Attract Corporate Sponsorships

Sponsor text with business woman on a gray background

What is a Corporate Sponsorship? 

How do we attract Corporate sponsorships? Corporate sponsor support is a payment by a business to a nonprofit to further the nonprofit’s platform, that is generally recognized by the nonprofit with an acknowledgment that the company has supported the nonprofit’s activities, programs, or special event. So how do we attract Corporate Sponsors?

Nonprofits and corporate sponsorships have a codependent relationship.   Corporations provide nonprofits with financial support, and in return, nonprofits give the corporations positive PR and a boost in business.

Here are some statistics:

  • 91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality. *
  • 61% of consumers are willing to try a new brand or one they’ve never heard of, because of its association with a particular cause. *
  • 50% of global consumers said they would be willing to reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services (44% in the U.S. and 38% in Canada). **

Corporate Sponsorships strongly need to be viewed as a business agreement and not as a donation.  The challenge is convincing those doing the sponsoring that your organization can be a valuable business partner for them.

What can nonprofit organizations offer to a Corporate Sponsor: 

  • Attract customers to a brand and spike consumer interest.  
  • Characterize the company’s brand from competitor brands.
  • Personalize a brand image and humanize the brand.  
  • Improvement of a company and build product awareness and visibility.
  • Attract customers to a retail store or a particular product.
  • Demonstrating community responsibility or corporate social responsibility.
  • Exhibit community involvement.
  • Build the corporations credibility and educate the public about the products and services offered.  
  • Persaud  the public to sample a new product or to demonstrate a new product or service.  
  • Entertain critical clients when sponsoring cultural or athletic events

Marketing is a big player for nonprofits to be attractable to corporations.  It is not enough to just sell your mission statement anymore.   Corporations equal big business; they need to be convinced that by supporting your nonprofit organization, fundraiser or special events that their needs get met.  Again, this is a business relationship.

Nonprofit organizations should focus on five key areas:

  • Branding:

Corporate sponsors want to see their logo, their brand, anywhere and everywhere.   Make sure your event or fundraiser has that corporate sponsorships’ logo splashed on every piece of swagger.  Think t-shirts, baseball caps, gift bags, banners, newsletters, print ads, Facebook post, Instagram, Tweets and so much more.  Put your imagination to work for them.

  • Give Thanks:

Politeness and recognition go along ways.  Corporate sponsors want a public thank you and to be recognized for their generosity.  Anytime you have an event announcement, acknowledge your corporate sponsor.  Recognize them in all advertisements.   Make it personal, invite them to tour your nonprofit headquarters and make sure they have a private invitation or VIP pass to attend the event.

  • Proofing:

Do not forget that corporations are paying you, the nonprofit, for a sponsorship service.  Nonprofits should make sure any collateral with the sponsorship logo is approved.  

  • Return on Investment:

When a corporation sponsors an event, they want to measure their return on investment.   Be transparent, give exact numbers that prove the amount of exposure the sponsor received through the sponsorship campaign.

  • Communication is Everything:

Do not leave your corporate sponsor in the dark.   Keep them informed, making them a part of the whole process is essential.   Draw the agreement of the sponsorship in black and white from the beginning.  Then, afterward, communicate to the corporate sponsor that your nonprofit organization delivered everything guaranteed. Continually build and nurture the relationship.

Be an A+ nonprofit organization to your corporate sponsorship and exceed their expectations.  Make this relationship a winning combination for both parties.  


Twitter For Nonprofits!

Modernize your Nonprofit!

Is your nonprofit organization modern?  Have you considered using the popular social media platform Twitter?   Twitter for your nonprofit may seem like an unlikely tool, especially if you are old school.   Recently, Influence The Cause has explored how different social media platforms can make an impact on nonprofit organization and the causes they represent. You can refer back to Snapchat your nonprofit.  Twitter for your non profit is another powerful tool for your cause.   

