In today’s podcast, Rathish Balakrishnan from Sattva Media & Consulting Pvt Ltd and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss how to build a nonprofit for the future. Nonprofits that crave success and sustainability must factor in the acquisition of talents, innovative technology, strategic planning, stellar donor relations, and more to achieve their mission.
Building a Nonprofit Organization for the Future With Rathish Balakrishnan
There’s no denying the overwhelming importance of nonprofits in our society today. Nonprofits organizations play a significant role in building healthy communities. Moreover, they provide critical services that help bring social and economic stability. For instance, about 1.54 million nonprofits in the U.S. educate, shelter, enlighten, feed, inspire and nurture people of every age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status from every nook and cranny.
A report shows that nonprofit organizations have a tangible and far-reaching impact on the American economy. In fact, the operations of charity organizations across the United States significantly affect the various economies of the levels of governments in several ways, including employing 12.3 million people, with payrolls exceeding those of most other U.S. industries such as construction, transportation, and finance.
Therefore, building sustainable nonprofits is critical not only for their social impacts on their varying target communities but for their overall economic contributions to society in general. Below are the essential tips for building a sustainable nonprofit organization that stands the taste of time.
Acquisition of Talents
To build a sustainable and resilient nonprofit, you must factor in investing in talent. Talented people bring innovation, creativity, and astuteness to the efficient operation of your organization. In addition, in a world of rapid change and technological evolution, it makes sense to have people that can keep tabs on trends. In recent times, it’s difficult for any organization to compete effectively without harnessing the capabilities of innovative technologies.
Professionals will help deploy the I.T. infrastructures that will facilitate the operation of your nonprofits. For instance, technology has changed how fundraising is done. It has become fashionable for nonprofits to conduct online fundraising events allowing anyone that’s sympathetic to their cause to support their mission irrespective of their locations. Top talents will help you manage the critical aspect of your nonprofits and fix any form of technical challenge you might face down the line.
Leverage Innovative Technology
Technology is increasingly becoming indispensable to every organization, and nonprofits are no exception. Nonprofit organizations can use technology in numerous varying ways. For example, with digital platforms, such as a functional website, you can easily create your nonprofit brand awareness and maintain robust visibility and publicity.
In addition, the CRM software, cybersecurity platforms, and new method of data acquisition and analysis technology can help nonprofits manage their fundraising strategies by utilizing them to streamline and expand their revenue generation scope. When properly deploying the requisite technology tools, you can open multiple channels for more donations, enhancing your capacity to realize money for your project.
Have a Strategic Plan
A strategic plan is very critical to building a thriving nonprofit. A strategic plan helps identifies the strategies that will best enable a nonprofit to reach its goals. Ideally, nonprofit strategic planning starts by identifying the nonprofit’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s essential that a nonprofit strategic plan is derived from the leadership and subsequently get communicated to the board members for it to become effective.
One of the best tools to communicate your nonprofit strategic planning is to develop a One-Page-Plan. A OnePage-Plan is a straightforward and concise tool that can keep your employees on track with your nonprofit mission and the strategy to actualize it. One good thing about a One-Page-Plan is that you can stick it on the wall to help your staff remember what they are doing and why they’re doing it.
However, you should endeavor to periodically evaluate your strategic planning based on measurable key indicators to determine whether you’re still on track.
Build Social Capital
Every nonprofit should constantly strive to build a solid social network that can help improve its performance. In addition, you should try to create a robust rapport with donors and volunteers to foster long-term engagement and investment.
Donors’ relationship management is critical for the sustainability of your nonprofit because philanthropists are more likely to continue giving and responding to a nonprofit’s cause if you have a good relationship with them. With this in mind, you should ensure that your nonprofit supporters experience a connection between their contribution and your nonprofit’s cause to maximize donor retention, engagement, and investment.
Thinking Through Data
Data is of utmost importance for building a sustainable nonprofit. With the right data, you can predict future trends and, gather donor statistics, analyze fundraising trends, among others.
You should make informed decisions using the data at your disposal. When data is properly harnessed and utilized, it opens a new perspective for a nonprofit and allows the organization to plan to improve its efficiency.
Have a Cash Backup Plan
Many nonprofits depend heavily on fundraising and government or foundation grants to finance their programs. However, these funding sources don’t guarantee steady cash flow as nonprofits sometimes have to wait for reimbursement or donations from people before executing their projects or financing their daily operations.
Not having cash backup for your nonprofit can negatively impact your organization. Sometimes you will want to make quick financial decisions while waiting for reimbursement and donations. And this is why you should have a nonprofit line of credit to ensure that your organization has a steady cash flow to finance its operations. A nonprofit line of credit is a great tool that helps 501c3/not-for-profit organizations meet working capital needs and finance payroll when cash flow is temporarily down.
Learn About Our Guest
Rathish Balakrishnan, over the last ten years, has been with global nonprofits in 19 countries doing assessments of the emerging trends in Philanthropy.
Learn About Stephen Halasnik
Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders and their teams. Stephen is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions, a leading provider of loans for nonprofits in the form of a Line of Credit. Stephen is a best-selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses.
Stephen lives in New Jersey, and his top life mission is to raise his two sons, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.