Nonprofit Management Tools for 2020
Nonprofits do a profound amount of good within nearly every aspect of our society. There are nonprofits that focus on homelessness, human rights issues, animal welfare, natural resources management, and education objectives just to name a few. Millions of people benefit every day from the incredible work that nonprofits do, oftentimes with little of the recognition they deserve.
However, working for a nonprofit is a challenging endeavor that often involves long hours and an ability to learn a wide variety of skills. Fully managing a nonprofit is no easy task, either — it requires an ability to reach people in a convincing way and encourage them to support a cause either through donations of time or money. Successfully managing a nonprofit also requires skills in leadership, organization, and a subject-matter expertise.
With all of this to think about, getting everything together to be the best you can be is essential. Going into 2020, there are a few specific things to consider such as improving your marketing game, managing organizational profits and expenditures, and giving back to the community more than ever.
Successfully marketing your nonprofit — and thereby earning the support and funding of your community — can be tricky as you have to walk the line between encouraging people to donate to your cause because they genuinely care about it, and begging for money from anyone who will listen. It is best to go into the whole thing with a marketing plan or strategy for success. Think about things such as:
- Identifying a target audience that is likely to respond to your message positively
- Crafting a goal and a message that are clear, understandable, and actionable
- Using a variety of marketing campaigns to reach people
- Building a quality, informative, easy-to-use website
- Creating a brand identity that people want to be associated with
Different types of social media marketing campaigns have been gaining steam over the past few years and they are not going away any time soon. If anything, they are becoming an even more important means of reaching a target audience with important details quickly. Many nonprofits now target a significant portion of their donor base through social media.
Strategies such as video marketing have become mainstream and popular for their audience connection. Similarly, social media based fundraisers are also becoming more and more common amongst successful nonprofits.
Once that marketing campaign takes off and the money starts rolling in, the next big step is managing it and making sure as much of it as possible is actually diverted to making things happen on the ground. For this, you need organization, reliability, and speed. All of those plans you’ve been putting together need to fall into place quickly rather than waning while you work to put all the pieces together.
Numerous simple office tools can actually make a pretty big difference in this realm. For instance, there are invoicing tools that allow you to work quickly and accurately, and taking advantage of these tools can get you the information and people you need on the ground working. This allows you to get more work done more efficiently without being bogged down by manual paperwork.
Other things that we often forget about, but that make a big difference, include reducing the amount of time spent on annual reporting by adjusting and shortening reporting formats. Using organizational tools such as a well-in-advance-planned editorial calendar can also make a big difference in helping you minimize the time in the office and maximize the time that can be spent using your donations to achieve the goal you want.
Finally, an often forgotten means of making a difference is in giving back to the community that you’re a part of. Sure, your nonprofit is doing a lot of great work on the ground, but could it be better about sourcing from environmentally friendly alternatives? Could it benefit from understanding and improving its supply chain for certain supplies?
The idea is called corporate social responsibility, and while your nonprofit isn’t exactly a corporation, the same ideas apply. If anything, nonprofits are poised to really take the idea to the next level because much of the work that is already being done falls into the realm of corporate responsibility. Nonprofits are often involved in a lot of volunteer work that benefits the community after all.
Broadcasting the good things that capture your efforts to be socially responsible is a great idea too. It can actually help build a stronger brand identity that makes people think of your projects whenever they hear your nonprofit’s name. It is a powerful way to build loyalty amongst donors and encourage new volunteers to join a positive movement.
Managing a nonprofit is no easy task, and in fact, it is downright difficult. Be sure to take your nonprofit’s marketing strategies seriously as they are critical to overall success. Likewise, work to incorporate tools that enable you to get out of the office faster and always broadcast the good things you do for your community.