It’s no wonder that fundraisers are looking for methods to make their labor more efficient. Every day, as a fundraiser, you wake up and strive to enlist more people to your cause. With just so many hours in the day and a seemingly endless need for funding for your cause, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of the world’s most pressing social issues.
Donor management software allows companies to centralize and manage all of their donor information. It’s geared at nonprofits, but it can be used for any type of fundraising, including schools, churches, and political groups.
What is a Donor Management Software?
Donor management software is a form of nonprofit software that facilitates understanding the donors which in turn maximizes donor relationships. The program organizes donor data, recognizes donor patterns, and provides recommendations to enhance the chance of obtaining future gifts as a tool for donor relationship management.
Donor management software, as the name implies, helps you to keep track of your contributors and their contributions. Not only can you trace your donations, but you can also discover more about the people who make them. You can save all of this important information in one place using donation software.
Benefits of a Donation Management
Donor Management Software is a single source of information that can be accessed by all members of your organization to gain valuable insights about your donors. It essentially replaces spreadsheets, which may quickly get cluttered and lead to inaccurate or missing data.
Most of your nonprofit’s admin activities can be done through the DMS or connected applications. A good DMS eliminates a lot of the manual data entry that is necessary with spreadsheets. Donor management software may also facilitate wealth screening to anticipate which contributors are most likely to contribute larger quantities of money. To also see how contributors are related to one another and to highlight giving behaviors. Donor management software, for example, may track when and how frequently contributors contribute, as well as an estimate when and how much they are likely to give in the future.
Donor management software enhances productivity by categorizing donations by giving levels and handling all donations in one place. All donations coming from different sources such as social media platforms, email campaigns, and charity events are available in DMS.
A donor management system can also assist you in analyzing data about your contributors and developing educated strategies for increasing donor satisfaction and retention. It may be used to build highly personalized communications, allowing you to convey the appropriate message to the appropriate individuals at the appropriate time.
The more information you have on potential, existing, and lapsed donors, the better your DMS will be able to assist your organization. Whether you aim to get new supporters, keep existing ones, or reactivate lapsed contributors, a DMS can help you better understand and interact with each of these groups, thereby increasing the amount of funds raised.
Must-have features of Donation Management Software
It’s important to remember that donation management software and customer relationship management (CRM) software are the same things. There are various donation software and CRM choices to select from, and at first look, they may appear to be quite similar. Small changes and missing features, on the other hand, might have a significant influence on the value you derive from your platform.
Here are 5 Features for Managing Donors that your Platform should Provide:
All of the vital information about your contributors, volunteers, sponsors, partners, and other supporters will be stored in donor profiles. Because donor data is the bedrock of the platform, it should be simple to access, add, and edit. The following is an example of a typical donor profile:
Name, age, address, phone number, and email address are all examples of contact information.
Donations, volunteer hours, email opens and clicks, and customer service interactions, for example, are all part of the engagement timeline.
Giving history: the date of your first donation, the date of your most recent donation, the average period between gifts, and so on.
Units of a family: Relationships with current, former, and potential donors
Donor segments: Use groups, lists, or tags to categorize contacts.
It’s not simple to raise money. It necessitates an awareness of your donors as well as maintaining track of the relevant data that provides you with useful insights. A donor management system may help you keep track of everything from donor giving histories and trends to mailing lists and fundraising campaign statistics by simplifying data management.
Donor management solutions, on the other hand, allow your team to import, edit, and communicate important information with appropriate employees in one central spot! Many solutions enable tracking and updating fundraising schedules, documenting and tracking donor interactions, and even assigning duties to particular team members simple for your fundraising team!
Setting Communication Pathways
Most donor management systems enable you to segment your contributors based on a variety of criteria, including interests, demographics, and giving history. You may tailor your messages and make particular fundraising appeals that are more appealing to each donor if you do this.
Donor management software may also help you enhance your overall donor care by being more consistent with your communication, being more precise with your thank-yous. Personalized correspondence demonstrates to your contributors that you care about them, which can only help you raise more money!
Fundraising features are included in the finest donation management software. We’re not talking about the types of forms you’d expect to see, such as contribution forms or fundraiser pages. We’re talking about things like “giving potential” scores, gift forecasts, and wealth intelligence, which are all quite important.
They should be able to assist you in determining who is most likely to donate and when. From people who are most likely to become big donors to the projected dollar amount of each donor’s next donation, you may obtain a full picture of your prospective giving and volunteer community.
This aids in the development of your entire fundraising plan, and it’s a game-changer for charities that rely on individual donations rather than sponsors, grants, and government funds.
Every donor management platform should allow you to link your existing software tools and optimize your entire operation. These connections allow you to seamlessly integrate all of your favorite platforms and websites, such as accounting software or email marketing software, with your donor software.
Identify Trends Amongst Donors
It’s simpler to recognize and follow donation patterns if you have a good understanding of all your donor data. Donor management software might also alert you to fresh giving possibilities that you would not have been aware of otherwise.
Most donation management software includes monitoring and reporting features to make it easier to keep track of everything year after year. The more information you collect, the more powerful the tool becomes for your team!
Choosing the Right Software for Your Nonprofit
Apart from the above essential features, when it comes to choosing software for your nonprofit, you need to consider a few things before finalizing.
- Capacity: Consider the size of your donor list as a starting point for your search. Some are designed to work with multinational corporations. When you’re beginning from scratch, it’s tempting to go for the biggest and finest option. Those added features and complex capabilities, on the other hand, might be intimidating rather than helpful.
- Free Trials: If your present system is very simple, or if segmenting and tagging are completely new to you, a demonstration is especially beneficial. Demonstrations of donor management software are typically the easiest method to see how a product may help your business.
- Cost: If your company can’t afford it, even the best software in the world won’t help. However, remember, that it is an investment for long-term benefits. A good donor management software will save you time, make your communications more efficient and successful, and help you connect with your donors better.
iConnectx is a powerful donation software, that gives you smart insights and can be customized for your nonprofit needs.
Text-to-give is an innovative fundraising technique that allows people to make donations to organizations using their mobile phones. Donors may text donations to their favorite organizations using their phones’ default messaging apps.
Text-to-give has quickly become a need in the charity sector, and for good reason: it works. Individual contributors gave an estimated $43 million through text messages in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Text donations, in addition to increasing income, assist organizations to increase donor engagement and retention, allowing them to secure long-term support for their cause.
In this article, we will give you the complete introduction of the Text-to-give strategy and also discuss text giving benefits, as well as the downside of using text giving.
What is Text-to-Give?
Nonprofits and other cause-based groups can collect money through text message using text-to-give. Anyone can donate to your organization by texting a chosen phone number to a text-to-give service.
Although the method varies depending on the platform, donors are generally required to text a cash amount or a phrase to a specified text-to-give number. They will then either get a confirmation SMS with a link to a contribution form or the amount gets charged on the donor’s monthly mobile bill.
How does Text Giving Work?
The text-to-give procedure varies based on the tools and platform used to collect donations, but it is typically simple whether utilizing a specific text-to-give platform or a payment platform.
STEP 1: Set-up the Keywords
The nonprofit creates a keyword of their choosing (e.g., DONATE). Depending on the platform, numerous keywords can be established to correlate with different cash amounts (for example, text DONATE15 to contribute $15, text DONATE05 to donate $5, and so on).
STEP 2: Advertise your Text-to-Give Campaign
Display your keyword and phone number everywhere your target audience is likely to interact with you (e.g., social media, website, email, radio, newspaper). Depending on the text-to-give technology, you may be issued a campaign-specific phone number or shortcode. Other platforms may permit you to utilize your current company phone number, which is excellent.