Network your Nonprofit on Twitter

Twitter is an online news and social networking site where people communicate in short messages called tweets.  Tweeting is posting shore messages for anyone who follows you on Twitter, with the hope that your words are useful and interesting to someone in your audience.

Twitter is a fantastic way to engage donors and potential donors.  It is easy to get trapped in a rut and stay in the office instead of getting out to engage with your supporters.  Twitter is one way you can connect with supporters and not disrupt your everyday routine.

Four ways to connect on Twitter

  • You get to meet people all over the world that might be interested in your cause.
  • You get to hear what people are thinking about a wide variety of issues.
  • You can follow other fundraisers and get great real-time advice.
  • You can even promote traffic to your website or those of your friends. 

Think of Tweeting as mini-blogging.  Each Tweet is limited to 140 characters; this encourages your messages to be direct and efficient.   Now let’s examine how Twitter can be utilized to benefit your next fundraiser.   Twitter fundraising has steadily been on the rise in recent years.  Twitter can be used to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and charitable causes.  It is also used to spread awareness about social issues.

4 Ways Twitter Can Boost Your Next Fundraiser

Create Energy

Generating excitement around your cause and fundraising event is essential.  Set your event and charity apart with fun taglines and hashtags.  Note, Twitter is more successful with minimal hashtag, so make those minimal hashtags (s) count.   Hashtags can also be beneficial in branding your fundraising event and nonprofit.

Twitter can undoubtedly create hype; one example is setting up a contest.  Remember Gamification! Holding contests is a resourceful way to invoke interest in people.  

Be Concise

Be sure to state your purpose clearly and concisely.  Let potential donors know why they should care about your cause, and be specific about how their contributions will benefit others.  

The fundraising initiative Twestival is a primary example of an ecosystem effectively harnessing the power of Twitter to raise money at both global and local levels.  In 2009m over 1,000 volunteers and 10,000 donors raised $753,000.  Two hundred sixty-four thousand of that sum went to Charity Water, while the remaining funds went to 135 local charities.

Back up your Twitter

Twitter is great at many things.  It is a tool for communication, and in this case with your donors.  It is a social media platform for spreading your message.  It is an information source and a way to build your cause in the community.  However, Twitter alone with the created hype does not guarantee denotation dollars.

Use Twitter to generate that hype and draw interest THEN have a solid base, real people to then take over and connect.  It would help if you had something strong set up behind the scenes of your Tweets.

Ask for Feedback

Twitter is a fantastic way to engage with donors by promoting their feedback.   Ask your followers what they felt worked or what improvements need to happen before the next fundraising event.  Be open to criticism and suggestions about ways the event could have run smoother and more effectively.   Have an open mind and embrace feedback, both positive and critical.

Snapchat Your Nonprofit!

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - SEPTEMBER 07,2016: 3d renderer image. Smartphone with Snapchat logo on the screen. Snapchat is popular a photo messaging application. isolated white background

Technology is evolving all the time, so should the way you promote your nonprofit.  In a recent Influence The Cause blog (Five steps to implement a socially responsible marketing plan) , we shared how nonprofits could benefit by using Instagram, especially Instagram Stories.   Now let’s take a look at another popular social media platform, Snapchat and How you Snapchat your nonprofit.

How do we Snapchat your Nonprofit?

Snapchat is a mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings.   The app is free to download and to send messages.   Snapchat has become hugely popular in a short period.  Snapchat differs from other social media applications; its messages disappear from the recipient’s phone after a few seconds.   

Snapchat’s popularity has even provoked other social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, to adopt similar features.  Just how popular is Snapchat?  The statistics are staggering (https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/snapchat-statistics/):  Snapchat has 158 active users, creating 2.5 billion Snaps per day, with 9,000 Snaps every second.  That’s a huge user base that nonprofits could leverage potential supporters.  

