Is Your Nonprofit Ready for the New Year?
We are now in a new year. Do we sit back, relax and be reactive? Or do we constantly evaluate our organization and seek improvements? What do you think your competition is doing, especially in an overly competitive nonprofit arena? If I were you, I would be proactive and determine continuous improvement processes that may make the difference between success and failure.
DonorBox notes that building a high-performing, successful nonprofit is never easy. Sustaining one is even harder, especially in a new normal complex world. For a nonprofit to truly succeed it has to be financially stable, have passionate volunteers and a committed leadership base.
According to the article from DonorBox, characteristics exhibited by successful nonprofits are ones that:
- are agile and deliver results in self-managed teams
- always focused on the mission by sharing a mission statement with others and living the mission by making sure performance objectives are clear
- are donor-centric and communicate with donors on how they make things happen
- develop diverse funding sources and should not receive more than 30% of revenue from one source
- are able to mobilize and inspire others, including donors
- are digitally-savvy by having a variety of online platforms
According to Forbes experts, nonprofit trends are constantly changing. It is wise to understand how trends could affect your nonprofit. These experts shared their opinions for this year: building of new nonprofit working platforms that will better connect providers and beneficiaries, earned income will be a growing trend to help leverage unrestricted dollars, private sector interaction will increase between nonprofits and corporations, a greater focus will be made between mission and priorities, artificial intelligence will make giving easier, the growing attention economy will challenge the attention spans of our audiences, innovative sustainability will be a must when competing for donors, more personalized giving will be a must as donors want to volunteer, nonprofits will be a catalyst for public-private partnerships and cutting–edge technology will be used for greater transparency.
Spokes for Nonprofits underscores the importance for nonprofits to raise money for survival this year. One way to improve revenue performance is to learn new fundraising trends for 2020. A report from Giving USA 2019 revealed a decline in donations from mid-level donors who make gifts less than $250 and between $250 and $999. That is why nonprofits need to strive to better engage donors through highlighting good works and relevancy of their missions.
The article encourages you to take advantage of this year’s “election effect.” This effect may indirectly focus on your nonprofit mission by being in the news or tied to the election in some manner. Put greater effort into building donor loyalty and make giving easy. Promote corporate matching gifts with your supporters. According to Double the Donation, an estimated $4 billion to $7 billion in matching funds goes unclaimed each year. Establishing opportunities to give smaller amounts on a regular basis can help expand the donor base. Keep fundraising trends in mind as you incorporate your 2020 fundraising plans.
Seek to jumpstart your organization with passion, energy, vision and inspiration for what lies ahead. The nonprofit interstate is clogged with many attempting to speed up, slow down or keep you at status quo, which means by staying at the same speed, you are actually falling behind.
The world is changing and becoming more complex. Information and organizational practices need to be flexible and constantly modified. Staff, volunteers and potential dynamite board members will only want to be associated with a progressive organization. You cannot live on past achievements. Seek to make 2020 a transformational year for your organization even if it takes a major paradigm shift. It is now a new year. Is your organization ready for it?
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.