STEP 3: The Donor Texts the Number with the Keyword
The donor texts the keyword to the linked phone number and receives an auto-response text message, which begins the contribution. From there, depending upon the service either a text message will be sent that contains a link to the contribution page with a link to a secure payment platform or the donation may be charged on their monthly mobile bill.
STEP 4: Donation is made
The donor chooses to go with the texted amount or set their contribution amount. They may also choose to make a recurring payment or a monthly payment. Once the payment is done, the firm and the donor will get the receipts. And now you can add their name to your ever-growing contributors’ list and innovatively thank them.
What are the Benefits of Text-to-Give?
When used in the proper environment, text-to-give offers several advantages. The simplicity of this fundraising approach is what makes it so successful and popular among organizations and contributors. The best thing is that it is incredibly simple to get started and makes use of the convenience of contributing via mobile phones.
1] Operate from Anywhere
Text-to-give technology enables users to donate to organizations of their choice straight from their mobile devices’ text messaging apps. This method of fundraising allows groups to solicit funds at any time and from any location. It also meets contributors where they are, which is frequently on their smartphones.
2] Easy to Operate
Text-to-give is one of the most straightforward methods of giving. A transaction may be accomplished in only a few clicks with the proper text-to-give software.
3] Using Widely Available Infrastructure
Because most individuals use mobile phones daily, texting to donate is a simple process. Donors may contribute without much difficulty because the learning curve is minimal.
4] Impulse/Fast Giving
Donors who donate through SMS generally make a snap decision in response to pictures they saw on television, with little to no previous research. Furthermore, because the chance to contribute is so instantaneous and the procedure is so quick, donors are more likely to follow through with their first impulse and are less likely to become side-tracked. Online donations, for example, typically take more thought.
The Downside of Using Text Giving
1] No Storytelling
There is very little space for you to convey your organization’s narrative, share the campaign’s mission, and show contributors how they can have a real difference. A lack of storytelling might leave supporters with a slew of unanswered questions, such as:
– To which campaign am I donating?
– Who will be directly benefited by my contribution?
– How does this relate to the nonprofit’s mission?
– Is this gift truly having an effect?
– Can I rely on this SMS message?
These questions are readily answered with the right branding on your campaign website, but text-to-give does not allow you to incorporate that in your appeal.
2] It takes Time to Access the Funds
If your organizations partner with cellular carriers to operate text-to-give campaigns, the proceeds will be sent to the nonprofit whenever contributors pay their phone bills, which might take 30 to 60 days. This might be challenging, especially if your group is seeking funds to help with an immediate need. For example, if a natural disaster occurs, you may have difficulty using the cash you’ve received to give urgent help to those in need. Not to forget that certain carriers will deduct a charge from the donation. This lack of consistency has the potential to wreak havoc on your financial flow and budgeting.
3] Close to Zero Recurring Donations
A one-time donation isn’t always a negative thing; you’re still receiving support for your cause. A frequent contributor, on the other hand, is 440% more valuable to your organization than a one-time donation, according to our latest study (https://learn.classy.org/state-of-modern-philanthropy-2018?sfdc_cid=701440000003jyb).
If you can’t take care of your contributors beyond a one-time contribution, you’re throwing money away. Thus, although text-to-give encourages one-time contributions, it hinders long-term sustainability by not allowing supporters to join up as regular contributors.
Purchasing fundraising software of any kind may be a big investment for your organization. Text-to-give software costs include the program itself, payment service fees, maintenance and installation expenses, supplier fees, shortcodes, and extra keywords and messages. Of course, certain text-to-give providers will be less expensive than others, so your organization may not even have to incur all of these expenses.
IconnectX gives non-profit a sustainable and affordable text-to-give platform. You can click here to know more.
5] Lack of Donor Data
When someone contributes via text-to-give, that’s it. You are unable to collect data other than the amount raised is the greatest failure of text-to-give.
An effective fundraising plan requires donor data to manage donors and encourage them to raise future donations, join up as regular contributors, or soft introduce a new initiative. You’re locked in the domain of “I guess” rather than the concrete reality of “I know” if you don’t have access to this information. As a result, your future funding attempts and your total profits may suffer.
Benefits of Text to Give with IConnetX
There is no shortage of text-to-give platforms, however, if you are looking for a flexible and affordable option IConnectX is a great option. Here’s what you get from IConnectX services:
- The private mobile number included with each event
- Custom donation amounts
- Secure payment process
- Email support
- Donation receipts
- Full reports on donations
- Social Media sharing
- Live Software Support
- Secure payment processing
- File generation for CRM input
As you can see, text-to-donate is a strong fundraising tool that many organizations have been using for a long time. If you haven’t already taken advantage of the opportunity, it’s never too late!
A successful fundraiser for a non-profit means increases in overall revenue. This is only possible when donors have a good experience, and you can communicate your organization’s goals.
A successful marketing campaign lures your donors to register for the fundraising event. If your event ticketing process is simple and positive, it will leave a good impression on the donor. Event ticketing software provides a smooth experience when registering for the non-profit fundraiser.
Whether the event is online or offline, event ticket management software is a must for your organization. Here we will look into what event ticketing is and the best event ticketing software for non-profit.
What is event ticketing software?
The sale and purchase of event tickets online using desktop and mobile event ticketing systems are known as event ticketing. Digital event ticket sales should be approached with forethought, regardless of whether your fundraising event is personal, online, or hybrid.
Your online event website represents the true difference between tickets and box office sales. The online event page will probably be your company’s first and only impression when someone decides if they want to attend or not.
Event organizers provide the groundwork for donors to say YES to attend your fundraising event with ease and enthusiasm.
5 Crucial Features in Event Ticketing Platform
1] Multiple Ticket Choices
You will sell more when you provide various ticket categories for your nonprofit events. This is because individuals desire something different from your event and actively search for tickets to suit their demands. It is necessary to be able to provide “tables” tickets for various prices and advantages. Your ticket software should also make it easy to provide group tickets with special add-ons such as a free drink voucher, a free T-shirt, backstage access, etc.
2] Safe and Easy Payment Process
A secure payment gateway is the golden rule of online payment for any web service. At the same time, it should be as simple and feasible.
To do it, make sure that various payment alternatives are included for the participants. You may add, for example, VISA, Amex, Bank Transfer, PayPal, etc. to allow purchasers to choose from. This can assist you to improve conversion rates and provide you advantages such as decreased withdrawal from your check-out.
As a client, you should also keep in mind the terms & conditions of having these payment gateways on the portal. Before you start utilizing a ticketing platform, always reading the fine print to make sure you are happy with the fees and payout schedules affecting your cost and income. Ideally, you want to collaborate with a ticketing company that charges a flat fee without hidden expenses per ticket.
Determine how often your money is transferred to you on the ticketing site. You must get as soon as possible the money you make from ticket sales, but many platforms have high payment limits and time limits.
3] Integrated Marketing Tools
To increase the response rate, ticketing platforms should interact with other advertising and marketing apps. For example, your ticketing software should link with Facebook and Google AdWords so that you can track visitor behavior on your ticket sales page and retarget them with Facebook and Google advertisements. You can also automatically generate custom audiences and lookalike audiences from those who visit your sales tickets page by using the data from Facebook integration.
The ticket administration and promotional tools that can enable the platform to work with automated tools are of significant advantage for you.