Tell Your Story

“Snaps” and “Stories” are two different options to use Snapchat.  Snaps is a quick photo you take with the app that gets sent via messages to friends, then disappears after 10 seconds.  If a user wishes to save a particular favorite snap before it vanishes there is a Memory Tab allowing a curated collection of your own Snaps.

Stories is a Snapchat feature that is on the rise with user popularity, just like that of Instagram Stories.  Snapchat Stories consist of little video collections of your Snaps that can be compiled together that last for 24 hours.  Stories can be sent directly to friends, or they can be visible for everyone to watch.   

Two Ways Nonprofits Can Use Snapchat:

  • By helping make your next fundraiser fun and current, engage those Millennial donors!  Influence The Cause recently discussed peer-to-peer fundraising (https://influencethecause.org/5-steps-to-revving-up-peer-to-peer-fundraising/), try this.  At your next nonprofit event take the opportunity to collect a few snaps or Stories to show off how much fun everyone is having and the impact you are creating for your cause and community.   Snapchat is a creative way for nonprofits to share their story and engage donors.   Snaps and Stories could be used for great before and after photos.   Example, a local animal shelter takes a before ‘rescue’ photo of a homeless dog, documents through Snaps and Stories the road to recovery and ultimately the successful unity with the dog’s new family.   Who wouldn’t be inspired by this!  
  • Another fun way nonprofit organizations can use Snapchat is through the geofilter option.  “Geofilters are a fun way to share where you are through filter overlay,” states Snapchat.   Geofliters let mobile users add a location illustration – specific to where they are by city, neighborhood, or even store – to photos that they may then share with friends or followers via Snapchat.

In this recent blog, https://www.thedigitalnonprofit.com/blog/snapchat-ideas-nonprofit, the blog describes 10 ways geofilters can be applied to nonprofits.  Visual hashtag away to further your cause.

Get Started!

What are you waiting for, set up your nonprofit’s Snapchat account today?  Do not forget to tell everyone your nonprofit is NOW on Snapchat, start to build a solid friendship base.  Take for example; the Animal Humane Society.  They use the “ghost” code image for easy access to their adorable feed of animal photos. Be sure to set up your own ghost code and start showing it off on all your nonprofit’s social networks!

Be fun, be creative and be innovative – your cause relies on fresh marketing ideas.   Embrace social media platforms and how they can assist your nonprofit to ‘do good.’




Sponsorships & Nonprofit Events

Many Caucasian People And Hands Holding Colorful Letters Or Characters Building The English Word Events On Blue Sky

How do you get support for your event?

It is a common business practice for companies to use sponsorships and nonprofit events.   Creating an image of success and authority for your business is a smart way to win more customers. With Sponsorship and nonprofit events people are comfortable doing business with companies they trust to meet their expectations. 

Nonprofit organizations could also greatly benefit from doing the same thing.

First, let’s define sponsorship.  Sponsorship is a form of affinity marketing that provides certain rights and benefits to the buyer or “sponsor.”  It is usually in conjunction with a property, venue, personality, or event.

What does a sponsorship do for nonprofit events, it establishes branding and visibility!   The ‘right’ sponsorship could boost a larger audience to your charity or fundraising event.  As a result, you are attracting good press and social media attention.    

5 Tips to be successful with a sponsor:

  • Find Your Niche:

Know your audience and plan accordingly.  Sponsored events often cater to niche audiences or member organizations. Have your sponsors and sponsorships be relevant to your charity and nonprofit.  

  • Positive Image in the Community:

Would you prefer to go to a restaurant that is always empty, dirty and has a sad atmosphere?  Chance is no.   A packed restaurant, with a fresh look and fun ambiance, would be more likely a successful pick.    Nonprofits should be no different, think about the image you want to portray in the community. An excellent image and brand will attract sponsorship support.   Make sure your nonprofit has the right storefront and curbside appeal.   

  • Make a Connection:

Influence The Cause touched on this in the recent blog, Are Nonprofits in the Dark Age, donors have a face, so do sponsors.   When sponsors feel that your nonprofit took the time to get to know them, they are more likely to feel appreciated, and more likely to want to support your nonprofit charity or fundraising event.

