Wanting to do something to improve a community and the lives of the people within it is admirable. Whether it be a community formed by physical boundaries or a common struggle, there is a growing need to provide aid to underserved people, and it’s a responsibility that usually falls to nonprofits.
If you’re thinking about starting a nonprofit business, then you have to toe the fine line between generating funds and maintaining the original vision of your organization. It’s unrealistic to think you can make significant changes without the necessary funds, but you have to be meticulous about raising money and running your organization. Continue reading to learn some dos and don’ts of running a nonprofit.
Marketing is a must.
The main difference between a nonprofit and a for-profit business is that a for-profit’s sole purpose for existing is to make a profit. A nonprofit’s main goal is to provide a service whether it be a place to worship, feeding hungry people, or providing funds for medical research.
Even though the goal of a nonprofit isn’t to make money, marketing and social media are still crucial to the success of your organization. You have to make a concerted effort to draw interest and funds as well as gain new supporters.
Even if you’re not a marketing guru, there are tools that you can use to make the task of getting the word out about your cause. With the Engaging Networks software platform, you can manage your marketing and email campaigns from one platform.
With Engaging Networks, you’ll never be alone in your quest to raise money and awareness. They have tools to help you generate funds, create events, and manage contacts and donor information. Since you have to market your organization anyway, you might as well utilize technology to make your task a little easier.
Offer people something in return for their support.
As an organizer, you have to be creative when coming up with ways to raise funds. Rather than trying to push the envelope, use time-tested methods like holding raffles and selling merchandise with your organization’s logo or mission on them. Even the most frugal people are more likely to give to a cause when they get something in return that they can use or consume.
For instance, if your organization focuses on underprivileged children, then you could sell school supplies such as custom folders and notebooks for back to school drives. You should also have low-cost items like custom pens and buttons that you can give away for free.
Don’t think running a nonprofit is easy.
One of the most common mistakes that people make is thinking that running a nonprofit is easier than running a for-profit business. Even though making money isn’t the primary goal of a nonprofit organization, you need to approach each business day with smart goals set.
One of the first things you need to do is come up with a system for tracking donations and the money your organization spends. Many people are suspicious of nonprofits because they’ve seen countless horror stories about charities that were run by greedy administrators who swindled donors or embezzled funds.
It’s crucial that you keep accurate financial records and be as transparent as possible. Being lax in the area of tracking your organization’s finances could cause you to lose trust in the community and could even land you in legal trouble.
Don’t try to do it alone.
Whatever your cause is, you’re going to need help to raise awareness and funds and make the lasting impact that you desire to make.
The thing to remember about a nonprofit is that there is no person or group of people who “own” it. Even if you’re the founder of the organization, you’re only an overseer of it and for your own sake, you should establish a board of advisors to whom you’re accountable. This board of advisors can help you organize events and help you decide how to disseminate funds. Look at it this way: The more people you appoint to keep watch, then the more impervious you’ll be to undue scrutiny.