4] Compatible with all Devices
The necessity of the hour is a mobile site. Whether it’s purchasing tickets via social media or planning the event jointly – today’s digital customers rely on their smartphones more. Therefore, the event booking site must be equipment-agnostic compatible with cross-browser. Meaning the participants should be able to book their tickets with a laptop, desktop, or portable device. Your event booking software should thus make sure it is compatible with all devices.
5] Quick Support System
When people buy tickets, what if individuals have issues or problems? What about your account configuration, ticket sales page design and integration, and event promotion? What if you have questions regarding your account? Does the ticketing software provide the assistance you need for your event? Make sure it does.
Importantly, ensure that the ticketing software provides help when and how you need it. Choose a platform that provides email and phone assistance seven days a week since you never know when you or your ticket purchasers may run into an issue or have a query.
Best Event Ticketing Software
iConnectX is a good alternative for people who desire not too expensive event software, however, it has all the capabilities needed to best advertise events and sell tickets. The platform is nicely built and is excellent for companies that desire considerable expansion and scalability. From online auction to seamless ticket administration, the firm can offer solutions. You may utilize the tools on their website to include your event list, encourage your events with links to your Facebook page, and sell tickets.
iConnectX is inexpensive to all nonprofits enterprises and is suitable for all sorts, sizes, and complexities of events.
The purpose of Eventbrite is clear: connect live experiences with the world. They have the means to sell more tickets and know what is happening in the event business.
Eventbrite is an excellent choice to explore if you want something straightforward to use. There is, however, little opportunity for templates to be customized. One reviewer says that if you want to have complete control of the design, you cannot “remove” branding from Eventbrite.
Cvent is commonly regarded as one of the finest choices for event planners who want to sell and purchase. Cvent is software for important events and programs throughout the world that has been included. The program is complete, beautifully designed, and unbelievably easy to use. Whatever sort of event you conceive of, Cvent can help you obtain what you need. The program gives anyone who wishes to test it themselves a free demo.
Tix.com is a great alternative for anyone who seeks free and easy-to-use software. Software programs often charge you for the privilege that accomplishes the same job. Tix.com is a fantastic alternative for people who don’t want to pay, so you can easily put up your ticket page. The program is recognized for its particular guest commitment function, which makes it possible for event organizers to connect to the participants of the event.
Ticketbud is ideal for people who want software that gives them full control of all aspects in the process of event management and the sale of tickets. It is a wonderful way to aid people holding large events and who have no restrictions on the type of sales they wish to perform. The program also provides daily payments, so event organizers get paid more quickly than most other ticketing sites.
Accelevents is a low-cost software package for people who wish to build a ticketing platform. It is renowned to offer a broad variety of features and possibilities.
Regardless of what type of fundraiser you wish to hold, Accelevents offers lots of assistance to event organizers. It is recognized to be equipped with numerous integrated tools that may help event organizers do fund-raising, silent auctions, contributions, and other initiatives.
When it comes to organizing an event, you have to understand that it follows the principle of being judged by the book. Don’t jeopardize it by utilizing a ticket application with no proper functionality. Look instead for a platform that provides several types of tickets, integrated advertising and marketing, built-in advertising tools, payment processing, and support. In this sense, event ticketing serves as your cover since it provides the initial impressions of your event and leverages all subsequent interactions. If the event registration profile you use coincides with the features you require, you do not have to doubt the success of your event.
Charity auctions have been a great way to raise money for schools, campaigns, and nonprofits. After all, who doesn’t like to take home an aesthetic piece while also doing good with that money? Fundraising events focus on auctions because they have been a proven success model to raise the money desired. While previously, fundraising auctions were restricted by location, online fundraising has risen an opportunity for nonprofits to expand their reach.
As the rest of the world moves towards a virtual world, nonprofits need to adapt to this as well. A virtual charity auction may be a fantastic method to raise funds while also cultivating community. Bidding may be extended by adding additional goods or timed bidding to keep people engaged. There’s no need to resort to the trouble and expense of putting up a venue when there are lots of software choices with promotion, administration, and engagement capabilities.
You may have seen online fundraising auctions for other organizations. However, if you’ve never participated in an online fundraising auction before, it might be intimidating.
We have curated a list to help you run a fundraising auction online.
10 Tips to Run a Fundraising Auction Online
1. Decide the Right Type of Virtual Auction
The first step is to decide what type of auction it will be. You must know the different types of auctions so that you pick the right one for your non-profit. The two types of auctions are:
This type of auction offers longevity to your fundraiser. This is a more hands-off approach, it does allow you to significantly expand your reach and encourage a diverse range of supporters to participate.
Guests will have access to your online inventory of available auction goods for a silent auction. Then they’ll be encouraged to look through the items at their leisure and bid on the ones that pique their interest. Because these virtual auctions are longer, you’ll need the right tools to keep participants engaged when it’s necessary.
One of the most fascinating online fundraising events you can conduct is a virtual live auction. You may have already hosted (or attended) a similar event in person. Bring this idea with live streaming technologies to the virtual world! All participants must connect to your live-streaming platform at a set time if you pick this sort of virtual auction. Then, in real-time, your auctioneer will be aired to the participants’ screens.
2. Decide the Auction Items
Choosing auction goods is difficult because you need to know which things will elicit the most enthusiasm from the contributors. Finding an object that is not materialistic is a wonderful idea. Because experimental products are difficult to find in stores, they are best sold at auction. Donors give because they want to make a difference. They are more interested in the emotional component of a bid item than the physical aspect. This connection can be made using experiential goods. Day tours, vacation trips, and visits to the location where your organization is working are all examples.
3. Promote Your Event
Take to social media if you want your online auction to be a success. Promote it on all platforms where you already have a following. Don’t forget to follow up with emails, newsletters, and maybe even internet advertising. It’s a good idea to use a blend of targeted invites and a broad-based mass marketing approach. This way, your loyal contributors and other supporters will receive a tailored message urging them to come, while others in your support network will learn about your event and decide to attend. It’s a win-win situation.
4. Decide the Rules of Auction
Before you start promoting, you should write down all the rules and regulations regarding pre, during, and post-auction events. You should include rules about auction items, bidding process, deliveries, payment terms, bidding rights, etc. It is also here that you mention the purpose of the auction and the buyer’s rights.
5. Payment Method and When they Can Pay
You are conducting a fundraiser because you want to raise money for a cause, therefore, having a clear document detailing payment instruments and their terms and conditions is a must. This document should also include by when they can transfer the money, any additional charges applied, and other things related to money.
6. Create A-Team
It takes a team to put on a successful fundraising event. A dedicated auction committee for the project may make a big impact and make things easier. Create a single center to simplify communications while arranging an auction because there are so many moving pieces. The committee can then be subdivided into the event, procurement, marketing, and operations subcommittees.
7. Be Creative (Build Suspense)
It’s critical to keep people busy and entertained, whether you’re holding an online or live auction. An uninteresting event might sap the motivation to participate in anything worthwhile, such as fundraising. Looking out methods to make everyone pleased at the end of the event is one approach to achieve this.
Aside from bidding, there are a few more things you may do to enhance the auction event. Remember that not all bidders will be able to purchase the thing they like, so offering them alternative ways to participate can be entertaining.
8. Keep Everyone Motivated
Planning an auction takes time and effort. Your auction team might lose track and get demotivated throughout the process. For it to not happen, make sure that the morale is high throughout the planning process, as well as after the event. Regardless of it was successful or not, remember the effort and appreciate it.
