Your nonprofit organization can’t operate without money. You need funds to cover your expenses and you need money to achieve the mission of your organization, whether it be building schools or alleviating poverty. Because nonprofits tend to be charitable organizations that don’t sell products or provide services for pay, they have to raise money through fundraising efforts. A lot of this is done online now. There are entire websites dedicated to raising money for good causes, but there are also several effective offline methods to raise money for your nonprofit organization.
Fun Public Events
A great way to generate name recognition for your nonprofit organization and as you solicit funds is to host a fun public event, such as a marathon or a kids’ kickball tournament. People sign up for these activities in droves. With a marathon, you can charge $50 a head or more and people will gladly pay it for the ability to cross off a bucket list item. The biggest challenge to hosting a public event is coordinating it with the city or municipality where it is held. If you plan to use public roads or park space, you might have to pay up front. If the event is well-planned, however, your nonprofit should more than recoup its initial investment, and it could easily catch on as a recurring annual event.
Companies in your local community especially small businesses are often looking for ways to increase goodwill with their customer bases. Few things paint a business in a better light than supporting nonprofit organizations dedicated to good causes. By establishing local partnerships with for-profit businesses, you create a win-win situation where your nonprofit gets the funds it needs and the local businesses improve their reputations. An example idea is a dessert promotion with a local restaurant; each time a customer orders dessert, a portion of the menu price goes to support your nonprofit.
No one likes cold calling, but there is a reason why so many businesses still do it in spite of the unpleasantness of the task. Cold calling is a numbers game, and it works if you call enough people. It is often even more effective for nonprofit organizations, as people are less likely to cut off or hang up on a caller soliciting donations for a good cause than on someone trying to sell a vacation package or investment opportunity. Another benefit of fundraising via the telephone is that the up-front investment is small. You and your staff can make the calls yourselves. There are always university students looking for extra cash who would bite at the opportunity; you could even hire them as freelancers working on straight commission, so instead of paying them an hourly rate, you pay them a set percentage of the money they generate for your nonprofit.