Expanding the reach of your small nonprofit can be an intimidating task. After all, it was difficult enough to get your organization off the ground. It’s a laborious and time-intensive feat to optimize fundraising efforts, streamline logistics and maintain teamwork on a shoestring budget. But without good strategies in place, your small charity can’t thrive. Luckily, the efforts are not insurmountable.
Here are some ways to strengthen your vision by working with what you have:
Don’t exist in a vacuum
Repeating past patterns puts a damper on growth, said Fundraising Success Magazine. Traditionally, nonprofit constituents haven’t asked for a whole lot of engagement with an organization. But times are continually changing, and transparency is crucial to keeping your charitable goals alive. Your community of supporters is more informed than ever and wants to engage in personal communication.
Don’t shy away from engaging your community, said Fundraising IP. Use storytelling, social media, newsletters and events to create a continuing dialogue with your donors and volunteers, and show the progress of your mission. Your nonprofit management software can help you keep track of correspondence with constituents.
It’s okay to learn by trial and error, but the key to survival lies in unfaltering honesty. Be truthful with yourself about the success of the nonprofit mission. Can you provide concrete benchmarks of progress? If not, it’s time to start documenting.
Own up to failures and mistakes, but don’t surrender to less-than-stellar situations. Keep your chin up and focus on carrying out the cause. Recording measurable successes and shortcomings will aid in developing attainable goals and an effective strategy for the future.
Your CRM and analytics tools can help you gather necessary data. Not only will this information be useful in framing your own plans, but disseminating positive news can help you build trust with your constituents.
Strengthen communication channels
A nonprofit doesn’t need physical office space if it has a prevalent online presence, according to Nonprofit Hub. Don’t underestimate the power of your website or social media. They’re conduits for spreading awareness and recruiting volunteers The virtual space holds a lot of potential for online donations, and nonprofits can’t afford to lose that.
Through online content, you can educate supporters about your mission without inundating them. While you spread the word about upcoming events and other ways to get involved, constituents can read at their own pace. Potential donors have time to consider their gifts, and the lack of pressure just might aid in securing a larger donation.
Build the right team
Creative and focused collaboration is just as strong a resource as a large budget. If you’re unable to hire many employees, look to volunteers who want to showcase skills while building resumes, said Mark Titi, planning expert and founder of Wobbly Nonprofit. Recruiting the help of others who are also starting out is a win-win strategy. Young entrepreneurs are often seeking ways to connect to communities outside their daytime corporate structures. Volunteers with business expertise can help you hone your vision and sharpen your budget.
Use your social media pages to create buzz about your nonprofit, and your entrepreneurial partners can use the publicity for their resumes. The mutually-beneficial relationship sustains the efforts for a greater good.
Gratitude is your greatest asset
Nothing is more effective at keeping your community together than showing appreciation. Your donors deserve an immediate thank-you through a phone call or email. Business management software can automate the follow-up process but don’t forget to send a handwritten note. Doing so will help you retain donors for the future.
In addition, praise your staff for a job well done, and do it on a continual basis. Sincere gratitude stewards morale, and makes even the most difficult tasks surmountable.