Sponsors also seek recognition:

  • Acknowledge them in public speeches, board meetings and interviews with the press.
  • Invite them for a private tour of your facility and take photos for the local business journals.
  • Place a stewardship ad in their industry trade publication to thank them for their generosity.
  • Ask your staff to thank the sponsor on their individual social media platforms.
  • Give sponsors VIP tickets to your event.
  • Promote Goodwill:

Strengthening your business image is one of the most valuable benefits of event sponsorship.  Communicate with the sponsors on what a positive message their company sponsorship will have in the community.    Attendees, hopefully, donors, become walking logo advertising for the event sponsor(s).   Example:  A ‘Big Name’ Restaurant sponsors a major food drive fundraising event for a nonprofit focused on feeding the homeless, event t-shirts made with Feeding the Homeless Walk A’ Thon SPONSORED by ‘Big Name’ Restaurant.    The swagger from the event is a great marketing tool for sponsors and promotes goodwill.   

  • Return on Sponsors Investment:

In a recent survey, 55 percent of sponsors said their return on investment increased from 2016 to 2017.  This is excellent!  With 2018 to 2019 to be likely the same, if not improved.    The post-event contacts can also measure return on investment success.   It is all about the relationships established and the feature business through those contacts.

Sponsors and charitable events have so much to gain by working together to better a cause and the community.   The benefits are endless!  Now it is time to plan that next event with a perfect sponsorship in place.  ‘Do Good’.


Do Good ~ Fundraising Works!

Superheroes Kids Friends Playing Togetherness Fun Concept

“Helping people in need is a good and essential part of my life, a kind of destiny.” – Princess Diana

I believe most people want to ‘do good.’  Indeed, the late, Princess Diana was a role model for all of us to look up to with the countless charities she significantly impacted.  Do Good ~ Fundraising Works! Princess Diana changed the Royal Family and the public’s perception of the British Monarchy.   When asked the question, do you see yourself as queen one day?   Princess Diana’s reply was what helped define her legacy.  “I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts.”  And that she was!

What is one way for everyday people, volunteers, and nonprofit organizations to make a difference, try fundraising?  However, fundraising needs to link into the overall impact.   Shanna Birky, Product Manager for Classy, states, “Most nonprofits believe fundraising drives impact, but do not realize that impact also drives fundraising.”  Donors want to see real-time results, what is the impact their donation dollars are having on the cause.  Are they making a difference!  

Output & Outcome:

As explained by Ian C. MacMillan and James D. Thompson, authors of Elements of a Logic Model, look at the differences between Output and Outcome.

Inputs – What an organization needs to do its work (facilities, staff, volunteers, grants, etc.)

Activities – The work that is done in the main programs of an organization.  

Outputs – Units of production (number of hours of service delivered, number of clients served, etc.)

Outcomes – What happens to clients or customers (change in people of communities – short, medium and long term).

Impact– Ultimate result of achieving the mission. 

Fundraising organizations need to evaluate when to put the focus on one or the other to drive the best message resulting in the best impact.

An example of a logic model:

  • Your input from a recent fundraising event raised $50,000; this is your ‘do good’ budget.
  • Your nonprofit organization’s primary activity (objective) is to build animal shelters.  
  • Your output of the input and activity is to add a  ‘doggy hotel’ to an existing animal shelter. 
  • The outcome of your output is that more dogs can have housing at the animal shelter.
  • Your impact of these outcomes is more dog lives got saved.

Specific Examples: 

Donors want to know what they are getting for their buck, so be specific.  An example, a local animal shelter is hosting a fundraising event, explain to your donors that a $50.00 donation will buy two 40lb bags of dog food.   Alternatively, a fundraiser for a homeless shelter, a $200 donation will provide meals for 200 homeless people.  

