There are lies, darn lies, and then there are statistics, but one statistic that is true is that 100% of all nonprofit organizations have to fundraise. 100% are constantly looking for the latest and greatest means to retain their current donors, find new ones, and keep people interested and motivated for their cause. Okay, maybe it’s only say 99.5%.
As fundraising is so key for organizations it is no surprise that there are so many vendors out there who want to help organizations do just that.
How do you choose which one is right for your organization?
Surely one size doesn’t fit all, right? Or does it?
The concept of Return on Mission™ is to make sure the cost of a solution correctly matches the impact for the organizations mission. There are fundraising solutions that are priced for and have functionality concerns geared for one type of nonprofit while whole other companies are really meant for more demanding environments. The key to what product is right for your organization is more about the functionality necessary to reach your unique constituents.
One size does not fit all and stereotypical assumptions should be left at the door.
Sifting through all of the options based on more than just cost is very important. Return on Mission has, in conjunction with RallyBound, tried to take a first step in recognizing the balance between cost, feature-sets, and fundraising success. With this calculator you can go simple or fairly unique in assessing your needs.
With this Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Calculator you can:
- Set the amount you plan to raise
- Set what your typical donation amount expected will be
- Customize several feature-sets which may or may not be important to your organization
- See quickly and easily a number of different vendors to choose from
If you’re a Peer-to Peer fundraising vendor and we don’t have you listed, please contact me immediately so we can add you. I’m sorry we missed you on our first run.
If you’re an organization or maybe a fundraising consultant who has suggestions on how to revise and refine this calculator then please let me know as we want to make this a living tool for people.
Lastly, I hope this is helpful and stay tuned as you’re going to see more tools like this to help organizations find and make positive mission impact decisions.
I was perusing my usual nonprofit news links and found a good article from the Nonprofit Times. The article was 7 Dos and Don’ts for Nonprofit Technology from Holly Ross, the former NTEN Exec Dir who is now the head of the open source Drupal Association.
Holly is a long-time advocate of utilizing technology for the betterment of an organizations mission and I think her list is spot on. I thought I’d elaborate on her list a bit.
Her points are below in italics (My adds are the sub-bullets and noted): Read more…
“Is this really a good idea?”
That’s exactly what I thought the day I was driving by his house, they live quite close to us, and saw him there, 12 feet up a ladder, 71 years old, with a circular saw positioned vertically against the outer wall of his house working on cutting a new hole for an attic vent. Thankfully, rather than stop to take a picture, and it would have been a great picture, I had to stop the car to make sure everything was alright. Read more…
From Seth Godin’s Blog:
“Non-profits have a charter to be innovators
The biggest, best-funded non profits have an obligation to be leaders in innovation, but sometimes they hesitate.
One reason: “We’re doing important work. Our funders count on us to be reasonable and cautious and proven, because the work we’re doing is too important to risk failure.”
One alternative: “We’re doing important work. Our funders count on us to be daring and bold and brave, because the work we’re doing is too important to play it safe.”
The thing about most cause/welfare non-profits is that they haven’t figured out how to solve the problem they’re working on (yet). Yes, they often offer effective aid, or a palliative. But no, too many don’t have a method for getting at the root cause of the problem and creating permanent change. That’s because it’s hard (incredibly hard) to solve these problems.
The magic of their status is that no one is expecting a check back, or a quarterly dividend. They’re expecting a new, insightful method that will solve the problem once and for all.
Go fail. And then fail again. Non-profit failure is too rare, which means that non-profit innovation is too rare as well. Innovators understand that their job is to fail, repeatedly, until they don’t.”
I read a very good article today in the Nonprofit Times about what Livestrong is going to do post-Lance now that he is essentially out, though still a board member.
As a longtime Austinite I’ve seen Lance in the news since his pre-cancer days as a cocky young athlete, our city worried about him throughout his cancer treatments and then celebrated his triumphant return and accomplishments.
Our city has also had numerous reactions to his downfall in the last few weeks.
Many are disillusioned. Many still support the man no matter what citing his numerous clean drug tests and current denials. He is, and I think always will be, a favorite son of this city I love. I have a soft spot for him to as his battle for cancer was an inspiration to one of my best friends in his successful fight against his blood cancer. His inspiration caused so many people I know, my brother included, to pick up a bike and get out to ride like they never thought they could.
