To keep your nonprofit in good shape financially, you need to continually strive to increase revenue and efficiency. Here are some key things that you should be doing to support your organization’s financial management and development.
Step Up Online Fundraising
Directly soliciting donations online can be an excellent source of income for a nonprofit. It’s always hard to estimate exactly how much money you can generate from soliciting website visitors, and you can’t count on this providing you with operating funds consistently. However, you can improve your odds by taking purposeful measures to increase your web traffic.
Enhance your search engine visibility, and maintain detailed listings for your organizations on directories. Create an intuitive layout on your website, and make it easy for people to see an option to donate on every page.
Work Towards Creating New Revenue
Many nonprofits’ leadership focus wholly on fundraising and grant writing to provide viable sources of revenue to pay for an organization’s activities. However, having not-for-profit entity status doesn’t mean you can’t go about generating profits traditionally. Selling any type of goods on your nonprofit’s behalf can be a fantastic way to advance development.
Of course, taking on any new activities that you’re not currently engaged in is going to represent a lot of work. Branching out your operations to include revenue-generating initiatives may be a great opportunity to leverage help from volunteers.
In addition to the accounting and general bookkeeping end of sales activities, you need to work out the logistics affordably. Use a non profit payment processing solution to manage secure transactions in-person and online. Put some of your resources towards marketing tactics to maximize web traffic.
Use Help From Volunteers Meaningfully
Having a strong volunteer workforce can make your organization better equipped for development activities. Create volunteer roles in which people have the chance to make a substantial contribution to your fundraising goals. Look for candidates from nonprofit directories such as Idealist. Also, businesses’ corporate giving initiatives could be an untapped resource for volunteer help on projects such as designing a website or creating marketing materials.
Get Support From Your Board
When you’re evaluating important financial decisions, you need to feel confident about seeking out direction from your board. Likewise, you have to be comfortable about sounding the alarm when things are taking a turn. In the nonprofit world, having to contend with new financial obstacles isn’t necessarily reflective of poor management. Your board needs your frank input to offer substantive guidance on how to proceed when funding is dwindling.
Nonprofit boards aren’t ornamental, and at least some of your officers and directors should have some experience in financial matters. Ask your board members to bring their skills and experience to bear. Also, individual board members’ marketing know-how and network of contacts could help you garner more donations.
Apply for More Grants
Applying for funding opportunities is ultra-competitive and takes tons of hard work, but getting new grants can make a huge difference in your organization’s operating budget. Identify the most cost-effective ways to search for grants, and consider exploring new types of grant sources. For example, if your organization provides service to your community, you may be able to get funding from a grant source for health and human service organizations.
Read a Notice of Funding Availability in detail to make sure that you qualify for any grant that you’re interested in applying for before you get the process underway. Consider what you can do to be a more appealing applicant to various types of funders. For example, having certain credentials can make organizations stronger candidates when they’re applying for federal funds. Credentials that highlight diversity and minority participation or getting a designation as a community development corporation can strengthen a response to a NOFA.
Ultimately, nonprofits have to be smart about how they use their resources. Even with judicious financial management, small setbacks could represent a serious hardship. Diligent fundraising efforts and good oversight can help you achieve stable growth.