No one starts a nonprofit with the idea that they’re going to fail, and that could be an issue. A lot of people assume that having a cause people care about is enough and that nonprofits are not actual businesses, so it’s virtually impossible for their non-profits to fail. Indeed, non-profits do not fail at the same rate as regular businesses, but they fail nonetheless. If you feel like your nonprofit is slipping away and that it’s not going to stay afloat, here are some tips you can follow.
Look for Free Fundraising Options
When people think of fundraisers, they usually think about galas with entertainment and auctions. But fundraisers don’t always need to be extravagant. There are tons of methods that you can use to raise funds that won’t cost you a dime and will still be very efficient. Raising funds for free will work better if you have a solid subscriber base that is not limited to donors so make parallel efforts to beef up your subscriber list if it’s too thin.
If you don’t have a system in place to gather leads from your site or social media, set up one right away and use non-profit CRM tools to fragment your list. Separate the curious from your regular donors. Make sure that you get authorization to send messages through SMS and consider setting up an app. This will allow you to let people know of your most recent efforts, make quick donations, and mobilize people through push notifications.
If you already have your subscriber’s list down, then a very simple thing you could do is set a special time and date and ask people to make a specific donation on that day. If your nonprofit is trying to find a cure for cancer, then you could ask people to give $20 in October for breast cancer awareness month, for instance. Another thing you could do would be to set up a simple potluck at your headquarters. Or you could even hold a garage sale.
If you want more inspiration, you can check out Givebutter’s free fundraising ideas. They have free fundraising ideas for all sorts of organizations, and they are all easy to set up. Some of these ideas might be better suited for certain organizations or causes over others, so look at the logistics of each and your current setup to see which ones would be the best for you.
Improve Your Website
If you haven’t worked on your website for a while, then you need to give it a good update. Google doesn’t see sites with stale content favorably, so if you’ve been neglecting your blog, you’ll need to deliver fresh content. You can’t just create content randomly, however. You have to research your keywords so that your content will get traction on search engines. You should also try to speak on trending subjects and news related to your cause as this will allow you to gain positions on keywords that are searched heavily but don’t have too much competition yet.
You need to look at your site’s performance and consider having it audited too. A site audit will tell you if you have things like broken links, a slow website, or poor navigation, among others. All of these things can affect your results negatively on search engines and will have to be corrected immediately.
Review Your Mission and Consider Narrowing Your Focus
If you have different programs and initiatives set up, then some of them have to be performing better than the others. You need to identify your top-performing initiatives and consider restructuring or eliminating underperforming programs. It might break your heart to discontinue a program that was important to you, but you can’t afford to let them drag your operation down. You could always see if another non-profit would be ready to take over the work and see if you could help indirectly.
Cut Your Spending
You also need to sit down with your accountant or financial officer and see if there are areas where you’re overspending. Maybe you’re spending too much on events or transportation? Or maybe your staff is too big? Your HQ may also be too big for your organization, or you might be paying too much for the space you have. If you have a large space, then consider the option of co-renting it with another organization. Also, see where you could cut costs on things like supplies, energy, IT, and communications either by making better decisions or looking for new suppliers.
As you can see, there are tons of things that you can do if you feel like your operation is heading for a bad turn. Tighten up your budget and start looking at what you’re doing wrong so you can make corrections.