Why Non-Profits Need to Jump on the Bandwagon Now to Capture 2019 Fundraising Dollars

How to Capture Fundraising Dollars

Your company might be small yet it can still be mighty when it comes to creating opportunities to capture fundraising monies and this is Why Non-Profits need to Jump on the Bandwagon Now to Capture 2019 Fundraising Dollars. The larger charities, 50 million and up, have their name recognition and reputations that aid them in netting the greatest increases in dollars in their pockets. They reported a healthy first half of last year with a 69% increase over the year before. To keep up, companies with lesser budgets for marketing have to be more aggressive and work harder and be resourceful to eat a larger slice of the pie.

Make your Plan

If you are struggling to know what is next, get going. Now is the time to plan your events. Most money is given in the last four months of the year. Hosting creative events such as gala’s, golf tournaments, or gambling are taking in larger numbers hosting regional events that are quite profitable. 

We are still waiting for the final results yet it appears that nearly 6 in 10 non-profits saw an increase in contributions in 2018 and close to three quarters of them expect to hit their goals. This is according to NRC, a non-profit research collaborative to study trends in the industry that shares it’s finding with the public.  https://www.npresearch.org/

Here are some ideas to get moving on your fundraising efforts.

Plan Your Calendar Now

Since most money for charitable contributions is given in the last four months of the year, spring is the perfect time to get the calendar out and plan events. Don’t hesitate to have summer events yet still focus on capturing the last four months of the year. Planning starts now. Remember, most profitable results are born out of hard work and preplanning. None of the events need to be huge or elaborate. The best ideas are simple, imaginative, and fun. 

Keep it Simple

Start with a fun runs or walks which are best done in warm weather and are one the easiest to organize and have a nice return on effort. Other ideas that work: competitions, art exhibits, or anything to do with A-thons. It comes down to any event that gets people together, or moving especially when done in teams. If you fall under the two categories that capture the most income from their donors, Environment and Animals, be sure to capitalize on the human aspect of giving. The younger generation has a soft spot for the climate, land, and the universe. 

Measure the Return on Investment

According to the research, some types of events are not only easier to plan, you get more bang for your buck. When planning any event, be sure to pay attention to the message you want to convey to help build the support from the community. Once you have that done, be sure to measure the results. Know what it cost to put on the event including employee costs and then calculate how much ended up going to the purpose. Donors care about how much of the money they give goes to the bottom line. 

Be Consistent

The central aspect of fundraising is to keep on doing it. The key is to never rest on the laurels of the past. It has been proven that the bigger your company becomes and the more your donors hear from your or see you, the more likely they are to continue to support your cause. Donors also want to be appreciated yet in different ways. Some want a hand written note while others want their names in lights. It is essential to know your clients and keep files on each and how they want to be recognized.

Know Your Audience

Many times charities are not clear on who their target audience is and how to capture that market. You might be laughing right now saying, uh, duh, rich people. But that is not always the case. There are plenty of other ways to bring in cash from every day folks like you and me. Once you got that figured out, make a list of your very best patrons and let them know you appreciate their support; whatever it takes to let them know your care. Most of the time it is the simple gestures that get notice: a birthday card, a baby gift for their first grandchild, a note when they lost a relative. Be human and be alert, pay attention. It all pays off. 

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.