Funding changes across the sector are a constant concern and never more so than in an election year. While there is no quick fix to the bigger issues facing organisations, ample growth opportunities await those who dare to see things differently and act on this.
The four income streams available to NFPs come from donors, funders, purchasers and consumers. Going forward, the key questions that need to be asked are not just about which methods are suitable to your NFP, but how you approach each option to maximize funding. To assist in this process, we’ve identified five key areas for improving funding, along with some key questions to encourage solutions – by seeing things from a fresh perspective…
- Review your funding strategy
A deep dive into how you think about your organisation’s income streams, from a holistic point of view, is essential. Those ahead in the game ask the brutally honest questions (preferably before they are forced to) and are unafraid to challenge previous methods of survival.
- Is your strategy relevant to get you to where you want to be in three years time?
- What are the risks if you don’t commit to investing in new ways of funding?
- Position your brand for success
It’s essential for Not for Profits to be clear about their brand position in the marketplace. The trend from ‘receiving’ to ‘going out and getting’ is now the reality. Not for Profits cannot afford to be sending out random marketing blasts that don’t really connect with their target audiences and have no clear outcome. Not for Profits who can demonstrate outcomes will be in the best position to attract funding and marketing plays a key role.
- Do you have a marketing plan that clearly identifies your brand position?
- Why should potential funders choose you?
- Develop a diverse range of income sources
Funding activities ranging from donations, grants, memberships, sponsorships, fundraising and special events, right through to the sale of goods and services (and plenty more), provide a snapshot into how possible it is to diversify income sources. Diversity opens the door to cross-selling services to your existing audience. While some activities may only need minor tinkering – to get you up-to-speed in the market place – introducing new income sources can require serious thinking and planning.
- What funding path best suits your organisation’s long-term sustainability?
- What activities will offer the most reward given your current position and resources?
- Resource more staff towards funding activities
Not for Profit staff and volunteers are known to be the most value-driven workers in the community. They have the passion, the ideas and the power to execute your organisation’s funding activities.
- What’s holding your staff back from promoting your organisation?
- What strategies can you put in place to maximise their passion – to help your NFP achieve its funding goals?
- Improve funding performance
Your organisation is in a position to improve performance if you have: set relevant funding goals; and have methods in place to both measure and evaluate the outcomes. Three simple questions should always be asked to help improve your overall funding performance:
- What’s not working?
- What is working?
- What could work better?
As tempting as it may be to start rolling out new fundraising campaigns, the real boost comes from developing a fresh and holistic approach to funding. Solutions can be found by reviewing your funding strategy, brand positioning, resourcing, activities and performance. Are you ambitious enough to reach your long-term sustainability goals?
The CBB Consulting and Business Services team exists to support Not for Profit organisations and are able to provide assistance when it comes to strategy and marketing to improve funding outcomes.
If you are in need of marketing strategies or plans for fundraising activities, speak with our Senior Marketing Consultant, Meg Dreschler.
Subscribe to receive the latest Foreword articles delivered to your inbox on the first Thursday of each month.