Emotion & Story Telling:

One way to ensure your campaign remains rooted in emotion is to build a narrative that the user experiences as they move through the donation process.   When you tell a story, it’s more likely that visitors will invest emotionally in your campaign (fundraiser) and want to learn more.

In an earlier Influence The Cause Blog we mentioned that donations are driven by emotion.   “We have to remember that donating has been rooted in emotion,” says Shanna, “and replacing the story with facts is not the answer to increasing impact transparency.”  While statistics have their value and are very much needed for nonprofits to give transparency, donators what a story to be told.  

Engagement: 

As Influence The Cause explained in the recent blog,  Are Nonprofits in the Dark Age, your donors have a face; they are real people.   Get to know them!   The more information you gather from your donors, the more donation dollars will be generated.  An example, a dog lover would be more likely to donate for the addition of the ‘doggy hotel’ than that of a cat lover.  This engagement strategy will help your donors feel like they’re part of the solution.  

In Summary, when you connect fundraising dollars to impact, you make it easier for potential donors to relate to your work and understand how they can make a difference.  This clarity incites action and helps you raise more money for your cause.  
Do Good ~ Fundraising Works!


Influencers Are Powerful (right?)

Featured

What is an Influencer?

An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with their audience. Influencers are Powerful.
An individual who has a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with, the size of the following depends on the size of the niche.

Have you ever heard of Joanna Goddard and her blog site A Cup of Jo?

https://cupofjo.com  Chances would be yes if you are an avid lifestyle blog reader, she might even be one of your favorites.  She sure is one of mine!

In 2007, Joanne created a lifestyle blog that she calls A Cup of Jo.  She focuses on Style, Design, Food, Travel, Relationships, and Motherhood, especially that of Motherhood is one of her most significant topics.  After two years A Cup of Jo had grown at an exponential rate that it became Joanne’s full-time job.   In 2017, Forbes named A Cup of Jo as one of the Top 10 Lifestyle Websites for Women.  Joanna Goddard is now defined, in this Social Media obsessed world, as an Influencer.  

Joanna had some high-profile positions at such notable companies as Cosmopolitan, Bene, Glamour and Martha Stewart Living. It was suggested to Joanna by her brother one day to have her own blog.  Joanna had been incredibly successful blogging for other companies, why not start her own.  

Now, let’s think of how significantly a nonprofit organization could benefit by utilizing the impressionable powers of an influencer to help boost their cause.   This could be very impactful, but a few guidelines, tips, should be taken into consideration.  

Find influencers who believe in your cause.  

“Influence is not a measure of follower size, but rather of authenticity,” said Influential CEO Ryan Detert.  “These influencers are the leaders of their space because they are demographically, contextually, and psychographically relevant to their audiences.”

For example, your nonprofit organization primary focus is on solving childhood hunger in the United States, would you implement an influencer that had no emotional connection with hunger or the well-being of children?   It is critical to find those influencers who have some relationship to what you are doing.   A nonprofit organization whose mission is solving childhood hunger would greatly benefit from an influencer like Joanne Goddard because of her connection to food, children, and motherhood.  

Make sure you find an influencer that is genuine and transparent.  

For example, your nonprofit organization primary focus is on solving childhood hunger in the United States, would you implement an influencer that had no emotional connection with hunger or the well-being of children?   It is critical to find those influencers who have some relationship to what you are doing.   A nonprofit organization whose mission is solving childhood hunger would greatly

Another tip to take into consideration when picking the ‘right’ influencer is that they are genuine and want to engage truly with your cause.  This will not go unrecognized by your donors, and they will appreciate this transparency.   A sincere testimonial from an influencer provides authenticity to the relationship and, more importantly, credibility to the nonprofits organization’s brand. 

Influencers will share on ALL their social media platforms, happy retweeting!

