Five Fundraising Strategies for the Contemporary NGO
The nonprofit sector is being stirred up my new digital tools and dynamic social marketing strategies capable of raising more funds than was possible a decade ago. Social change is no longer limited to nonprofit enterprises. Social entrepreneurs are discovering new ways of thinking about their roles as changemakers. The traditional NGO business model is still as relevant as it always was, but awareness of new options can help directors to think creatively about their business model.
Using a social entrepreneurship business model instead of an NGO opens you up to angel investors who will provide enough funds to bring growth over and above basic resources. This is a highly sustainable approach that widens your footprint and fundraising abilities simultaneously. It’s a route with its own challenges. Most angel investors won’t be aware of your organization because projects are usually screened by professional managers. To captivate them, you need a donor care center willing to get to know your organization in depth.
The 80/20 Rule
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of your donations are supplied by 20% of your donors. Your inbound programs will thus need to assess the lifetime value of every donor so that you can focus on those that offer the most returns on your time investment. Their nonprofit fundraising should combine both inbound and outbound solutions. Automation can personalize emails to suit each donor’s history with your NGO. It’s no longer enough to limit yourself to telecom strategies. Webinars and other creative outreach platforms add value to your donors’ lives so that every connection you make with them is a happy one.
Too many NGOs develop a meagre one list of leads and treat it as an infinite resource. As funds dry up and donors disappear, that list becomes far too thin to support you. A lead qualification strategy needn’t take up much of your time. Software can intuitively identify new sources. Social listening tools will discover new leads constantly without input, and your most influential donors can be encouraged to speak on your NGO’s behalf. Social media influencers are those donors who have a strong social media presence and who create content that fits your niche. They achieve 11 times the returns of traditional marketing methods, and while your NGO won’t be working with classic ROI, you will gain from leveraging these people.
Grants and Endowments
Grants are too often overlooked and play a critical role in today’s fundraising efforts. The Obama administration created a range of initiatives that could offer you significant funds. Private endowments take the form of bequests and gifts. They certainly have their role but tend to be extremely limited. They also come with qualifications, so they need to be handled professionally.
Content is at the core of any fundraising initiative, and it needs to send out a clear message to your target audience. You can view your role as fundraising or as marketing. The former lens will return only what you put in. The latter will generate funds more efficiently while simultaneously promoting your cause. In NPOs, marketing’s four Ps—product, place, price, and promotion—are slightly different than in for-profit enterprises:
Product: Your cause or concept.
Price: Your budget, which could be a temporary project, program or your everyday needs. Instead of working with ROI, you will be looking at social return on investment (SROI).
Promotion: Your communications with stakeholders via multimedia, social networks, proposals, and other campaigns.
Place: Project implementation sites, which must be easy for your donors to visit in virtual or brick and mortar terms.
Using this basic lens will make your organization more sustainable and effective. NGOs function in an industry, just as for-profit companies do, and by segmenting your donors into their own niches, you can hone your fundraising initiatives into customized connections.
Donors need to be chosen with care, using mapping and filtering to create a shortlist. Mass communications can steadily be funnelled into connections with a core group. That process can be achieved through promotional campaigns, mailers, and appeals.
Today’s NPOs require strategies that leverage all available resources, including the entirely human connections your donors make with your fundraising partners.
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