Tips & Ideas for Nonprofit Leaders
Annual budgets, operational planning, strategic forcasts - oh my! With the new year in full swing, chances are your nonprofit is full steam-ahead with planning another year of making a difference in the community. Sure it's easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of paperwork, red tape and stressful event planning, but it's even easier to lighten the load with a handful of simple steps like these:
1. Go Social: Get your nonprofit or community group it's own facebook page, twitter handle, Google+ profile and applicable Pinterest account right now if you have not already. A social presence is a surefire way to spread the word about your group's good work, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and community impact. People of all ages are online and leaving their own social footprints - become part of their world and they will soon become part of yours.
2. Set Up an Online Volunteer Calendar: It's 2014 and if your nonprofit is stuck on paper signup sheets and distracting spreadsheets, you are behind the times and losing ground. Online volunteer calendars and scheduling tools with mobile access and automated reminders make it easy for more people to get involved with your group and for your nonprofit to capture information digitally from potential loyal participants and donors. Click here to try VolunteerSpot's free online volunteer calendar tool
3. Use Your Board: Cultivate your Board (and donors) early and often! Use the skills, talents and know-how that brought them to your organization for your organization. Don't be afraid to ask for help, recommendations or assistance on big projects; Board members or Directors can offers these services as a gift. You recruited these members for a reason, and they anticipate such requests during their tenure.
4. Get Creative with Fundraising: Taking on a huge fundraiser like an annual gala can be quite overwhelming. PLUS, it's not always the right fit for each group and might be old news for your growing community. Look at your nonprofit's mission and make your approach to fundraising thoughtful and focused on the donor. Depending on the size of your organization, it may make sense to team-up with a partner or complimentary group as well! Get creative with ideas like:
- small (but annual!) college scholarships
- student art auction
- book festival
- raffle for a specialty item (donated, preferably!)
- basketball tournament
- corporate golf tournament (try to link to an existing event!)
- private wine tasting and dinner
- BBQ dinner and dance
5. Share Content: Spread the word about the great work your nonprofit does with interesting and viral content that can make it's away across the internet and local publications. In today’s digital world, it takes three times as many touchpoints with a potential audience as it used to to get someone to take action. Use your current print strategy (brochures, flyers, programs) and combine with online avenues like blog posts, social media, and video content on your website to increase the visibility of your nonprofit and amplify your reach.
These 5 critical but seemingly simple steps will help your nonprofit take on a new life in the new year, get started today!