Non-governmental organizations work to accomplish humanitarian missions. Their main objective is to benefit the society. Though these organizations appear similar to other profit-based enterprises, they have some distinguished features in their work processes.
Since, an NGO has to be extra careful with its money, it has to face many challenges, unique to it. Meaning, if you have worked in such an organization, then you must have encountered cash crunch and limited budgets while constructing marketing strategies, fundraising and spreading awareness.
According to a report of 2011-12 , there was a significant decrease in the number of donors, leading to a net loss of -2.7%.
The above graph shows the gain in new and repeated donors. As you can see the loss in the repeated donors is more than its gain, thus causing a net loss for the organization. This cannot be afforded by most of the NGOs as their funds come from these donors.
This is a serious problem and they must find a way to eradicate such situations. It is observed that a lack of knowledge in nonprofit finance can strain on decision-making. To make effective fundraising possible following are some easily affordable and implementable measures:
1. Build an effective management system
Modern businesses are choosing efficient management systems in order to achieve the organizational goals. But for NGOs, the most important system would be that of managing finance. It is often seen that NGOs spend a lot of money in campaigns as a part of spreading awareness and raising funds. But isn’t it important to measure the ROIs of those investments?
Various SaaS application tools are available in the market which are helping NGOs to manage their funds. These are mostly cloud-based and therefore all the data is stored on cloud, considerable reducing its cost. One of the companies , Serenic offers comprehensive tools for nonprofit industry for managing finance and budget. Also, a cloud-based product, MyOperator has special features of call tracking and call recording which can be used to track calls on the NGO’s official number. In effect, for every campaign, the number of incoming calls in response to that campaign can be tracked and recorded. It helps in measuring the ROI and identify serious contenders.
2. Make your marketing strategies strong
Every enterprise wants to be recognized in the market and NGOs are no exception. For an NGO entrepreneur, it is necessary to spread the brand name and the kind of services they render to ensure that they make a wider impact.
Social media marketing is a cost effective way of connecting with people and educating them about the work. There are various online marketing tools for e-mail marketing and re-targeting which can be used to generate desired results.
If an NGO chooses to use call management, it can customize it’s virtual IVRs to spread awareness about it’s services and intent.
In US, two of the most famous non-governmental organizations, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have generated revenues in billions due to effective marketing strategies. Innovative marketing can give you great success and always works in favor of the organization’s welfare.
3. Reaching out and creating engagement
Getting to the masses is incomplete without continuous engagement as this creates a space in the minds of the audience. You can recapture old donors but they will need systematic reminders.
These days, many business owners are going for services like Bulk SMS, wherein all the existing callers and other prospective donors tracked are sent SMSes informing them about organization’s recent offers and services. NGOs can also create awareness about their new initiatives. Renowned NGOs like The Art of Living Foundation and Scan Foundation India in Tamil Nadu are using such services and have so far managed to attract people.
Sharing pictures and campaign posters on social accounts, events and emails will not only create awareness but will pave a path to gather people and reinforce the impact.
Fundraising has been a challenge for most of the NGOs but effectively thought out strategies can open lot of innovative ways for such organizations.