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. 

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.

Understanding Generational Donation Gaps

GenerationalGap Influence the Cause

Generational Donation Gaps

Most everyone is familiar with the term, or idea, of “generation gaps” which are technically defined as differences in philosophies between generations.  Most generations are named for the time period or global event they were born during or after, as demonstrated by the most popular group, the Baby Boomers.  Born after World War II, the Baby Boomer generation was named because of the high number of new births recorded nine months or so after the soldiers returned from the World War.  Baby Boomers were raised by parents who grew up during the Great Depression and who endured the second World War, and were likely to have been impacted by both, thereby developing more traditional values.  By comparison, Millenials (children born in the 1990’s) are children who were born into a technological explosion within society, and as a result have been termed the most self-absorbed generation. 

Generational Clashes

Generational gaps occur when different generations must, whether by choice or not, interact with one another, and – no surprise – clash.  Take, for example, something as simple as music.  Music has always evolved as its generational influences, as Ragtime was hugely popular in the 1920’s, Swing in the 1930’s, Jazz & Big Band in the 40’s, and then came the Rock n Roll generation in the 50’s.  Beatlemania was an utter phenomenon in the 60’s, then artists such as Prince, Michael Jackson and Madonna became iconic in the 90’s.  Suffice it to say, an “old timer” born in the 1940’s would likely not “appreciate” the artistic prowess of Eminem.

Generations simply understand and do things completely different.  Certainly some of the differences may come from various cultural norms, but those differences are there.  And they affect how each individual reacts to the world around him or her. Understanding generational donation gaps it is important to understand the values of the different generations, as each will respond differently to requests for donations.   Let’s look at each of today’s generations, and see if each may give us a better understanding of how to approach fundraising. 

Matures (Born before 1945)

68 years or older, these are our elders, our ‘oldie but goodie’ generation, also referred to as the “Greatest Generation.”  Most will be retired, or semi-retired,  and can be a solid part of a fundraising community (making up about 26%), and because they may have extra free time available, can oftentimes assist in many forms of fundraising.   Traditionally they may make smaller donations if they are living on a limited income and tend to use ‘snail mail’ for communication.  However, online activity and contributions have been increasing, as they are being taught to use E-mail and the Internet by their children or grandchildren.  Matures are old school, their inclinations are to support religious and spiritual causes, volunteering their time to the same.

Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964)

The Baby Boomers make up the largest donation base (41% – 46%) for fundraising as a whole.  My parents’ generation, most have well-established careers, financial portfolios and may be close to retirement.  Donation patterns are very similar to those their parents choose, the majority going to religious and spiritual causes.  Understanding generational donation Gaps with Baby Boomers who do their homework and want to know more about the non-profits finances before they donate.  Statistics also show that Boomers tend to donate online and will actively enroll in monthly giving programs.  Therefore, it may be advantageous to ask them for a recurring donation.

also show that Boomers tend to donate online and will actively enroll in monthly giving programs.  Therefore, it may be advantageous to ask them for a recurring donation.

Generation X  (1965 to 1980)

With skepticism, because I’m not sure how I got this far, I have to say I’m part of Generation X.  “We” Gen X’ers are a vivacious cross section of individuals who consist of the third largest demographic of donors.  Gen X’ers are motivated somewhat by what their parents donate to, but tend to develop more passion in their choices for donating.  Thus, more giving to health services, animal rights & welfare and environmental causes.  In terms of fundraising efforts, focusing on the cause, and the reason for your cause, will likely be most beneficial to you.

Millennials (Generation Y) (1981 to 1995)

Understanding generational donation Gaps with the ‘Me’ Generation, commonly labeled as the most self-absorbed generation and even, on extreme accounts, a smidgeon narcissistic.  OK, folks.  Stop.  Take a breath.  Before the Millenials reading this start slamming me for having the audacity to say that, let me say this – I READ IT.  I don’t necessarily believe it!  I’m just writing it because this is what others think, and because it does bear consideration.  Let me clarify.  Generation Y has a great deal to contribute to any cause.  These folks represent the penultimate in terms of savvy techies –    they have grown up in a world with the explosion of technology, and their world revolves around Social Media, connectivity, and instant communication.  They may not have a well-established financial base as do earlier generations, but are very liberal in passionately giving of their time.   A prime example comes in terms of a natural disaster, where Millenials are likely to be first on scene to assist with whatever help might be necessary.  They are passionate in living a carefree lifestyle, but most are quick to respond to times or causes in need of assistance. Millennials should be embraced, they have their own style, certainly to be considered as a tremendously valuable resource to the world of non-profit sector. 

Generation Z  (1996 to Present)

Theoretically, we could term this group as the ‘next generation.’  Because they are so young, however, there isn’t much data available to offer much discussion or comparison to other generations.  Much like Millennials, they have a tremendous grasp of technology, and all of what it encompasses.  They do not have large bank accounts, and if they have chosen to pursue a college education may be weighed down by Student Loan debt.   However, they make up a vast majority of customer ratio, want to volunteer, change the world (of course), most want to make our planet ‘green’ and even have thought about starting their own charity.   

Generational gaps should be recognized and embraced, as it is clear that everyone can contribute in their own way.