Growing a nonprofit is a rewarding experience, but it’s not easy. Just because you have a worthy cause doesn’t mean you will automatically attract donors and supporters. It takes a lot of work.
So if you’re struggling to take your nonprofit to the next level, this article is for you. Here are nine proven tips to help you grow your small nonprofit:
1. Set clear goals
Growing a successful nonprofit starts with clear goals. What are you trying to achieve? More funding? Increased brand awareness? Higher engagement with supporters?
Sit down with your team and determine what your nonprofit most wants to achieve. Then set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).
Make sure you enshrine your goals in a mission statement that you can share within and outside the organization. This will give your nonprofit direction and help keep it accountable.
2. Tell a compelling story
Every nonprofit has a story to tell. Consider how yours started and what motivated its founders.
Distill the key moment behind your nonprofit’s origin and write it down. Inspiring stories connect with people on an emotional level and help you win support.
Once you’ve shared your nonprofit’s story, keep people updated on its ongoing story in terms of news, events, and progress toward goals.
3. Invest in digital marketing
These days, you need to be online to be seen. So once you have a good brand story to tell, invest in digital marketing.
This can include having an attractive website, engaging on social media, running online ads, and running an email newsletter campaign. Whatever you need to do to get your nonprofit’s name out there.
The more attention you can drive to your organization, the more name recognition you’ll build.
4. Leverage technology
Staying ahead in today’s fast-paced economy is impossible without technology. So leverage it to your advantage.
Invest in project management software like Asana or ClickUp to help you easily collaborate on tasks with your team and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
You may also want to consider using event tech to host amazing events. After all, fundraising events are one area where you don’t want to go wrong. Event tech can help ensure they run smoothly throughout the planning, execution, and evaluation stages.
5. Try different fundraising methods
That said, fundraising events aren’t the only way to fundraise. You can also create a membership program, for example.
Membership programs are an easy way to create a steady flow of donations. Charge members a membership fee in exchange for membership perks like swag, event admissions, and more.
Focus on a fundraising method that works best for your organization. And remember, there’s no harm in using multiple fundraising methods.
6. Be transparent about your finances
Nonprofits should be transparent about their finances to win supporters’ trust.
You can do this by publishing an annual public finance report or displaying a fundraising progress bar on your website. Either method is a great way to build trust.
7. Choose the right board members
Board members are people chosen to lead an organization and ensure it has a sustainable future. Every nonprofit needs them.
If you want your organization to grow, choose board members that are committed to the cause and will work hard to achieve its mission and goals.
This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Thoroughly vet board member candidates and makes sure they will represent the organization well.
8. Build strong relationships
Every nonprofit needs to build strong relationships with allies and vendors. They can help expand the reach of your organization.
But in order to have strong relationships, they can’t be a one-way street. Show that you have something to offer as well. This wil help you create lasting bonds that pay big returns in the long run.
To maintain strong relationships, don’t forget to thank your partners for working with you. You can do this with a hand-written card, phone call, gift card, or even an award. Anything to show your sincere appreciation.
9. Learn and adapt
Lastly, it’s important to learn from your mistakes and adapt. It’s okay to experiment, but only adopt the strategies that work and abandon the ones that don’t.
When you’re a small organization, it’s easier to be nimble and make the changes you need to grow. So take advantage of your small size now.
Learn from bigger non-profits as well. See what works for them and try modeling your systems and processes after theirs. If you’re willing to learn, your nonprofit is much more likely to succeed.
Now you know how to take a small nonprofit and turn it into something larger. The key is to take these tips and put them into action. Start with one and move your way down.