We have all heard of the commonly used phrase, “sharing is caring.”  Definitely, this can apply to nonprofit organizations implementation of a relationship with an influencer.   The influencer of your choice needs to be also sharing your nonprofit cause across their social platforms.  “This puts a stamp of credibility; they like what you are doing and are endorsing your knowledge, expertise or service,” Pamela Hawley, UniversalGiving. 

Joanne Goddard is clearly passionate about children and her motherhood responsibilities, making blogging a career from it.    Nonprofits align with influencers who share your same vision, sky’s the limit for your cause.   ‘Do Good’.!!!

Intended Impact & Theory of Change

Nonprofits are needed now more than ever

Imagine being a child in the streets of San Francisco and having no place to call home, it is just heartbreaking.  Sadly, this is a reality, and according to Larkin Street Youth Services, a nonprofit organization, it happens at an alarming rate.  Stating, “tonight more than 1,300 young people will find themselves on the streets of San Francisco through no fault of their own.”

Established in 1984, Larkin Street Youth Services have made the statement that tomorrow must be different – our collective future depends on it. They are aiding more than 75,000 young people a safe place to rebuild their lives.   Larkin provides housing, education, employment training, health, and wellness awareness, helping these young people get off the streets for good.

Non Profits are needed now more than ever

We all love to hear these wonderful humanitarian success stories that genuinely change the lives of so many in a community.   However, success like that of Larkin does not happen by chance.  Today, nonprofits are faced with limited resources against seemingly unlimited needs, stifling financial issues.   Nonprofit leaders have the daunting task of running their organizations on ‘peanuts’ of a budget, squeezing the most out of each dollar to have the maximum benefit.   Juggling, getting critical resource decisions right – allocating time, talent, and dollars to the activities that have the most significant impact.  This is what “strategy” is all about. Relatively few nonprofits – even the most successful – have strategies in this pragmatic sense of the word.

So how do you bridge nonprofit’s missions and its programmatic activities, so we have increased success stories?  Two concepts that nonprofits need to implement, Intended Impact and Theory of Change!

Intended Impact

Intended impact is a statement or series of statements about what the organization is trying to achieve and will hold itself accountable for within some manageable period of time. It identifies both the benefits the organization seeks to provide and the beneficiaries.   Larkin leadership decided that their intended impact was to help San Francisco Bay Area homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 24 exit life on the street permanently. By specifying which youth the agency will focus on and the outcome that will constitute success, this intended impact clarifies Larkin’s strategic priorities in a way the mission statement does not.

Theory of Change

Theory of change explains how the organization’s intended impact will actually happen, the cause-and-effect logic by which organizational and financial resources will be converted into the desired social results.  An example of this is from a familiar story about a small village on the edge of a river.  Village life was good; children enjoyed playing in the river’s water, mothers washed their clothes and fathers fished.   One day, alarming, a man’s body was found floating done the river.  Everyone in the village ran to aid to pull the man to safety.  Barely alive, the village nursed him back to health.   However, day in and day out, more and more, almost dead, bodies kept coming down the river.   

One day a man in the village put on his walking shoes and started to head up the river, leaving the village.   Another fellow Villager shouted out, “you can’t leave now; we need everyone to help take care of all of the people we pulled from the river.”  The Villager shouted back, “It’s about time someone goes upstream to find out why these people are falling in the river in the first place.”

Out of this story are three possible Theories of Change:

  • We pull people out of the river and nurse them back to health.
  • We go upstream and prevent the problem in the first place.
  • Alternatively, we combine the two.  Help people in need and also work towards preventing the problem in the first place.

By nonprofit organizations implementing and building strategies versus expecting that a mission statement will get the desired result is foolish.  Let the power of ‘intended impact’ and ‘theory of change’ help move your organization forward and provide better leadership skills.  


Incorporating New Strategies For Non-Profit 2019: [Change is a Good Thing]

Handwriting text Marketing 2019. Concept meaning New Year Market Strategies Fresh start Advertising Ideas written Cardboard Paper hanging on rope the plain background Clip.