9. Create a Virtual Catalogue
Your online auction catalog is perhaps your most effective marketing instrument. After all, it’s a virtual window into your auction. Your catalog allows event attendees and other potential visitors to browse your products and decide whether or not they want to join. You might make your catalog available to the whole public ahead of time, or you could limit the sneak look to those who have already registered and paid for their tickets. The latter can be a fantastic way to encourage pre-registration by offering a special “early bird” chance.
10. Choose the Right Software
Online charity auction software allows you to organize a fundraiser from the convenience of your own home or workplace. Adopting a suite of specialist auction software is a must when it comes to preparing your forthcoming virtual auctions. With so many alternatives to select from, it’s important to remember to consider the most important aspects. Here are our top 3 recommendations:
- iConnectX is a prominent technology company that helps organizations and companies thrive in their fundraising efforts. iConnectX has robust fundraising solutions ranging from online auctions to event tickets and Text-To-Give and Donations. They also offer Live Software support, CRM input, a live event monitoring page an auto-bid. iConnectX is the perfect choice for your online fundraising auction, with reasonable rates and a team of specialists at your disposal.
- BiddingOwl is an auction management system that manages silent, live, and online auctions from beginning to end. Mobile bidding is also available during your event, as well as specialized fundraising help and fully integrated credit card processing.
- ClickBid was established in 2002. Hybrid events assist schools and organizations in raising cash. You may host silent, live, lottery, and fundraising events from donor mobile devices using their live auction and live video services.
Virtual auctions can take a lot of time and work to arrange, especially if it’s your first one, but the payoff can be huge! With the additional fundraising income and improved interaction with your charity supporters, you may be asking why you didn’t use this technique sooner.
Connect with the IConnectX team to get started with your online fundraising auction.
Fundraising is your organization’s lifeblood. It’s what allows you to achieve your mission, help others and keep bringing in more resources to fund those efforts further.
But coming by those funds? That’s not easy feat.
Nonprofits face many challenges when it comes to fundraising. As fundraising is one of the main sources of revenue for nonprofits, not getting sufficient funds can be a major cause of concern for nonprofits. The challenges of fundraising are many and at times unique to the organizations. But it is equally true that fundraising has increased during the pandemic.
Nonprofits are playing an active role in helping out marginalized communities throughout the world. Whether it is a grassroots organization or an international organization, all the help provided has been extremely overwhelming.
So if things are this good for nonprofits, then why is it hard to fundraise?
Shouldn’t all the good work speak for itself and the willingness of people to give will be more than enough?
It should be easy to motivate them to donate. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Many nonprofits are struggling to stay above the water level as the economy takes a huge hit.
While the challenges of fundraising are complex and intricate, we will discuss multiple factors responsible for it. It is crucial to recognize and acknowledge the problems before we jump to find solutions. Let’s look at some of the more common fundraising challenges charities face nowadays – and how to overcome them and attract those dollars.
Here are some of biggest challenges every nonprofit face while fundraising:
1. Finding the Correct Target Market
The biggest hurdle to cross is finding the right platform to host the fundraiser and the people to target. Just like a business, a nonprofit also has its target market. The target market here means those people who will be moved by your work and motivated to donate to your cause. This only happens when your messaging or cause touches them emotionally.
For example, if your cause is about employing marginalized women in Australia, then it is a waste of resources to ask for fundraising from a USA businessman. He may want to donate to a cause in his country and support a local organization. Instead, if you target a women-led business in Australia, they may be more than willing to donate to your cause. And who knows, maybe offer some jobs to the marginalized women.
2. Telling your Story
Just like correct targeting, giving a clear message is another challenge in fundraising. A nonprofit is focused on many issues at once, but you have to narrow it down in such a way that the audience can comprehend the work being done.
Online fundraising efforts that aren’t based on an engaging narrative aren’t as effective as those that are. The key to a successful campaign is to tell your organization’s narrative in a way that appeals to contributors’ emotions and demonstrates the effect they can have. When people read meaningful tales, they are naturally encouraged to be giving, and stories encourage them to become more involved in your cause over time. Give your supporters exactly what they desire – how their money will be used, visual presentations, and clear organizational goals.
3. Reduced Donor Retention
Someone may give once, but donate twice or more regularly? That may be rather challenging. The value you can give to contributors is the key to maintaining them. What do they get in exchange for their contribution? Donors want to feel like they’re a part of the narrative. They dislike giving since they have no idea where their money goes or how it is used.
The most successful nonprofits include their contributors in the narrative. This may be as easy as sending out regular updates via email or social media on the job they’re doing and the lives they’re touching. Or it might be encouraging volunteers to serve with you, collaborating hand in hand in the job you’re doing.
4. Maintaining Trust in Nonprofits
The public’s trust is one of the most important elements that influence nonprofit donating. Unfortunately, when there are problems in the nonprofit sector, the media is ready to exploit the issue.
They focus on the few failing firms, which usually focus on weak leadership. As a result, individuals are discouraged from donating to charity in general. Many individuals assume that if one institution fails, all organizations are untrustworthy.
Nonprofits are meant to be the good guys. They have a goal, a vision to make the world a better place, rather than just creating money for the sake of making money. However, when it comes to receiving public funding, organizations must stick to the rules.
All this involves being as frank and open to your procedures and activities as feasible, avoiding cutting corners, and understanding your donors’ perspectives. If you don’t, you risk losing your supporters’ and audience’s faith and trust, which is the kryptonite of all charities.
5. Reaching a Standstill
Even after you’ve launched your internet fundraising campaign and gathered cash for a set period, there’s always the possibility that it may come to a halt. It can be discouraging to reach a deadlock with your fundraiser, but there are ways to re-engage your donors and keep the momentum going.
People will be more interested if you post updates about your fundraising as frequently as possible. If you convey that you’re getting close to your target, including an impact statement may even motivate further donations. This may be accomplished by segmenting your donor database and tailoring your approach to them depending on their giving history and your connection.
6. Limited Resources
During fundraising, there’s a typical trend: contributors don’t know that running a charity requires money. The majority of your resources are most likely flowing toward your main goal. Although you have enlisted the aid of volunteers, you still have a mountain of expenses to pay. There are operational expenses, administrative charges, development expenditures, and a million other things to consider.
Unfortunately, your donors are unaware of this. Misaligned expectations result from an inaccurate knowledge of the expenses of running a nonprofit. They expect to get more done for less money.
Tackling the root cause of the issue can be of help. It is the unrealistic expectations of donors. While this is a difficult road to cross, being transparent about your costs is certainly of help. Just because you don’t have a lot of money doesn’t mean you can’t get your name out there. Join forces with other local groups to benefit from each other’s skills and resources.
Co-host events and see if you can get any local media attention using free resources like social media. It may need some imagination, but the increased exposure will be well worth the effort in the end.
7. Asking Money Online
One of the most difficult aspects of internet fundraising is explicitly asking for money. Making requests might feel weird or self-promotional, but asking is very necessary if you want to raise the cash you need to work toward your purpose. Your fundraising will suffer if you bury your requests in your content or if you are unclear about what you are asking donors to do.
There are several channels where you may advertise your charity and raise cash in today’s world where everyone is online. Despite this, many organizations are struggling to stay up with technological advancements.
Instant interactions on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram allow you to instantly establish a personal connection with your audience and help disseminate your message in real-time. However, having an amazing Instagram feed isn’t the only benefit of digital fundraising.
It’s all well and good to be on Twitter, but if you’re still collecting cash donations in a contactless-dominated market, you’re missing out on a whole new form of fundraising on the ground. There are several ways for charities and nonprofits to generate donations without relying on loose change, ranging from contactless payment technology to the development of new donation applications.
