s not going to happen. Your nonprofit should be planning on the receipt of revenue from a variety of sources, including individual donors, corporate sponsors, grants, fundraising sales, special events and maybe even program fees.
As you outline your nonprofit’s fundraising plan for 2019, you’ll want to be sure you have specific tasks planned for each week, connecting the timing of various fundraising solutions to community events, holidays, awareness months related to your work, etc. Your fundraising plan should be exciting and include a variety of messages that will truly capture and retain the interest of those you reach. A thorough fundraising plan should incorporate as many fundraising solutions as possible, such as:
- Individual Donation Drives
- Corporate Sponsorship Campaigns
- Grant Writing
- Email Newsletters
- Mission-Focused Social Media
- Video Production
- Crowdfunding Campaigns
- Peer to Peer Fundraising
- Online Fundraising Platforms, such as Amazon Smile
- Sustained Giving Programs
- Fundraising Events
- Volunteer and Donor Appreciation
- Year-end Campaigns
The more different types of fundraising solutions that you include in your fundraising plan, the greater your chances will be of successfully subsidizing all your operating costs. Sharing your message in a number of ways through a variety of avenues allows you to reach numerous demographics that may be interested in supporting your work and to engage them in a way that best fits their personalities. Even more importantly, implementation of fundraising solutions must be consistent! To stay engaged, your supporters need to hear about your work and its impact- and hear it from you often.
If you are only getting started in the fundraising world, because your nonprofit is new, or you have only recently had the joy of putting on the “fundraiser” hat, seeking the advice of a fundraising consultant will prove invaluable to your organization. An experienced fundraising consultant can assess your nonprofit’s current fundraising capacity to determine what essential resources you need to get in place in order to get your fundraising campaign off on the right foot. A fundraising consultant can review your nonprofit’s existing website, branding, donor recognition opportunities, solicitation materials, and other fundraising solutions and make well-informed recommendations to enhance your fundraising in the most simple, cost-effective ways.
Overwhelmed? Get Help from the Experts.
Developing diverse and creative fundraising resources may not be the easiest thing to do, but it certainly is not the most difficult either, especially when you’re working with ChurchNet USA. Our team of experts is skilled and trained in all aspects of nonprofit management, including fundraising. Contact us today at 1(407) 857 9002 or visit our website.