Nonprofit Growth in Uncertain Times

Nonprofit growth.

Inflation and a possible recession are having a significant impact on every business. Nonprofits, however, are facing a significant challenge from the current economy. As people are spending more on the essentials such as fuel, housing, and food, many nonprofits are seeing their sources of funding shrink—even as they themselves are paying more for the essentials.

There are two areas a nonprofit can address in these challenging times to increase their growth. Any business can benefit from making strategic small changes both internally and externally to promote their financial well-being.

Internal changes:

  1. Reinforce your values and your mission with your staff. When your team truly believes in what you’re seeking to accomplish, their manner shifts and they become a walking billboard for your mission. Their attitude impacts potential donors and volunteers, who catch their enthusiasm.
  2. Brainstorm with your team. Sometimes the most quiet person has an amazing idea. But get creative with the methods: some people really do prefer being quiet, and would rather put their suggestions in a box.
  3. Set SMART goals. Certainly by now, everyone knows these: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The key to making this work is to make sure your whole team understands every part of this, and offer some incentives to help. There’s a huge difference between saying to a team member, “Get some donations,” and saying, “Get ten donations this week as the teen camp is coming up; if we pull this off, we’ll be able to have some down time next month.”
  4. Listen for feedback. Your team members know what’s working and what isn’t. Check in constantly to make sure that your methods to increase donations are working.

External changes:

  1. Get out in the community. It sounds obvious, but a nonprofit’s success depends on its visibility. This focus on building personal relationships, showing that you have the community at heart, and making potential donors feel like valued friends is a key difference in donation income. Set up a table at the local history fair or community day, and offer some branded merchandise. Make sure people know who you are.
  2. Explore crowdfunding. It’s true: companies like GoFundMe, Patreon, and Kickstarter are growing in popularity. See if you can get more visibility, perhaps by getting a TikTok influencer to endorse your brand.
  3. Create a VIP Donors Club. Offer events specifically to acknowledge and thank them, and make sure you tag them in your social media posts. And any event where you can suggest they bring a friend, do it. You’d be surprised how many people love to feel like an insider.
  4. Get in touch with the donors’ emotions. There’s a reason the SPCA commercials are so effective… they tear at the heartstrings. Whether you’re promoting a guest speaker who’s overcome tragedy, or highlighting the stories of those who need help, giving people a sense of deep helping is key to increasing donations.

These are just a few ideas, and there are many more. The main key is this: You’re involved with your nonprofit for a real reason: it resonates with your soul. Come from that be

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