Fundraising in Challenging Times: Addressing the Cost of Business
5. Diversify revenue (with caution): Seek ways to deepen your “market penetration.”
Consider new or additional funding sources or revenue streams that are aligned to the work of your organization. Ideally, seek new sources that are within the market segment (e.g., government contracts, foundation contributions, individual donations) you already target, rather than diversifying into new “markets” or lines of business. The reason: Accessing new markets often creates additional costs.
6. Communicate with your funders, clients, community members and others about the financial condition of your organization.
It is important, especially in this economic environment, to stay in front of funders. Be candid about the impact the recession has had on your organization, and outline your specific strategy to adjust. Share details from your financial analysis so funders can understand your short-term needs and the long-term impact of gifts, grants and donations. Emphasize your commitment to your mission and the urgent needs your programs address. Thank your donors frequently, and make outreach personal.
Gar Kelley is vice president, mid-Atlantic region at Nonprofit Finance Fund, a national leader for 30 years in nonprofit, philanthropic and social-enterprise finance.