Out with the old in with the new

Out with the old and in with the new, change is a good thing.  Adaptive Strategy may not be what it once was, and it too has had to occur adaptation.  The shortcoming of a traditional approach to strategic planning is the tendency to ‘set it and forget it.’  This is not the case anymore.  From the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “New development from the disciplines of innovation, data science, and implementation management is teaching us that good strategy isn’t just about setting your destination and path, it’s also about how you execute and adjust over time.”

New Strategies

Now, incorporate this to how it applies to Nonprofit organizations. Change is a Good Thing so think of the whole ‘new strategy’ as a blueprint to build a house.  First, an architect needs to draw or build the plan.  After that, it takes a lot more to execute until you have a finished, successful product (hopefully a new home).  It is one thing to ‘just’ draw it out and hope for the best, those days are gone.  Be prepared, as electricians, plumbers, framers or you name it, make changes.  It is ineffable, and Nonprofit organizations are no different.  

Some key suggestions to take into consideration:

(1) Just because it worked in the past does not mean it will work or apply to today.  Do not limit your horizons, widen your aperture.  The world is full of indefinite possibilities.   Assuming that what worked in the past will still be successful today or in the future may hold your organization from growth.  

(2) Management is imperative to success.  Using the house building       analogy, what would a construction site look like without an effective Contractor guiding the way?  Leadership is a must.  What we have learned from the innovative space is about the importance of designing and managing experiments.  Leadership then can assess and adapt for ultimate results.  

(3) Analyzing Data Science can be something very mundane, all too often nonprofit organizations simply pass data about their performance straight from evaluator to funder.  The data is vital but what would also be critical is real-time management.  Information that is needed to be more effective on a day-to-day base and to adjust decision making accordingly.  

(4) Communication and execution are optimal to fuel productivity.   In working with our clients in recent years, we have seen time and again that it is one thing to develop an adaptive strategy, and quite another to successfully execute one.  Become familiar with your current operational reality.   The blueprint may be relatively easy to draw out; however, you must know how to implant and ultimately execute.  

(5) Think of the word strategy as a verb versus a noun.   Even in the fast pace demands of today’s business, this can be a hard adaption for some to make.   It’s just as much about how you implement and adjust your direction in an ongoing way as it is about setting your vision and initial plan.  

Embrace Change

In summary, embrace change. Change is a Good Thing for Nonprofit Organizations who need to continually adapt, have strong leadership, keep open to new ideas, use technology for growth, communicate and make your strategy active.

Are Nonprofit Organizations in the Dark Age?

Non Profit Mindset

Are Nonprofit Organizations in the Dark Age? Staggeringly, the answer is mainly yes.  Nonprofit leaders want to embrace technology into their organizations, but the reality is very few do.  Some are even aware that embracing technology would also boost their organization’s mission and fundraising potential.   

So, one might ask, what is the hesitation for nonprofit organizations to engage in the fast tracks of technology?  First, it might be their mindset.   Nonprofit Organizations want to save the world; their mission, cause, humanitarian efforts, fundraising, volunteering base and of course donations.  They’re not spending time thinking about how to increase their margins or bringing in more business the way that a startup or any for-profit company would.   

This mindset needs to change.  There are so many ways that implementing technology in your nonprofit organization that would increase productivity and ultimately increase donations.   Nonprofits need excellent communication with their donors, and technology can help.   Starting with CRM, customer relationship management.   This is a technology for managing all your company’s relationship and interactions with customers and potential customers.  Nonprofit leaders need to think of their organization as a business.  The customers are your donors and your potential donors.  