8. Finding New Donors
People are careful about who they give their money to. They do thorough research, they ask friends and family, and they reach out to others with their same values and ideals. If your name doesn’t come up in that research, they might not know you exist.
Though it can be hard to focus on marketing when you have such world-changing goals in mind, investing just a little time in social media or community events can make a big difference. You want your charity visible when someone’s ready and willing to give!
To overcome this situation and it may be best to use multiple ideas to make your fundraising campaign successful, you should understand what your donors expect from you and where will you find your donors. You can use storytelling to emotionally attract your donor by using email campaigns, community events, video campaigns and to build and retain donor interest.
9. Donor Retention
Someone might donate once, but getting them to donate twice or even more regularly? That can be pretty difficult. The key to retaining donors lies in the value you’re able to provide them. What are they getting in return for their donation?
Make sure you send them a personalized thank you note and keep them apprised of what their dollars are doing. Include them and commend them. Empower them to carry your message and bring in others to donate as well.
10. Lack of Resources
Most of your resources are probably going toward your overarching mission – as they should. But tight cash flow doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get your name out there. Partner up with other organizations in your area and feed off each other’s strengths and resources.
Co-host events utilize free tools like social media and see if you can secure any local media coverage. It might take some creativity, but the added exposure will be well worth it in the end.
Great Storytelling for Fundraising
It’s very difficult to find new donors if you don’t have enough money to spend in marketing activities for your charity programs. Today, donors perform a thorough research before coming to any conclusion. A nonprofit can use 3 tips to improve through great storytelling for fundraising for ideas on their activity. Create a concrete story and be specific, use multiple channels which is suitable to target your donor and create emotional appeal to connect with your programs.
Fundraising is a forever challenge for the nonprofit industry. But it is also the industry that has survived and brought immense change in society. As our world changes, we are now moving towards online fundraising. Online fundraising comes with its challenges and having a team of experts handle it is helpful. iConnectX has a great team to assist with online fundraising and makes the process painless.
Joining a platform like iConnectX can also help put your nonprofit or charity on the map. iConnectX lets you raise funds in an easy, hands-off and, most importantly, freeway. Sign up today and see what we’re all about.
Raising money to support goals is a process that never stops in nonprofits. There is always an ongoing drive to attract new contributors while preserving connections. Both involve considerable work, attention, and a little planning. One of the toughest tasks at hand for non-profit professionals is to discover sources of income and choose the proper fundraising strategy for their organization. It is not simple to decide on the correct approach to nonprofit funding.
In a competitive world, it is necessary to know where your donations come from. Individual donors to major donor corporations, all are donation types that a nonprofit business can receive.
Here we look at types of donations, how nonprofits get donations and what to say when asking for donations.
Types of donations?
Broadly we can categorize donation types based on individual or corporations or foundations.
Individual donors can be people with a steady income or super-rich people. They donate majorly because they feel for the cause and want to support it. The type of donations they make can be either an online donation, mobile donation, monthly donations, pledges, or goods. Depending upon the donations made, you can categorize your individual donors into:
Sometimes, you have donations that give you a large influx of cash and it gets your project started. These types of donors may not be regular or consistent but provide a great monetary donation to your organization. You should have a plan at hand to attract these types of donors as they are good to have on your donor lists.
As the name suggests, regular donors give frequent donations in small amounts. They are a steady source of income for nonprofits. They also make a large majority of the donor base, therefore having good donor acquisition and retention strategies is a must. Regular donors can be monthly or quarterly or yearly. Regardless, they are necessary for sustaining nonprofits.
Pledges are nonprofit contributions, to be made over several months or years by individuals. They are used by individuals who wish to contribute a significant amount of money, but who cannot pay the whole amount in one payment. Rather, over time, these supporters provide an organization the money. Pledges are like monthly or repeated donations, but the distinction lies in the non-profit communication.
There are individuals who cannot give monetary donations but like to offer their skills to give something to the organization. They can offer services like website development, marketing, and advertising, graphic designing, teaching, etc. These are also valuable to a nonprofit, especially if it’s a new nonprofit.
Many individuals certainly do not regard volunteer time as a kind of donation. It is difficult to perceive them not as donors of any kind, when you think of the time and effort numerous volunteers are giving to organizations. Volunteers can donate financially too, or they can give their time and efforts. However, if you compute the kind of donations that your organization receives, your organization should not count out volunteers.
A corporate endorsement may be an outstanding source of charity financing. In general, companies are willing to partner in programs aimed at improving the charitable image or at becoming a socially responsible business. CSR is more essential than ever because customers are more inclined to buy from socially responsible firms. Different companies will have different schemes for contributing – some of which may work for your company.
Many corporations provide grants to qualifying nonprofits, both locally and internationally. The application procedure frequently takes time, but these company subsidies might be worthwhile. Firms that do not want to provide money to a nonprofit organization might give some type of in-kind gifts. In-kind gifts are time, service, or commodities contributions that a corporation may deliver. Articles for charity auctions are another example of typical in-kind contributions. Local companies or people give goods that are offered by auction participants.
Donations given by any foundation will fall under this category. Different foundations offer different types of donations. Largely, they give a mixture of monetary and in-kind donations.
A community foundation gives grants to nonprofits located in their geographic area. The most common causes to give funds to are research, scholarships, buildings and renovations, endowments, and annual funds. These types of foundations pool resources to give the grants. On the other hand, in private foundations, the money comes from one single source. The most famous example is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They either give to one particular nonprofit or distribute their donations to a broad range of nonprofits.
The 7 Types of Donors
So far we have looked at the kind of donations made to nonprofits, here we look into the types of donors. Behind every donation, be it corporate or foundations, there is an individual involved. In 1974, Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File wrote a book titled The Seven Faces of Philanthropy. The book is a must-read for nonprofits to understand donor psychology and improve communications strategies. Depending upon the donor type, you can engage with them accordingly and not use one shoe fits all.
1. The Altruist:
They are the type you want to always have as a recurring or major donor. The altruists donate because they genuinely care for your cause and doing good. Recognition or credits are things they do not care about. “Do the Right Thing” is more than just a slogan, they truly believe in it.
It’s about legacy for them. Donation is in their blood and is more about carrying out the tradition. It’s a family thing. You should care more about the history than the person donating.
A devout donor donates because of their strong belief in a group or cause and the desire to fit in with fellow devotees. Acknowledging their devotion and having an engaging communication strategy is a good way to go.
It’s about giving back and returning the favor. This type of donor feels a sense of responsibility or obligation towards those who have helped them get where they are. Gratitude is their language, so focus on messaging how you will give the outcomes they desire.
A donation is a mere number and a business move. What are the tax benefits? Or Will it be good for business? are commonly asked questions. And it’s fine! A direct approach and a list of how a donation will benefit them should be handy.
It is about the community. Whether based on location, race, gender, ethnicity, or culture, it is all about empowering the community. A good approach is to explain how their donation will uplift the community.
Lights, camera, and action! They want credit and recognition for the donations they give. They show up to galas and fundraisers to make their presence known. They also bring their friends, which means more donations for the cause. The best way to appreciate them is to be thankful publicly and mention their donations.
As mentioned there is not one single reason why people donate to nonprofits. There are plenty! Regardless, it is important to remember that nonprofits can reach their donor base only when there is a proper communication setup. If there isn’t constant engagement from the organization’s side then donors will deviate their donations to other nonprofits who appreciate their monetary gift. You shouldn’t take your donors for granted. Instead of always wondering what to say when asking for a donation, you should prepare a 2 min elevator pitch. If it interests them they will ask more or even get convinced in those 2 mins.
