10 Ways to Save on Nonprofit Overhead Costs
If you’re involved in a nonprofit that’s doing a tremendous amount of good in the community, but is perpetually strapped for cash, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are numerous ways to keep nonprofit overhead costs down without sacrificing the effectiveness of your work.
1. Buy Reusable Fundraising Materials
When figuring out what kinds of fundraisers to have, choose those that allow using the same materials—t-shirts, vinyl signs and posters—from year to year. For example, promotional materials for the money-raising initiatives could have empty slots for the date and time, making it possible to reuse the same content several years in a row.
2. Recruit Volunteers Often
Volunteers can help you remedy a staff shortage without having to allocate more money in the budget for people’s paychecks. Since you aren’t paying the people who voluntarily give their time, it’s especially important to make those individuals feel valued and that their presence is worthwhile.
3. Go Paperless as Much as Possible
Cloud storage services make it easier than ever to reduce the use of paper products. By doing so, you could save on printer ink, reams of paper, writing instruments and more.
4. Explore Cheaper Plans for Subscription-Based Services
If your nonprofit subscribes to software, website hosting or Internet access, inquire if there are less expensive plans for nonprofits. Otherwise, see if you can save money by paying for the subscriptions annually instead of monthly.
5. Use Local Suppliers
Tapping into a network of suppliers doing business in your area is a fantastic way to reduce or eliminate shipping costs. It could also cut down on the waiting time between fulfilled orders.
6. Explore Various Resources for Filing Your Taxes
You may realize the most cost-effective way to file your taxes is to hire an accountant. Then, you’ll feel confident about accuracy and know you’ve made the most of available tax breaks. However, there are also low-cost or free resources for nonprofits related to taxes. Being aware of the choices could prevent unnecessary expenditures.
7. Consider Implementing a Unified Communications System
Your employees probably use a variety of messaging platforms and tools, ranging from voicemail to instant messaging applications. If so, it’s a good idea to talk with a specialist about the benefits of a unified communications system.
When workers have all their communications tools linked and compatible with each other, they often notice improved productivity, which could result in cost savings. Therefore, a unified system could be an inexpensive investment.
8. Don’t Buy Tech Equipment at Full Price
Many technology manufacturers and retailers offer discounts for nonprofits that need to buy new equipment. If even a reduced-price investment is out of the question, consider allowing workers to bring portable devices to the office.
9. Bring Automation to the Grant-Seeking Process
Nonprofits often rely on grants to pursue new opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be financially feasible. If your nonprofit is the same, see if there are ways to take advantage of automation during the grant cycle stages.
Besides potentially reducing fatigue in the people responsible for working on grant applications, automation could reduce errors and repetitive actions, keeping costs manageable.
10. Emphasize the Convenience of Online Donations
If your nonprofit doesn’t accept online donations yet, now is the time to evolve with the times. Provided there’s already a portal set up, make sure to highlight how handy it is for donors to give online. If they get in the habit, you won’t have to send out expensive printed materials to ask for funds or acknowledge generosity.
By trying some of the suggestions on this list, you may discover a lower overhead is a more achievable goal than you initially envisioned. Other nonprofits in the area could benefit from your financial improvements, too.