Small Budgets = Big Opportunities - Part 2
Last week, I asked the question: How do smaller nonprofits compete — and even beat some of the bigger, established players? Keeping your mailings highly personal, having well-understood programs, offering matching-gift challenges and being highly relational are four important ways multitudes of smaller organizations stand out from the pack.
But wait! There's more. Here are four additional ways smaller nonprofits may have an advantage over the larger organizations.
5. Donors are helpful
It's a challenge for any nonprofit to find new donors, but it can seem especially daunting when your acquisition budget is small. Ask your donors to help you by referring friends and family, sharing your social-media pages with their friends, passing along your newsletter, or sharing your YouTube video with others. Asking your donors to help you find more partners deepens their connection to you — and brings new supporters your way.
6. Social media is forefront
When you're a smaller organization, everyone can contribute to social media, so you have fresher posts and more variety. Encourage your staff and volunteers to submit photos that you can post, and invite your friends or fans to interact with you. Instead of being one of 50,000 comments, your supporter may be one of only a few, which makes participating feel more meaningful to your supporters — and you'll know who your real fans are and what they're thinking.
7. E-mail is cheap
Unlike a lot of other fundraising vehicles, e-mail is cost-effective even when you're only sending it out to a few hundred (or even a few dozen) donors and friends. Just remember as you communicate regularly with your donors to not inadvertently overwhelm them with too much e-mail. Make sure every message has worthwhile information in it. You have just as high a likelihood of ending up in junk mail if your donors find your content uninspiring. Don't forget-CAN-SPAM applies to you, too, so make sure you are following the law.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.