You’ve probably experienced it first hand. Nonprofits are being asked to do more with less. You’re likely all too familiar with how difficult it can be to build a resilient nonprofit while growing impact over time. Capacity building hopes to remedy that.
Nonprofit capacity building refers to activities that are designed to improve and enhance a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission and sustain itself over time. Online fundraising and leveraging the proper system to facilitate it are a great way to approach capacity building.
The two sides of online fundraising
There are two main aspects of online fundraising that we’d like to discuss here — the outward facing and the internal. The outward facing are things like your social channels and your email lists, your means of communicating with potential and existing donors. The internal are the structures in place within your organization that facilitate your fundraising, impact, and operations.
When looking to optimize either, you have to be willing to ask yourself specific, and sometimes difficult, questions. “Outwardly” speaking you might want to look at the ideal frequency of social fundraisers or your nonprofits copywriting approach. Internally, you might look at the software you use to track campaigns and the tools you use to engage and communicate with your donors.
Outward facing capacity building
When looking at your donor facing messaging we recommend asking the familiar who, how, why, and why now questions. This will help you focus your messaging. Attention spans are short, so your messaging needs to be clear, concise, and actionable. Asking yourself these questions will help you hone in on a copy that has a clear goal in mind.
For a deeper dive into this, you can check out our recent post on capacity building with online fundraising.
You have to ask people to take action
Ask and you shall receive. Well, not always. But it’ll be never if you never ask.
People know you’re, at the very least partially, in the money raising business. It’s not awkward to ask. It’s better to be direct and demonstrate a clear impact for why you’re raising rather than tip-toeing around the ask.
Are the right systems in place for you to succeed?
Whether it’s newsletter management or fundraising and donation collecting tools, you want to make sure your tech and internal systems are up to date. You have to be able to handle, and be set up to take advantage of, the increased capacity that your optimized campaigns will bring.
Part of growing your organization is making sure your team develops the skills and competencies (and that they have the technologies) needed to make your organization more effective and sustainable.
The exact actions you need to take depend on your nonprofit and what your current goals are. If you’re focusing on capital fundraising your strategies will differ from if you’re focusing more on individual donors. Thankfully, the same who, how, why, and why now can be applied internally.
Now, before we let you go, here’s a list of some potential places to examine to help you get started.
- Strategic and organization planning
- Systems for management and accountability
- Marketing, communications, and collaborations
- Leadership and board development
- Creating more sources of monthly recurring revenue
- Program development
- Outcomes measurement and program analysis
- Tech and information systems development
- Volunteer development
Speaking of online fundraising...
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