6 Effective Ways to Operate Your Nonprofit Like a Business
Are you looking for ideas that can improve your non-profit Organization? It may seem like an unlikely source, but you can learn a lot from for-profit businesses. While the two entities are different in purpose, they can work on similar business models. Here are a few tips on operating your nonprofit like a business.
1. Modernized Your Workplace
The right workplace technology can mean the difference between an effective organization and a chaotic one. While there are free tools and resources available, nonprofit software is the best option for your organization. While many software options available have subscription fees, they are worth it.
Most software allows you to manage all aspects of your organization on a comprehensive platform. Duties like communication, fundraising, event organizing, marketing, and management are done quicker and more efficiently with the right software.
2. Look at Donors as Investors
Donors and investors are similar in many ways, especially when it comes to supporting ventures. Like investors, donors want the organization they believe in to succeed. And while donors do not expect a return, they still want to know that their resources are being put to good use. Keeping your donors satisfied is key for several reasons including continued resourcing, reputation, and maintaining a healthy working relationship.
You should also maintain communication with your donors. This is another way to strengthen relationships and make donors feel more involved. Communication is also a great way for donors to know that you are fulfilling promises and meeting quarterly and yearly goals. Make sure to give those who support your organization reports on progress, performance, and future projects.
3. Value Employees
Operating a non-profit is hard work, and it is a must for employees to feel valued and maintain high morale. Therefore, investing in employees should always be a priority. While there are many ways to thank employees for their hard work, employees react best to incentive programs.
Nonprofit organizations tend to shy away from corporate policies like employee incentives, benefits, and competitive salaries. These policies tend to be more dominant in corporate spaces, but they can work well in non-profit spaces. Innovative techniques are key to company growth especially when it comes to employee retention and recruitment.
4. Market Your Nonprofit
People need to know about your non-profit and the work that it does. The best way to do this is by marketing. Good marketing includes a strong social media presence, a well-developed website, brand awareness, and advertisement. Along with building and spreading your organization’s presence, marketing can be a great networking tool. The right marketing can help donors and those who need your organization’s service locate you.
Businesses, especially start-ups, often raise capital to further their ventures. Nonprofits can use a similar tactic in the form of fundraising. Fundraising is how nonprofit organizations survive, and you want to make sure that your organization has a steady stream of incoming funds to meet your organization’s quarterly and yearly goals.
Fundraising can take many forms. Smaller organizations should consider fundraising strategies that allow for more personal interaction. Door-to-door fundraising, phone-a-thons, or bake sales are all great options. Large organizations can host fundraising dinners or galas. Communicating with your board can help determine the best fundraising strategy for your organization.
6. Diversify Revenue
Organizations cannot rely solely on donations and grants. To avoid any budget issues, it is best to diversify your organization’s revenue. One of the best strategies for diversifying is to generate earned income revenue. This type of revenue is any money your organization generates by itself.
There is an endless list of options to consider. Some of the popular include selling merchandising or a subscription-based publication. Training or consulting services are also great options.
Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure that your earned income aligns with your organization’s mission. Because of their tax status, nonprofits must follow certain tax guidelines. Always check your state revenue service and The Internal Revenue Service about income-generated revenue tax laws.
The number one goal for your organization should always be its mission, but that does not mean that you can take innovative steps to promote that mission. Incorporating these tips into your organization is easy and can make a huge difference.