Are you the director of a newly formed charitable nonprofit, learning what it takes to run a smooth and efficient organization? If so, there are some things you need right out of the gate while other things can wait a bit until you get established. Sometimes it’s difficult to decide since you need almost everything as a newly formed entity. Let’s start by looking at four of the most common things literally every charitable nonprofit needs.
1. Donors, Donors and More Donors!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every charitable nonprofit had one or more philanthropists like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet? Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. However, even though finding new donors might be a difficult task, there are ways to keep the donors you do have giving repeatedly over time. The question then becomes, how do you keep donors giving time and again? Perhaps you could consider giving your donors gifts with each donation. It needn’t cost a fortune and donor gifts can be cost effective if they are valued based on the amount of money being donated. For example, someone donating $100 might be given a coffee mug with your organization’s logo on it while someone donating $10 would be offered a key ring or pen. You’d be surprised at how much people love their ‘freebies.’
Most nonprofit charities simply don’t have the financial resources to hire staff. While some positions necessarily need to be paid professionals, other duties can be delegated to volunteers. The bookkeeper or accountant, for example, needs to have the education and/or certification to do the job but a groundskeeper can be any volunteer willing to put in the time. Also, you may consider reaching out to local rehab programs in your city to find volunteers. Those program attendees often need community service hours just like many high school students need those hours as a prerequisite to graduation. If you can’t find them individually, you may find them in groups if you contact various schools and rehabs.
3. A Highly Visible External Presence
Getting back to basics, no charitable nonprofit could survive without money and donors are the key to much of that. Starting with the director, it is imperative to get out and about in your community so that people know what it is you do. People are often reluctant to donate to a cause they never heard of, so that visible presence will do much to get the ball rolling. Perhaps you could get a short spot on the nightly news or maybe attend various seminars being held in the local area. However, it doesn’t need to be the director doing all the PR. It could be literally anyone within the organization, including even volunteers or people who have been helped.
Once you have established your presence in the community and have identified needs to be met, it’s time to move on to raising the money necessary to meet those goals. It all boils down to money, so what your nonprofit charity truly needs would be ways to make and save money. That’s the bottom line.