Running a nonprofit organization can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But in pursuit of your organization’s greater goals, you will inevitably run into a wide variety of different challenges.
Fortunately, with the right resources and strategies, these challenges can be overcome. In order to make sure your non-profit organization has the best year that it possibly can, you will want to begin anticipating these common problems as soon as you possibly can.
Competing for attention
As time has gone on, the non-profit industry has become increasingly competitive. Though there may be many organizations that genuinely want to do good, there is only a finite amount of resources available. For better or for worse, sometimes the success of one organization can take away from the success of another.
What is your nonprofit organization doing to #standout from the competition?
Though the nonprofit industry is certainly not a zero-sum game, you will still want to find ways to effectively distinguish your organization from others that are like it. This can be done by developing a strong brand, finding unique ways to reach your target audience, or by demonstrating that your organization is capable of creating something that is objectively good.
Maintaining Public Interest
Even once you have the attention of your target audience, your non-profit organization will still have a tremendous amount of work to do. Just because you may have gotten someone to like your page on Facebook, that doesn’t mean that person will necessarily become a donor.
Running a nonprofit organization is a marathon, not a sprint.
Naturally, maintaining someone’s attention over time will require a continuous amount of effort. This means that your organization will want to frequently be publishing new media, reaching out to new audiences, and continually taking actions to make the world a better place. Gaining momentum in the highly competitive nonprofit industry is something of a rare gift—once your organization can effectively establish itself, you will want to do everything you can to make sure that momentum is sustained over time.
The good news for individuals running a non-profit organization is that as a whole, public donations to non-profits have been steadily increasing with every passing year. The bad news is that, on the individual level, there is still no guarantee that your organization will necessarily be able to achieve its mission.
There are a number of reasons why non-profit organizations may have a uniquely difficult time fundraising in 2018. As certain sectors of the industry begin to consolidate, it becomes much easier for these sectors to become dominated by fewer, larger organizations. Additionally, changes in the economy, tax laws, and other external variables make it more difficult to predict your organization’s total ability to raise funds.
Consolidation and unpredictability will present a unique set of challenges for smaller organizations.
Though the fundraising process may present some challenges, there are still some strategies your organization can use that may be effective. Increasing your social media activity, making it possible for people to get involved in small ways, and partnering with larger organizations are ways your organization can better pursue its long-term goals.
Effectively Utilizing Donations
Lastly, even once your organization has been able to effectively raise funds, the true test of its ability to produce good will be determined by how that money is actually spent. Your donors are counting on you to deliver on your promises.
One of the best ways your organization can hold itself accountable is by establishing SMART goals. Having a way to tangibly demonstrate the difference your organization has been able to make in the world will increase the confidence of all potential donors and also make you feel better about the work you are doing as an organization.
2018 may be a bit of a challenging year for some non-profit organizations, but that doesn’t succeed is something that is not within reach. By developing an effective branding strategy, consistently working in pursuit of your mission, and finding ways to create tangible good, your organization can move continually closer to achieving its greater objective.