Two Reasons Why, Five Ways How
You can obtain the money and resources your nonprofit needs to provide your mission. Here’s are the two reasons why:
1. Abundant Resources Exist. Way more money and resources exist to help your nonprofit than you recognize. And, you have more potential opportunities than you anticipate. Find and take advantage of them by stepping into the unknown and asking smart people for help. Listen to them. Create a pool of wisdom about your opportunities. A 25-year-old nonprofit struggles. By listening to its friends, new and old, and disregarding naysayers, it discovers it is loved and respected. It also begins to see new possibilities. As the nonprofit listens it begins to take actions. While not traceable to any one action, it starts to receive new donations. You, too, can obtain the money your nonprofits needs. Ask. Listen. Gather advice. Meld the advice into a strategy. Take action.
2. Limited and Knowable Paths Exist. Part of obtaining adequate funding results from knowing the two paths and the seven sources to nonprofit income. Dr. Kent Lydecker with the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida summarizes the two paths: “You either earn money or get it donated.” I’ve written and presented extensively about the seven sources. (Visit my website for more.) Determining the paths and sources that will work for you is the result of focused strategy thinking. Once you and your organization’s leadership understand the possibilities they can develop a sound income strategy to provide you with excellent resources.
Here are the five ways to obtain adequate income:
A. Be Ready to Invest. Just like you need to sleep and eat every day, your nonprofit regularly needs to obtain resources to do your mission. Grace Armstrong, CEO of the Tampa Bay Nonprofit Leadership Center shares, “It’s a constant struggle.” Take heart, its not money for money sake, its money for mission sake. To obtain the money you need, invest. Just like you invest in eating by buying food and sleep by purchasing a bed, invest time and money to generate the income you need.
B. Focus. Once you determine your income strategy and invest in it, identify and then focus on its “sacred essentials.” Sacred essentials are the “must do” actions within your strategy that yield major results. Maximize these daily, even if you must leave urgent matters undone. While each organization has different sacred essentials, similarities exist. For instance, a program that serves poor women’s “sacred essential” is to meet and engage with people with means, especially women who experienced poverty, to learn their goals and explore how their organization might partner with them.
C. Make Splendid Matches. Art O’Hara, CEO of the R’Club a nonprofit that provides wonderful childcare and after-care services, shares that one important component in his income development strategy: making great matches. By considering the needs of players and staff during professional games and taking action, the R’Club became the preferred childcare provider for the Tampa Bay Rays. Ask yourself, your board, staff and friends who might be a great match for your nonprofit’s mission. Obtain the money your nonprofit needs by finding matches and working with them to pursue mutual opportunities or solve mutual challenges.
D. Embrace Rejection. Quick Quiz: Why are planned giving and grants so popular with nonprofit organizations?
Answer: The possibility of large gifts and, if unsuccessful, impersonal rejection.
No one likes rejection. By asking in less personal ways like with a grant or planned gift suggestion, we minimize it. Many of us act out this fear even without knowing we feel it. We become “too busy.” We procrastinate. We discuss old ideas instead of new possibilities. To obtain the money your nonprofit needs, open up rejection like an oyster. When you find no pearl inside, “friend” the rejection and move on to pursue new opportunities.
E. Refresh, As Needed. Dee Hock writes, “The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.” At some point, it will be time to “refresh” your strategy. Perhaps the time is now. Do you feel dread when its time to work on your gala again? Do you suspect others are bored, too? While the nonprofit income pathways and sources never change, strategies do wear out. To earn income, refresh strategies as needed. Dee Hock continues, “Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out of the corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”
You can obtain the money and resources your nonprofit needs to provide its mission. The first step is belief. The two reasons prove that your belief is justified. The five ways show you how to find it.
More Money Next Year, Part I, II and III