With over 1.5 million nonprofits in the US alone, the nonprofit space is becoming increasingly competitive. If your nonprofit organization isn’t able to communicate effectively with your donors, find volunteers to support you, and ensure donations keep coming in, you’ll quickly fall behind.
To help guide your success, we’ve collected four tips to help you optimize your organization, ranging from marketing strategies and operations tactics to in-depth advice. That being said, let’s dive in!
Nonprofits are often established due to a personal attachment to a cause. While this early motivating factor is wonderful for a founder to exhibit, basing every decision on emotions isn’t a good strategy for nonprofits to use.
Instead, nonprofits should turn to the power of data-driven decision-making (DDDM) in order to bring a level of objectivity to their operations. DDDM is the process of using concrete data to make operational decisions that will impact the nonprofit going forward. Organizations that engage with objective decision-making methods like this one have 19x higher profitability than those that don’t.
A figure like that is simply too impactful to overlook. Due to the emotive nature of many nonprofit causes, this industry isn’t one that has yet fully taken advantage of DDDM. By positioning your nonprofit as one that uses organizational, industry, and donor data as a touchpoint for every operational decision you make, you’ll have a much higher likelihood of success.
What’s more, using data to make decisions ensures that everyone remains on the same page. Objective decisions will unite your workers and help everyone to work tirelessly toward the same goals.
Turn To Tech Solutions
As we’re working in the digital age, turning to technology for nonprofits is one of the most effective ways of streamlining your operations. Online SaaS platforms come in many shapes and sizes, meaning that you can typically find a tech solution to any problem that you’re facing.
For example, some typical tech solutions that nonprofits can utilize are:
- CRM Platforms – Customer relationship management solutions will enable you to collect and store data on your donors. With more information about their demographics and typical consumer behavior, you’ll be able to more effectively market to them in the future. Just because you’re a nonprofit, doesn’t mean you can’t make use of world-leading marketing techniques like personalization.
- Email Marketing – Email marketing has an average ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. This astounding return makes it many marketing managers’ favorite method of engaging with their audience. Using email marketing tools will help you rapidly create new campaigns, as well as give you a constant stream of engagement data that will help you refine your campaigns going forward.
- Search Engine Optimization Solutions – SEO has been steadily demystified over the past two decades. At this point in the game, marketing teams have a range of solutions like Semrush or Ahrefs to turn to for a little helping hand. Using these tools can help with your nonprofit’s content marketing, providing you with core keywords to focus on when writing for your blog. Moving up the search rankings will net you more organic traffic and help you find new donors.
- Social Media Management Platforms – We live in the age of social media; if your nonprofit isn’t taking advantage of this, you’re losing out on donors. Using social media management platforms will help you to repurpose content across different sites, keeping your pages active and full of information for your donors.
Turning to tech solutions is the single most effective strategy you can employ when looking to boost the impact of your nonprofit. In every category, there’s a tech tool that will streamline your operations and help increase your efficiency.
Hire High-Impact Staff
Nearly 80% of peopleopens PDF file that financially contribute to a nonprofit organization will also devote some of their personal time as a volunteer. Volunteer hours are one of the most important factors that help nonprofits succeed. However, even without these valuable time contributions, there will typically be a core staff that is contracted to work for the organization.
These paid employees will handle the day-to-day operations of the nonprofit, overseeing everything from donor communications and organizing fundraisers to accounting and even community outreach.
At the very least, a nonprofit should have a range of marketing, human resources, and administration roles. Instead of jumping the gun and hiring people quickly to fill these positions, we recommend that you spend more time than normal on the hiring process. While this will reduce the speed with which you get up and running, it will lead to much more effective management down the line.
Spend time looking for the ideal candidates that relate to and support your vision. While it can seem like an overly-long process, a highly-impactful team of core hires will increase operational efficiency in every area of your nonprofit going forward.
Refine Your Offering
Many CEOs will spend time creating a website for their nonprofit, marking this as a completed task once donors can access a functional online site. This approach is ineffective and will slow down operational progress in the long run. The reality is that the most successful nonprofits will continually optimize their offering over time.
By running A/B tests on your marketing campaigns, home website, landing pages, and communication styles, you’re able to refine everything about your nonprofit. Instead of treating operations as a list of tasks to complete, think of every aspect of your organization as something you can improve upon.
Using the psychology of the 1% better rule, you can make your organization more attractive to donors over time. There is always room for improvement.
Your nonprofit organization won’t change its entire operations overnight. Real, effective change takes dedication and will come with time. But starting with any one of these four core areas will certainly set you down the right path.
Whether it’s moving toward technical solutions or embracing collaboration, make 2023 a year that’s all about empowering your nonprofit to be as streamlined as possible.