ccording to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) , there are currently 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. That’s 1.5 million organizations competing for some of the same funding sources, donors, and attention that your organization is going after. What is your organization doing to ensure that they are being proactive and not reactive?
Be Data Ready
If your organization has not done so, make sure that you are data ready. This means implementing a data collection strategy that will ensure at any given moment you will be able to tell a donor, foundation, or funder, the results of your impact through quantitative measures.
Frankly, funders want data and numbers. Without supporting data, it will take twice as long to write a grant for your organization. Even more so, having data allows your donors to have detailed information on the impact of their donations.
Stewardship should be a part of your everyday donor relations plan and should include those donors outside of your large and new donors. Many times, organizations focus more on getting new funding in and retaining larger donors, that they forget about continuing to build relationships with those small to mid-level donors. Build a stewardship plan that includes quarterly contacts with those donors.
This contact should be personal; some ideas include hand-written update cards, birthday cards, social media “shout-outs,” anniversary thank you cards, and small appreciation events.
Do you understand the power of effective content marketing in terms of your social media/marketing plan? The Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing as a “marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience, with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Now replace the word customer in that definition with the words donor, funder, friend, potential donor, etc. Think about how valuable your social media engagement will be if the content talked specifically to the audiences that you’re trying to reach and the audiences that follow your organization.
Get creative and personal. Think of new ways to connect with your audience outside of the normal “#MotivationalMonday” posts. This can include video testimonials, podcasting, blogging, infographics, or going “live” on Facebook, Instagram, or Periscope. There are numerous things that you can do to elevate your content marketing. Just focus on your end goal, create relevant content, and see your results.
Collaboration with other nonprofits with the same vision- focused goals that you have, is of utmost importance. Many small nonprofits are looking to stabilize their efforts to gain traction within the community. If this is you, one question to ask yourself is: who have you reached out to collaborate with?
When your organization seeks to collaborate, it helps to strengthen your outreach efforts, helps to build efficiency among team members, helps in cost saving efforts, helps with funding opportunities that look for community partnerships, and helps to increase leadership and teamwork skills. If you have not done so, make a list of the local/regional nonprofits in your area, and brainstorm on ways that your organizations can collaborate, and reach out to see who is willing to work with you. You’ll be surprised how far having strong, strategic partnerships can get you.
What are your monthly and weekly goals and what are the strategies set in place to meet them? Do you have a monthly donor retention strategy? What strategies do you have in place for succession planning, in case the one person that understands your social media, leaves?
Whether it’s done weekly, monthly, or quarterly, the important thing is to make sure that your team and board are constantly implementing the strategies that your organization has set.
As social entrepreneurship and nonprofit activism continue to grow, you must ensure that your organization is willing to be on the forefront of donor relations. Think about what plans you can put in place now, to ensure that 2018 is one of your best
Lachelle Binion, MBA is a nonprofit professional, self-proclaimed impact strategist, and blogger. As the Founder of The Kismet Life blog, she often discusses her love for God and strategies to help people and/or organizations move from passion to profit.