There are several worthy nonprofit organizations around the world. It takes more than just a cause to get a nonprofit going. Though the cause is the main idea, a team of passionate leaders needs to develop a foundation to grow on. Nonprofit is a business.
What does it take to grow a nonprofit organization?
The high turnover in the nonprofit niche, as well as donor retention rates, suggest that many organizations are challenged to reach their full potential. Allowing a nonprofit organization to grow means more than just a cause and a prayer. Sure miracles happen, but there needs to be a dedicated team that creates their own synergistic miracle.
Often, lack of funding, poor leadership, policy framework, and economic circumstances are cited as the common cause in the failure to launch. However, the main reason that makes the organizations stagnate is when they settle or don’t invest enough time in strategy, planning, and creating new creative streams of revenue on eCommerce lines.
You can’t be an old school DJ if you don’t have the time to play around with hundreds of vinyl records.
Settling stifles organizations from seeing and marching to the next level. At this point, good becomes the enemy of great. You must adopt the best strategies to challenge the status quo for growth. Go retail with an eCommerce line to drive more funds and implement the organization agenda more succinctly.
In other words, your 501(c)(3) organization will not grow unless you water, fertilize, and tend to it on a regular basis. It is not required to do this if you’re happy with small things. Passion and cause have no limits.
Business in nonprofit
The success of a nonprofit and its ability to move from one stage to the next is mostly dependent on finance.
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” -Milton Friedman
It’s the Internet of Things and creating a strong plan that includes many hours of brainstorming sessions to get the word out and start gaining momentum for the cause. Organizations such as the Royal Society for Protection of Birds runs online shops that retail their conservation-related products to visitors. The people that are like minded are your influencers and you want them to freely express the cause with useful products. It’s important to capitalize on the nonprofit niche to win a competitive edge with the ultimate objective on the benefits of a monthly giving program.
The benefits of business such as eCommerce line for nonprofit go beyond raising cash for operations. The retail business becomes a point of meeting new followers and sourcing regular donors. Consider running an eCommerce store or opening multiple channels for selling your organization’s products. Note that this does not have to be an uphill task because you can seek assistance from top digital marketing firms that have affordable rates and give discounts to clients.
Adopt the right marketing strategies
Top nonprofit organizations reached their statuses by adopting strategies that communicate their focus, objectives, and value to the target audience. To put it differently, you should approach the nonprofit marketing with the zeal of a for-profit organization; think of eCommerce application platforms to sell the organization products.
Some of the top strategies that will take your organization to the next level include:
- Keeping an active blog
- Develop an app
- Run a passionate social media campaign
Marvel in Good Leadership
In order to take a nonprofit organization to another dimension, the organization needs to be honest and true. Integrity is an important quality. With good leadership, an organization can define structure, run a retail outlet, drive change and draw new meaning to why everyone is doing what they are doing. Let things organically grow from that noble core.
With good leadership, a nonprofit organization can create new products, run a retail unit, motivate its staff and leverage faster growth. Good leaders must be critical of their operations and accept the reality. They should particularly focus on two things:
- Focus on enhancing the benefits of the monthly giving program.
- Premise the organization on advancing progressive learning (no matter the progress, the leadership should understand that there is room for better results).
Run a monthly giving program
How can an organization retain and keep a steady pace in the efforts of making a difference? By setting up a convenient donation platform. Remember, a nonprofit does not need to rule the world. A nonprofit needs to focus on making a difference, however small it might be, and just one donation of $5 a month can make a difference.
The organization’s brand must focus on delivering value attached to the core objectives of the organizations. A monthly giving program is a strategy that involves working with donors who remit their contribution every month. The program offers significant benefits such as
- Connection to donors on a full-time basis
- Ability to demonstrate value for all programs and ultimately have the donors increase their monthly donations
- Low administrative costs
- A platform for winning other donors through referrals by the monthly donors
- Predictable income
Do not forget to ask yourself what would happen if the funds fall short at one moment. You need supportive structures such as eCommerce units or retail outlets to supplement the donor funds.
The St. Jude Foundation
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a classic form of a nonprofit organization that still holds true to this day. They are present on everything social media and send out address labels through the postal office to loyal donors. It’s a company that gives back while they ask for donations.
St. Jude has an honorable reputation in that all the money donated is used for children’s cancer research and treatment. Even though St. Jude has been around since 1962, the organization still needs to find ways to remain relevant in an ever-changing world such as running unique e-commerce outlets to supplement the flow of funds.
International Dark Sky Association
IDA’s website is working hard to create awareness of light pollution. They have implemented a strong online presence and have remained relevant in the digital world. Not to mention, the organization is lead by some of the most educated scientists in the world.
Headquartered in Arizona, the IDA’s passion for change is backed by advanced data. They offer membership, certify parks with low light pollution, and they publish rich content on their blog. You can see with your own eyes, that the team is hard a work to help spread the word on the critical importance of dark skies and artificial light management.
Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing consultant with over 8 years of experience working to help Fortune 500 brands grow their online presence. He currently resides in Miami, where he owns boutique creative agency WEBRIS. You can find Ryan on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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