You should always ensure that you have a strategy when it comes to acquiring funding for your company. Invest in donor contacts, whether they be private people, foundations, businesses, or government funding agencies. It takes time to build and cultivate these relationships. All types of support should be respected.
Nonprofits help the community through charitable activities. Charitable activities require funds that come in the form of donations from philanthropists. Donations are raised through fundraising activities that involve donors. Several fundraising tools help nonprofits generate funds easily.
Let us First Understand how Nonprofit Functions:
A nonprofit associates itself with various charitable ventures. Ideally a nonprofit selects charities that are aligned to its vision and mission.
Need to establish their brand in the market and raise awareness for nonprofits. This is usually done by creating a digital presence in addition to its physical presence with the help of a website. The website is promoted using digital marketing techniques like search engine optimization, social media marketing, etc. These help the nonprofit spread the word about itself and what it stands for. These techniques help attract an audience to the brand.
The nonprofit needs funds to support the charities it is associated with. Hence, it organizes fundraising events to generate money.
Let’s now break down the all-important question, “how fundraising events raise money?”
Traditionally fundraising events were held physically and had donors participate in them and donate directly. For instance, fundraising events like auctions would be organized that would have donors bidding for items on auction. Funds would be generated by giving away the item to the highest bidder and the funds collected through bidding, registration, and ticketing would be utilized for charity. Or it could be fundraising events like marathons, etc. that would have several participants. The purpose for organizing the event would be indicated to the participants so that they could donate. Again, most of such events would require participants to purchase tickets that would contribute to the funds raised. Such events could have sponsors supporting them and donating for the event.
However, the pandemic has completely changed how nonprofit fundraising events are organized. Now, most nonprofit events are held online. And, this is where various fundraising tools have a vital role to play.
Why Fundraising Tools are Required?
Fundraising tools are software and apps that simplify the process of hosting fundraising events and raising funds.
Fundraising tools not only help organize fundraising events seamlessly but also offer multiple benefits.
Benefits of Fundraising Tools:
1. They help Reach New Donors:
Fundraising platforms have social media marketing integrated into them facilitating promotion to reach a wide audience.
They help Nonprofits Retain Old Donors: Nonprofits can retain old donors by engaging with them with the help of techniques like email marketing or adding fresh content to the site.
Nonprofit platforms support different types of marketing techniques.
2. Promote Campaigns:
When you organize a nonprofit fundraising event, you will need to promote your campaigns. Fundraising platforms for nonprofits offer the means to market your campaigns to reach a wide audience.
3. Hosting Fundraising Events:
Fundraising platforms help you host events by providing end-to-end event management tools. Nonprofits can use fundraising platforms for ticketing and registration, organizing events through webinars, zoom meetings, live streaming, and more. These platforms also facilitate collecting feedback from the audience. Fundraising platforms are designed to support specific types of nonprofit fundraising such as peer-to-peer funding or online auctions, etc.
4. Offer Seamless Collaboration:
These platforms offer a single point for connecting various stakeholders. This enables taking quick decisions and better planning.
5. Make Donating Easier:
These platforms make it easier for donors to contribute funds by providing features like text-to-donate, donation buttons on the website, etc.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular fundraising tools:
1. Fundraising Platform
A fundraising platform is one of the basic tools that any nonprofit requires for supporting different functions. There are different types of fundraising platforms in the market, each offering different types of features. It is recommended that you compare the features offered by these platforms and choose the one that best meets the needs of your nonprofit.
2. CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
A customer relationship management system streamlines all aspects of client management. It facilitates track your donors, identifies donor personas, communicates effectively with them, etc. It helps in tracking relationships over time, integrating various systems, etc. Make sure that you select a CRM that integrates with the fundraising platform you have chosen.
3. Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing is one of the most important marketing strategies used by nonprofits because it helps establish a channel for direct communication with donors. Several email marketing tools are available to organize your email marketing.
4. Social Media Marketing Tools
Social Media Marketing tools help bring all profiles to a single platform from where you can update all of them. Social media marketing tools help in scheduling posts, tracking engagement, click rates, etc.
Besides these several other tools support different types of nonprofit fundraising strategies:
Peer to Peer Fundraising:
These refer to tools that enable support of different aspects of peer-to-peer fundraising. In other words, when peer-to-peer fundraising is done, this tool takes care of spreading the word about your fundraiser to your peers who can work with you in achieving your goals.
Online auctions are a popular choice of nonprofits for fundraising. Auction tools help in setting up and hosting online auctions seamlessly. These tools establish a system to help donors participate in the auction by sending their bids online. They facilitate comparison and finding out the winning bid, etc.
Donation pages are set up by nonprofits on their websites to facilitate easy donations. Nonprofits must ensure that the donation pages are mobile-friendly to make it easy for more donors to contribute. Also, donation pages must be easy to navigate with clear instructions.
Text to give is one of the easiest ways to donate. The donor sends a text message to a particular number associated with the nonprofit. He is then directed to the payment page where he can donate the amount he wishes to. This method has become extremely popular among donors because of the ease of use and the rising number of mobile users globally. A nonprofit will require a platform to set up a text-to-give system.
As we have seen, fundraising platforms help organize nonprofit events seamlessly. It is recommended that you compare different fundraising platforms before selecting one.
What are the Best Fundraising Platforms?
Different platforms offer varying features that can be used for fundraising by nonprofits.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular fundraising platforms:
This platform offers a host of features that are beneficial for nonprofits such as online giving tools, event registration, peer-to-peer fundraising, tracking tools, auction tools, and more. It includes a myriad of options for small, mid-size, and large nonprofits to support different types of fundraising events.
This platform focuses on building the loyalty and commitment of donors. It offers features that facilitate building effective fundraising strategies.
3. Match Maker:
The focus of Match Maker is managing donor relationships.
4. Neon CRM:
It is a cloud-based CRM that helps nonprofits generate funds easily. It also enables nonprofits to track donor data easily which helps build effective strategies.
So, we see that the focus area of each platform is different. Hence the features in the platform are built according to its focus area. You can choose a platform that best meets the needs of your nonprofit.
iConnectX is a nonprofit fundraising platform that supports fundraising options such as:
• Online auctions
• Donation pages
• Ticketed events
• Text-to-give fundraising
• Mobile giving
iConnectX is well-suited to the needs of most nonprofits and offers a reliable support system through a team of experts to support fundraising strategies of nonprofits.
Since the day Facebook was launched, we have come a long way. Social Media seems to have become an integral part of our lives now. If you are not on social media your existence is questioned (quite literally). It is also why many brands have joined the bandwagon. For businesses, social media acts as a ground to display the company’s morals and vision being practiced.
With a huge audience, it’s time for Nonprofit organizations to also jump on the wagon. But it’s chaos out there.
If you run a nonprofit have you ever had questions like:
How to grow nonprofit social media?
Or how to use social media for nonprofit organizations?
Or even how to use social media for nonprofit fundraising or event?
In this case, this article is worth your time.
In this article, you will find an overview of why nonprofits should have a social media presence, and how they can use it to engage with their communities. So if you don’t know where to begin, BEGIN HERE!
Why Social media for Nonprofits?
Social media is an interactive tool, and the more people that interact with your nonprofit, the wider the reach. It is a peek into the work your organization does and displays it appealingly. The content that you put out can attract more volunteers and beneficiaries. Social media now also have an option to run your fundraiser online on their platform. Isn’t it cool and convenient? All you got to do is promote the campaign through posts, videos, stories, etc.
