With the economic sluggishness of the past few years, nonprofits have been hit hard. Charitable giving is one of the first areas where patrons and donors cut back on their budgets, and federal funding through grants also decreases significantly at the same time. Small, community-based charities supporting local programs like community libraries, children's education, outreach to the elderly, and similar goodwill initiatives face overwhelming challenges because they rely so heavily on volunteers for everything - from board participation to the execution of day-to-day tasks and fundraisers. These volunteers often commit their time, which is usually limited, out of passion for the cause, but it can leave serious gaps in the diverse expertise needed to manage a nonprofit effectively during such difficult times. This gap can have a direct impact on the nonprofit's fundraising success. Strategic communications is the key to maintaining your momentum with donations from corporate sponsors and individual patrons.
Here are three recommendations for boards of community nonprofits to consider which can dramatically improve fundraising efforts:
These recommendations are not revelationary, and larger nonprofits usually have the staff, skill set, and infrastructure to incorporate them very easily into their annual planning. Due to limited staff and volunteers, smaller community-based nonprofits find it more difficult to dedicate the time and commit the resources to make mid-term and longer-term advance planning and fiscal organization a part of their routine board meetings, but boards that can shift their focus from near-term activity planning to mid- to long-term strategy will see a dramatic increase and ease in their fundraising efforts.
Perry Hall was a Senior Account Supervisor at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Perry's blogs here. â€‹
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