Nonprofits seek to create social change. That means being a force for good. These organizations depend on annual donation revenue to be successful. Luckily, Americans are some of the most generous citizens in the world.
Still, nonprofits face myriad challenges:
- Alternatives. Donor advised funds allow a tax deduction, but delay money getting to charities.
- Outside market forces. When the stock market performs well, charitable giving increases. When the market falls, individuals tighten their wallets.
- Competition. Other organizations compete for precious donor dollars.
- Big business. There is big money in the not-for-profit industry. Organizations must think and act like Fortune 500 businesses. (Unsurprisingly, great businessmen often succeed in philanthropy.)
What can nonprofits do to remain competitive? How can they succeed in the face of uncertainty?
Here are 7 habits found in highly effective nonprofits:
1. Clearly define mission and purpose.
The mission statement defines what the organization seeks to accomplish. A concise one-line statement creates the most impact. For instance, Public Broadcasting System’s (PBS) mission reads: “To create content that educates, informs and inspires.”
2. Fundraise through social media.
Organizations have limited advertising budgets and resources. Social media provides an inexpensive way to create followers and drive fundraising. Event advertising is a useful strategy to publicize upcoming fundraisers.
RELATED: Social media fundraising is a friend, not a foe, of nonprofits.
3. Perform key functions.
Effective organizations master core competencies and functions. Nonprofits must operate efficiently in pursuing their stated mission. Key functions include communicating vision, engaging stakeholders, and planning for the future,
4. Support the community.
Nonprofits must support the communities in which they serve. The closer the partnership with the community, the more achievable stated goals become.
RELATED: These 5 NH organizations need your help this holiday season.
5. Inspire a loyal following.
Nonprofits engage followers on an emotional and spiritual level. Those who believe will become ambassadors for the mission. Loyal followers will not only give money but will also volunteer time.
RELATED: Creating “Donors and Doers” through engaging social media campaigns.
6. Hire great people.
You can never go wrong hiring great, talented people. Corporate social responsibility requires hiring ethical people who believe in social and environmental responsibility. Organizations need qualified and responsible talent to complete their mission.
7. Adapt and evolve.
Nonprofits cannot afford to rest on their laurels. The competitive landscape changes by the day. CEOs and boards must always stay ahead of the competition.
Which habits do you observe in highly effective nonprofits?
Category: Advanced Tactics, Integrating with Traditional Marketing, Social Media Marketing 101