In addition, through social media, you can educate your audience on the issues that your nonprofit handles. For example, if you are a nonprofit that works for world hunger, you can educate your audience on how they can reduce their food waste or how food banks are helpful when it comes to food waste at events. Through interactive campaigns, you can educate people on food waste and how they can avoid it in their daily lives.
32% of people between the age of 12 to 34 use Facebook regularly, while 77% of people from 34 to 49 years use Facebook regularly. On the other hand, Instagram has 67% of regular users aged between 18 to 29. (source: https://csic.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/digital-persuasion.pdf) What these stats indicate is that you already have a huge audience listening to you. All you got to do is find the ones whose interests align with your organization and interact with them.
Now that we are clear on why your organization needs a social media presence, let us look further into the benefits of social media and how to grow nonprofit social media.
How to use social media for nonprofits?
You are not wrong when you think that it’s a jungle out there on social media. Content is increasing as years pass by. However, with proper strategy and execution, you will be able to answer the question – how to use social media for nonprofit organizations.
5 Type of content to run social media for a nonprofit
1. Success stories
What makes a nonprofit great is the impact they have, and what better way to show it than a success story. Whether it’s you helped an underprivileged child get a full-ride scholarship or saved a plot of land from the wrath of the corporate world, you need to tell it to the world. You can share it in the form of photos or videos but, the important thing is people see the work you are doing. It’s essential as it also acts as a scorecard for donors and your target audience. People looking for volunteering will have a look at your stories and decide to help your organization or not.
2. Share news and updates
Don’t keep it hush! Share the news with the world. Whether good or bad, frequently updating your audience about the projects going on in the organization shows trust and transparency. When one sees transparency, the person can build trust for the brand. This will keep them excited for your next fundraiser or campaign. Or who knows they might consider volunteering as well.
3. Educational information
Sharing educational information or tips in the field of your nonprofit brings awareness to the topics. Being an industry specialized in your niche domain establishes you as a leader and a reliable source when it comes to the niche your nonprofit operates within. If you are a nonprofit working with abused females, then you can share information about how to spot red flags early in the relationship.
4. Online events or Lives
All platforms are pushing for Live streams or online events. It’s time you catch up on the train as well! Host an online fundraiser or do a live stream with celebrities to spread awareness about the issue you work in. The possibilities are limitless.
5. Behind the scenes
All platforms are pushing for Live streams or online events. It’s time you catch up on the train as well! Host an online fundraiser or do a live stream with celebrities to spread awareness about the issue you work in. The possibilities are limitless.
Appreciate your employees/volunteers by bringing the spotlight on them on your page’s socials. Bring your audience on a journey on how things work in the organization. This is a nice way for future talent to see if they will fit within the team’s culture.
Let’s now take a look at how nonprofits are using social media to engage with their communities
Before you go ahead with creating content, we suggest you have a look at our top 3 tips.
1. The focused and consistent content strategy goes a long way:
Basically what the title says. To grow a nonprofit on social media, you need to have a content strategy. With that also comes being consistent and not flunking it as you go. You can read our blogs on the topic to understand further.
2. Target your content based on your audience:
Knowing what demographic audience you serve on each platform is imperative. Actively promoting fundraisers on Facebook will get you more success than promoting it on Instagram or Snapchat, since a majority of the audience is young who don’t have much to give monetarily.
3. Never forget Call to action:
CTAs are important! That’s the whole reason why you are expanding to social media marketing. Whether it is a call for volunteers or resources or donations, never forget to add a CTA at the end of your posts. People should know what they are looking to do once they reach your page.
The mainstay of nonprofits is fundraising events. Can social media play a role in fundraising? The answer is YES!
How to use social media for fundraising events?
Live streams on social media platforms are quite popular. This is one way to host a fundraising event using social media. Since social media is used by audiences across different demographics, live streams of your fundraiser can reach a wide audience.
Social media can be used for promoting online fundraising events. Since social media has a wide reach, social media campaigns are effective in spreading the word about fundraising events.
Social media platforms offer an opportunity to interact directly with your audience. This helps build trust and loyalty.
You can spread the word about your brand through social media and facilitate payment through social media channels as well.
Social media channels are the best way to spread the word about your brand and the fundraising events you host. This is because social media platforms offer an opportunity to share posts. So, if your audience shares the posts about your fundraising event, you can easily reach a wide audience.
Here’s how nonprofits are connecting to social media to drive change:
1. Room to read
Room to read social media gets the point across. They have effective CTAs while also highlighting the lives they have impacted.
2. World Wildlife Fund
One of the pioneers of using social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, WWF has campaigns on point and uses social media as the best way to spread awareness about endangered species and the work the nonprofit does.
Social media is a tool that every nonprofit should use to grow and network to drive change. When the world shut down, it was social media that helped us stay connected! 55% of people who have engaged with causes via social media were inspired to do more and take action. This is what social media can do, and you should be part of the change.
Whether it is a social media manager or online fundraising or campaign manager, you should go to experienced and trustworthy professionals. iConnectX has a team of experienced experts who will help make online fundraising an easy task.
Just like any “for-profit” organization, a nonprofit organization works towards an objective. Strategic planning for nonprofits gives a direction to the activities of the nonprofit so that they are aligned to its mission.
Why do a Nonprofit Strategic Plan?
Nonprofit Strategic planning gives all stakeholders a path to work on common goals. Besides, it helps assess its resilience towards a changing environment. Nonprofit strategic planning helps it evaluate its progress and strengths with every initiative that’s launched. It also brings the whole team together enhancing its efficiency.
Strategic planning for any organization can be daunting because it has many components. If you are starting from scratch, it may look like an impossible task but it isn’t! With the right resources and direction, you can easily get started on the strategic plan for your nonprofit.
What should a Nonprofit Strategic Plan Include?
Think of your nonprofit strategic plans like a “recipe” that includes a set of ingredients and the method for putting them together to create the final product! In other words, we need to identify the key components of a nonprofit strategic plan and the step-by-step process to put it into action.
Here’s a guide to nonprofit strategic planning:
Let’s first identify, what are the four key elements of strategic planning?
1. Comprehensive statements of mission, vision, and values
The basis of a nonprofit is the purpose why it exists. A nonprofit organization cannot have vague goals which are up to employees’ interpretation. It will turn into a mess! A nonprofit organization exists because it wants to do some good in society and create change. Every nonprofit has a purpose for existence and it’s the first thing that should be mentioned in the strategic planning for nonprofit. This purpose is formally placed in the form of mission and vision statements. The mission and vision of a company may come from its founders or the industry or the stakeholders. Further, a set of values that the nonprofit abides by and does not compromise on further strengthens the mission and vision statement.
2. SWOT analysis for inside and outside work environment
Analyzing the nonprofit’s internal environment to determine its strengths and weaknesses helps with filling the necessary gaps to boost performance. Similarly, looking outside the organization to understand the threats and opportunities is a huge building block for having a robust system. It also helps include products/services which aren’t harmed by small environmental changes. A comprehensive analysis of the external and internal environment together determines the positioning of the organization. This forms the foundation on which the action plan is built.
3. Determine 3 to 5 years Goals to be Achieved
After the vision and mission are established, the nonprofit needs to build a roadmap for achieving them. This is done by establishing long and short-term goals. This clearly defines the role of each individual that will help achieve these goals. It also gives clarity to the staff about how their tasks impact the goals.
