The current economy has given each of us an opportunity to investigate nontraditional fundraising opportunities. Is your NPO ready to consider an independent fundraising event, or ife, to move your NPO into a more flexible, supporter-based fundraising environment? G&A encourages its clients to broaden their fundraising scope and integrate ifes into their fundraising options.
Traditionally, NPOs concentrate their fundraising on galas, golf tournaments, auctions and shows that require considerable investment of time and capital. Many NPOs are finding that their return on this investment is decreasing in a down economy.
Today, supporters are stepping forward to raise funds for their favorite NPO by sponsoring local events such as runs, walks, poker runs, car washes, auctions and unlimited other types of unique events. Each of us is familiar with the Heart Walk, Race for the Cure and Memory Walk. These are national events. However, more NPOs are migrating their fundraising to independent fundraising events, or ifes. An ife helps your NPO increase its visibility, empower your supporters and raise money with little or no effort on the part of staff or leadership. Expenses and marketing the ife is the responsibility of the independent event organizer within guidelines established by your NPO.
A case in point, Let’s Bring Them Home (LBTH), a Rogers-based NPO and Gardner & Associates client, sent a Facebook message to its followers asking if any of them would be interested in helping LBTH by sponsoring an ife. Within 24 hours, LaDonna Meredith was overwhelmed with sixty (60) inquiries on how supporters could help with a local, independent fundraising event.
In today’s increasingly digital environment it is no longer necessary to bring your volunteers and supporters in to headquarters to plan and sponsor an event. Using the virtually free medium of Internet, website and Facebook, your NPO can engage supporters near and far.
Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation (www.livestrong.org) has over 1,000 events supporting LIVESTRONG Day. Its grassroots fundraising is on track to outpace the 2008 total of $3.8 million. Besides engaging his supporters in his quest to cure cancer, Lance is empowering people around the world to deliver the LIVESTRONG message.
December Proposal Writing Tip
G&A recommends grants management involving pre-writing crucial proposal elements for success. Develop drafts of common proposal elements in advance for use in any proposal, such as your NPO’s history; geographic service area description/map; board and advisory board lists, summary of organizational successes; fiscal/administrative management, oversight and funds control; summary of services provided and boilerplate regarding your NPO’s mission. Having these ready and on hand for cut and paste inclusion will save time, allowing you more time and concentration to focus on the critical elements of the proposal that need development specific to the needs of the potential funder.
December Tip: Seven Strategic Survival Tips for 2010
Since 1967, the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee has served as the area’s primary resource to nonprofit agencies. It provides tools and training needed to successfully fulfill an organization’s mission and improve the lives of people in the community.
While economists say the recession is over, for many nonprofits, the silver lining in that dark cloud has yet to appear. The Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee (WI) offers the following seven survival tips for charities.
1. Focus on your core mission and consider removing programs that no longer align with it.
2. Collaborate with other NPOs to avoid duplicating services/programs.
3. Be transparent. Build networks with and communicate needs to funders.
4. Diversify your funding streams. Nothing lasts forever so don’t rely too heavily on any single source of income.
5. Understand your neighborhood and your clients’ needs. Stay on top of the changes and be ready, willing, and able to shift gears as needed.
6. Recognize your employees’ and your volunteers’ needs and accomplishments.
7. Learn to effectively manage and utilize volunteers.
For information contact the Center at: 414.344.3933. www.nonprofitcentermilwaukee.org/index.php