What are the goals of your nonprofit in 2021? It’s a new year and everyone is making their new resolutions; so why not nonprofits? 2020 certainly changed the momentum for many organizations, but with the new year, comes new challenges. The first step to a successful year ahead is planning the strategies and effective methods to combat the times ahead. Unfortunately, the coronavirus still lingers and is sure to continue to impact both society and the economy.
So what goals should your nonprofit adapt for the new year?
- Online Presence: Building your presence online is definitely a key – especially you haven’t adapted already. Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all essential to engage with the public, as well as having a modern mobile-friendly website. Step up with your posts, create visually impactful content, feature stimulating blog topics, send out e-newsletters, and reply to messages in a timely fashion. Get ahead of your email inbox and check your other folders for lost messages – you’d be surprised at how many potential donations end up in your spam folder.
- Virtual Reality: Reality is, virtual is here to stay. The new wave of Zoom meetings and Skype calls are now a part of everyday business life. Collaborating capabilities are one of the ways technology has recently shifted. Get creative when it comes to hosting virtual events, and make sure you allow enough time to advertise. Online game nights, workshops, webinars, and auctions have all performed well as virtual fundraisers. Expenses can be saved when it comes to event costs and there are no longer geographical restrictions. Take full advantage of these applications to further your organization’s presence and reach.
- Analyze Your Data: Data is one of the most valuable tools – so you want to ensure it is being used correctly. Take note of all of last year’s positive trends, and see where you can implement them in your 2021 strategy. When analyzed correctly, data collected can help organizations find new customers, improve services, and predict sales trends. Data can also help to refine operations, create new streams of revenue, and influence better decision-making. The industry is constantly changing and advancing; what may have been effective 5-years ago, may not have the same impact today.
- Giving Capabilities: How easy is it for donors to make a donation? Tip: The longer the process, the more donations you are likely to lose. Is there a form on your website? Is it easy to find? Does it ask too many questions? What payment methods are accepted? How many payments fail to process? Why do these payments not process? Do donors receive a confirmation message? Are there any improvements to make? Do not rely on your website alone to accept donations. Adding a “donation button” to the organization’s Facebook page is an easy way to expand your reach. Make time to explore other similar avenues and methods.
- Donor Retention: Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for less than 50% of those who donated to donate again. There are several steps you can take to encourage retention. Pick some options that are realistic and fit well with your nonprofit’s communications strategy. When reaching out, include some personalization to your outreach, and don’t make every interaction an appeal. It’s not only donors – but volunteer retention as well. Prompt ‘thank you’ cards or emails are always appreciated and well-deserved. Schedule a meeting to brainstorm new ways to reach those you rely on the most.
- Crowdfunding Platforms: There are endless crowdfunding platforms you can use to raise funds immediately. Utilize a platform that best serves the needs of your nonprofit. This may take some research and time, but in the end, it will help to gain you the best outcome to target new donors. Assess what features are available, for example; a crowdfunding coach can help to elevate your campaign and reach your targets.
- Grant Applications: There are thousands of grants available from numerous sources: federal government, state government, local governments, private foundations, and corporations. You are not limited to how many grants you can apply for, and new grants are released on a regular basis. If you are new to grants, consider hiring a grant writer to find and apply for grants on your organization’s behalf.
Set Timelines for These Goals!
By implementing these simple methods, your nonprofit organization can improve its success and thrive this year. Now is the time to make improvements, set guidelines, and focus on goal-setting, not only for yourself but also for your organization. The need to optimize and maintain exposure can greatly impact the future of your nonprofit and influence funding opportunities. Whichever strategies you decide upon, we wish you all the best for new year.