While setting the goals, it is important to include strategies that will be used to tackle any situation. This requires a wider and out-of-the-box perspective. Asking stakeholders for their ideas and thoughts is a great way to get a wider perspective on challenges and action planning.
4. Coping with Emergencies
If COVID 19 has taught us anything, it’s that things can change rapidly and we may never know where we may end up. A huge part of nonprofit strategic planning is determining what actions to take when an unprecedented event or situation occurs. Having a contingency plan is better than having a no plan.
Now that we know the essential elements of nonprofit strategic planning, we move to the process of creating a strategic plan.
What are the Five Steps in the Strategic Planning Process?
This step-by-step approach to nonprofit strategic planning will break down the process so that you do not get overwhelmed with too many things to be done.
Step 1: Research
The number one thing you should do before putting pen to paper is research. Developing a clear understanding of where your nonprofit stands are where you can start. It begins with doing a deep dive into programs and services offered by your nonprofit. Where the funding comes from and how it’s distributed. Understanding the areas you need to focus on and improve, gives the strategic planners an even ground to begin from.
At this stage, you should also look at various strategic planning models and where you fit. Selecting the most appropriate strategic model and tailoring it according to the goals of your nonprofit is the best way to go.
There are a large number of models available, some of the popular ones are
- Conventional strategic planning
- Issue-based strategic planning
- Organic strategy planning
- Real-time strategy planning
Step 2: Who should be involved?
The next step involves forming a strategic planning team. This team will be responsible for documenting the entire strategic planning for nonprofits. In this team, you have to ensure that you don’t only include major decision-makers of your organization. Ideally, you should have at least one person from each department on the team so that you have a set of wide perspectives and don’t create an incomplete understanding of what the nonprofit is doing. Once you have your foundations ready, you should get inputs from your stakeholders like staff, volunteers, outside consultants, and board members. These inputs can be considered by the planning team and include in the document. The planning team can take inputs before and after the strategic plan is done.
Step 3: Set SMART Objectives
SMART goal setting structure is the most effective tool for achieving your goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely. Each of these parameters answers specific questions. It brings structure and traceability to your goals and objectives. This helps establish milestones for each objective that can then be monitored. Every small milestone brings you closer to the main objective.
Step 4: Identify Strategic Issues and Action Plan
After getting your goals and objectives in order, the next step is outlining what strategies you will use to achieve that objective. If your goal is to increase fundraising, then find out areas where there are gaps and create a step-by-step plan to tackle them. Further, look into hiring a marketing or fundraising agency to improve fundraising activities is a way to start filling those gaps.
To achieve the objectives, setting up an action plan or establishing tactics that support specific objectives is a great way to showcase accountability and direction. When everyone is aware of how their tasks will impact the larger goals, it creates an environment of structure and responsibility. This ensures that everything gets done seamlessly.
Step 5: Make Rules and Guidelines
Lastly, creating a set of rules and guidelines to follow for every project and task gives employees more clarity on what NOT to do. While it is essential to point out the path to achieve goals it is equally important to highlight things that will not be accepted by the organization. This set of lists can include a code of conduct when interacting with volunteers or donors. These guidelines exist so that there is no gray area left, which can hamper the organization’s growth.
So now you are ready with your nonprofit strategic plan, what next?
Get ready to implement it!
Implementation of the Strategic Plan
Organize a meeting with your board members, donors, and employees. Bring the plan to action and make it a bible of your organization. The future look and plans should be ongoing: As numerous things change, the nonprofit’s plans may need to be adjusted. While the process of bringing everyone together to plan for the future is stimulating, don’t let the plan collect dust on the shelf once it’s completed. Revisit it regularly, make revisions and update it as needed.
When it comes to achieving your nonprofit goals, iConnectX has an experienced team that will simplify the implementation of your strategic plans!
Build and manage your own fundraisers. Don’t stop at collecting donations, add in auctions, events with tickets, even donated time sold to support your fundraiser!
Last year has soared to be a year of adjustments, and for nonprofits as well. One of the most obvious ways? Fundraising! Nonprofits are now shifting their fundraising strategy towards virtual and online fundraising instead of traditional fundraising.
If your nonprofit is shifting towards online fundraising platforms, you need the right fundraising platform for nonprofits to succeed.
That means finding the right tool that is best for your nonprofit. To make your online fundraising easier, we have listed the online fundraising way that we think might be a good fit for your nonprofit to raise funds.
We have simplified the online donation process for individuals to raise funds for charities of any level. Individuals are required to visit the homepage and browse the nonprofit they select to donate. Click on the Donate button and enter donating amount and other details to complete the process with or without registering on the platform.
An online auction is one of the most engaging fundraising ways where a bidder competes with other bidders by setting increasingly higher bidding amount on a web or mobile-based platform. Online auctions have made the world a smaller place by allowing bidders from any part of the world to participate in an auction. It has opened the door for both nonprofits and participants. Online auctions are also popular among nonprofits for fundraising because they enable charities to reach a wider audience across the globe without any time limit.
Text Giving is a monetary donation process using mobile device texting function. Text giving simplifies the donating process to happen anytime and anywhere within a few clicks. The text-to-give process enables nonprofits of all sizes to make it easier for their supporters to donate by providing modern & trending methods to help them increase fundraising.
Ticketed events are in many ways a combination of events and fundraisers. They allow nonprofits to sell tickets to an event you may be having, such as a gala, a concert, or a screening.
Like events, ticketed events have dates and times, optional locations and maps, a discussion board where purchasers and the host can keep in contact with each other, automatic 24-hour reminders, and the like.
What do the donors want?
- Information about the nonprofit before they donate.
- They want simple and secure donation methods.
- They want to feel a part of a charity initiative.
- There are some who also want their act of philanthropy to be in the public eye.
Fundraising platforms are the best solution for nonprofits to cope with the ever-changing demands of the audience.
An online fundraising platform offers a central source to manage different aspects of online fundraising. It helps manage multiple donors, organize campaigns, offer forms, facilitate credit card donations and many more.
This is a brief overview of how you can choose the best online fundraising platform for your nonprofit.
One of the best fundraising platforms for a nonprofit is iConnectX. This platform has all the features to support end-to-end event management, secure donations, forms, etc. iConnectX is a platform that has a long history in the field of philanthropy. It has been a part of several nonprofit initiatives over the years supporting both offline and online nonprofit events. The proven track record of iConnectX makes it an ideal fundraising platform for nonprofits. This platform supports a myriad of online fundraising strategies such as online auctions, crowdfunding, and many more.
iConnectX is a platform that has evolved over the years adapting to changing circumstances adopting innovative technologies. It has kept pace with technology to ensure that it offers its users the best experience while participating in philanthropic activities. It is a technologically advanced platform with regular updates to offer users the best features.
Solicit Donations and More!
Set up and manage your fundraiser on iConnectX. Tell your story, add pictures, set your goal, and start collecting. To make more of an impact, add in auction items, event tickets, and iBridges (donated time).
Promote your fundraiser in the iConnectX Marketplace as well as on your social pages and in emails to your colleagues.
- Easy set up
- Set up a fundraiser for your nonprofit or select from one of the 1.7 Million IRS approved 501c organizations
- Have your members or sponsors set up fundraisers on your behalf
- Tell your story
- Add a picture
- Set a goal
- Add auction items, events with tickets and iBridges
- Promote your fundraiser in the iConnectX Marketplace, available to the community on browsers and in the mobile app
- Funds collected are sent to your nonprofit weekly