Nonprofit success and growth depend a great deal on the people running the organization. You may have a great idea, a passion for helping others, and even some financial backing. But often, this is not enough for running a nonprofit successfully. You have to know how to use collaboration and best practices to create impactful moments. You have to learn how to utilize resources and capital to achieve meaningful growth.
Sometimes it is a mindset change; you need to start running your nonprofit like a for-profit business. It is also about making internal process changes such as utilizing workplace content archives to make every employee and volunteer productive. Some have even found success in changing the way they approach fundraising and getting their message out there.
Start from within and begin evaluating every level of your nonprofit and your current approaches for different scenarios. You may find that it is possible to stay on message and become more effective with a few adjustments.
Focus and Dedication
In many areas of life, getting fixated is a bad thing. But when you’re reaching for success as a nonprofit organization, you need to be fixated. You need an obsessive level of dedication to build your nonprofit organization into a viable and effective solution for the social issue you are trying to help.
Dedicate yourself to learning what you need to know so you can run the business side better. Focus on outreach and education so you can reach more people and inspire others to join your mission. Build your expertise in the area so that you can be sure that you are addressing the whole issue effectively.
Serve the People
Part of continuing to educate yourself is to ensure you fully understand the issue. This helps you to avoid exclusionary behavior and make sure that everyone who needs help is being helped. If your nonprofit only wants to help a certain category of people within the larger group that is negatively impacted by the issue, you might want to evaluate your motives.
Everyone deserves aid and support. If every person affected by the issue cannot seek aid from your nonprofit, you are not truly a solution to the social issue. You may end up creating a different set of issues that others will have to solve. Thus, practice empathy and education to ensure that you strive for real solutions for the actual problem at hand and not temporary fixes for a specific group.
Trust Your People
You are the force behind the growth of your nonprofit organization. Others joined and dedicated themselves to it because your passion and dedication attracted them to the cause. This means that you very likely have people within your organization who can take over some tasks.
You need to let them. There is a strong chance that these people have more knowledge and experience in that area. Trust their dedication to the cause and allow them to take over those areas. This is how you develop the areas into departments within the nonprofit. This will directly lead to growth and expansion so you can begin helping an even wider demographic of people.
It may be hard to let go, but you need to understand that you can do better elsewhere. Having people to take care of the day-to-day running of the organization frees you to do the things you are best at. This will bolster the work of your nonprofit and help you to draw more attention to the cause.
Go back to campaigning full-time or join the talk show and seminar circuit. Both allow you to get your message out there and stay relevant in people’s minds. Organize get-together events for supporters and sufferers to meet so that they can form closer bonds. Arrange seminars and talks with big beneficiaries so that they can benefit from their association with you, and you can keep them happy enough to keep making large donations. You will be utilizing your best set of skills, and the nonprofit will benefit even more than if you were still running day-to-day operations.
When you start, it is tempting to say yes to every offer to collaborate or accept every donation offer. But you need to evaluate how this will affect your organization in the future. A multinational corporation may be able to give you enough money to run the nonprofit for several years, but will you be able to retain your integrity by being associated with that corporation?
Sometimes, for your nonprofit’s health and long-term viability, you need to say no to tempting offers. Some corporations want to fulfill their CSR obligations. They do not have the best interests of the cause at heart. It is better to rely on donations from true believers and work diligently through the hard times for future success. Taking a big check now that will tarnish your reputation could sink your organization’s future before you really have a chance to prove yourself.