3 Ways CRM Can Help:

  • People are overwhelmed with the number of emails they receive in a day.   CRM can help track what your donor’s preferred form of communication is.  CRM would inform you that it might be way more beneficial to connect with them by Social Media.   
  • Nonprofit organizations have plenty of data but do not necessarily know how to apply it.   The proper use of data analytics, like CRM, would assist in evaluating their impact.   A prime example, CRM can track all sort of things about a donor or prospective donor.  Such as their contribution history, engagement history social media links, and more. They are turning information into fundraising dollars.
  • Your donors have a face; they are real people.   Get to know them!  CRM can provide you with detailed information allowing your nonprofit to connect more efficiently with your donor base.  When people feel that you took the time to get to know them, they are more likely to feel appreciated, and more likely to want to support your charity.

Using technology in the sophisticated ways we’re thinking about is new to many people, especially people who are older and less technologically savvy.   Many of whom are leading nonprofits.  Let’s take a look at social media.   In a Pew Research Center report conducted in January 2014, it showed that 74% of all online adults used some form of social media.   With that 74% on a rapid increase.  Fundraising campaigns found that 55% of all people who use social media will donate to their campains.

Are Nonprofit Organizations in the Dark Age with Social Media Exposure?

If your nonprofit is not on the social media bandwagon, think of all the missed donation dollars.

There is a good chance you are reading our Influence The Cause blogs on your smartphone.  Great, chances are you are not alone.  At the end of 2018, statistics showed that 57% of global web traffic originated from mobile devices, which means that your website, donation pages, and email templates had better by mobile responsive.  If it is not user-friendly across the board, it will discourage your donators.

These are just a few ways how technology can be used to boost in fundraising dollars for nonprofits.  Change the mindset, your organization and cause can no longer afford NOT to implement today’s’ technological world.    

For Profit vs. Nonprofit

“What’s Good for the Goose ‘Should’ be Good for the Gander”

This is a common phrase that denotes, “What is good for a man is equally good for a woman; or, what a man can have or do, so can a woman have or do.”  We hope this should be the case.  AND should be no different for the concepts of For-Profit verses that of Nonprofit sectors.   The same rules should apply!

In an earlier blog, I hope you are following Influence the Cause, I admitted to being part of Generation X (1965-1980).  I am going to refer back to an incredibly special charity event to lead into our blog topic for today, stemming from my generation.   In 1985, a massive epitomic of starvation was devastating parts of Africa, especially that of drought-stricken Ethiopia.   The greatest of Rock N’ Roll royalty gathered together to create a benefit concert ‘Live Aid.’  Most famously, they collaborated the top chartering song We Are The World.  With Artist Lionel Richie leading the lyrics out with: 

“There comes a time When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all.”

Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

What is the point?  Let’s look at Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.    Does nonprofit have anything to do with changing the world or is it all driven by big business.  Both!  Nonprofit and Philanthropy is a market of love, for those that have no other.  Hence, the reference to We Are The World. The two need each other, but the frustrations of Nonprofit are the rules are not the same.

One example of this is in views of marketing, advertising, and fundraising.   In For-Profit it is entirely acceptable for them to spend on advertising that will build more donations for the Cause of their choice.   It makes that ‘Big Business X’ look like a star.   “Look, look, look” how much money we raised for Cancer or Childhood Hunger.  This does not apply to Nonprofit, who get crucified for having donation dollars going towards ANY overhead.   News flash, overhead is not negative.  By having this train of thought, it forces charities to forego what they need to do to grow.   What if some of those donation dollars did go towards advertising, in return would give MORE money to the Cause.    Just like For-Profit does, this should also be acceptable for Nonprofit.  

Big Business vs For Profit and Nonprofit

Why do we need both Big Business For-Profit and Nonprofit, how do they work together?  True, Big Business carry about 90% of the charity donation base, but what about the OTHER 10%?  This is where Nonprofit picks up the pieces and aids, the Philanthropist make sure no one is left behind.   But this Social Business needs a market.  As Dan Pallotta stated in one of his speaking seminars titled The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong, saying “when you prohibit failure, you kill innovation.”

Change Perception

It is time to change the perception that Overhead is not negative in the Nonprofit sector if that overhead moves the Cause forward and benefits more people.