So how do you separate the good from the bad, the whole story from the kernels that make sense? I think we see Lance as we should see all pubic figures; in their totality as humans, meaning flawed and perfect all at the same time. I, personally miss the inspiring figure of Lance, but always knew, I guess, he was also human Lance.
I hope, for the sake of cancer survivors and future cancer patients, that the work of Livestrong will continue. What form and influence that will take may yet still reside on Lance’s shoulders. Can he rally other big names who have supported Livestrong in the past to now be the public face for awareness or will Livestrong be just another worthy cancer organization looking for your donation every year? There are so many quality cancer organizations to support. Livestrong, without Lance, needs to prove that it’s inspiring enough still to be different in order to be heard.
Here is the full article at the Nonprofit Times. If you don’t already, sign up for their e-newsletter. It’s good stuff.
Other great cancer-fighting organizations:
And many more (not even a complete list)….
A guest post from our friends at Software Advice:
By Ashley Halligan, an analyst at Software Advice
Cause marketing relationships between nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and for-profit businesses (FPBs) have produced mutually beneficial synergies time and time again. The benefits of establishing lasting relationships between NPOs and FPBs can be significant–to both parties.
- The nonprofit can advance its mission through association and sponsorship by a recognized business, without investing its own limited resources.
- The business can raise brand awareness, demonstrate social responsibility, and boost customer interest in its products or services. In fact, a 2010 Cone Inc. study cites that 80 percent of Americans are willing to switch brands–of equal quality and nature–if a brand supports a good cause.
But how does a nonprofit begin the search for a lasting relationship with a business? I spoke with several industry experts–from both NPOs and FPBs–to determine what steps a nonprofit organization should take to begin and ultimately achieve an enduring cause marketing relationship.
1) Assess Your Goals – Bruce Burtch, author of “Glowing Your Business,” asks, “Is the organization building a new facility, trying to add a new service, hosting an exhibition or an event, or simply trying to raise money for their organization?”
2) Develop a Shortlist of Potential Business Partners – Burtch says, “Search for organizations aligned with the mission and philosophy of the nonprofit.” As an example, he suggests, “If you are trying to build a homeless shelter, look for construction companies, architects, etc.”
3) Begin Some Conversations – Catherine Chapman, CFRE at Fullanthropy, says, “Clearly spell out how they will benefit from working with you. Be creative. Placing a banner ad on your event’s program or on your website is a meaningless ‘benefit.’ If you present it as a benefit, you’ll lose credibility with the prospective company.”
4) Initiatie and Nurture the Relationship – Communicate openly and constantly. Demonstrate that there is an ROI. Chapman says, “Track as many benefits to the company you can–so you can prove a strong ROI.”
How has your company or organization developed successful cause marketing campaigns? Share your experiences and suggestions below. Meanwhile, read the full story here.
It’s been fun to see all of the Facebook posts this week from my various friends taking their kids back to school. Here in Austin, TX our schools started on Monday as well and fall seems to be starting, though the weather here is still in the upper 90′s every afternoon!
As an Episcopalian priests kid the beginning of the fall was when all of the church activities started to get kicked off again as well. Every year around our house the summer was a bit of a lull around my Dad’s office. It was quiet and slow as people went on vacation. My Dad would joke when I was growing up that people would take the summer off from church as well as from work and school!
I’m sure it feels like that with regards to contacting your donors during the summer as well.
For your vendors it feels very similar. As a sales guy for a vendor you go through the summer doing what you can around different vacation schedules and so forth with the knowledge that come mid to late August our contacts at the various nonprofit organizations are going to be back and ready to go with their fall projects.
What’s the best way to make sure your fall projects kick off well with your vendor contacts?
- Clearly re-articulate your goals
- Know your budget through the end of the year
- Set a schedule for communication that keeps in mind the busyness that comes with the upcoming end of year giving push
- Cast a wider net for what new and innovative vendors
- Manage the process according to Return on Mission (ROM)
Managing the purchase of a new tech project doesn’t have to be a painful process. It can be done in such a way that supports the impact of your mission rather than just a seemingly painful necessity that must be done because the old system is creaking under the weight of age.
The fall is the start of so many new beginnings right now and with ROM, return on mission, guiding your tech purchases you can make a new beginning out of these projects so that your acquisition can have a recognizable impact to your mission. Good luck!