Nonprofit organizations provide volunteering, charitable donations, and helpful services that boost the welfare of low-income, minority, homeless, and other troubled peoples. There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States of America, ranging from charities to those like the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of America that provide helpful services to communities.
Nonprofits rely heavily on donations, volunteering, government assistance, and discounted goods and services for their organizations’ functions. They aren’t able to grow as quickly or as large as businesses and corporations, generally forced to take other, less-traditional avenues of growth.
Here are eight surprising ways to grow your nonprofit organization that might have slipped your mind.
1- Create an interactive mobile app for donors.
Thanks to the advancement and proliferation of technology, more than three-quarters — that’s 75 percent — of United States citizens own smartphones. Using mobile apps helps build bonds between customers, clients, and donors to the organizations that utilize them. Contracting a mobile app development firm shouldn’t cost more than a few thousand dollars for an engaging application that helps better relationships between your organization and its patrons.
2- Utilize local search engine optimization.
Tons of businesses engage in search engine optimization (SEO), although not every nonprofit organization does. Rather than optimizing your site and social pages for the entire Internet, push your content towards local Internet browsers. This will direct locals to your nonprofit, a group of potential supporters that take pride in organizations from the same area they’re born and raised in. Locals are almost always highly motivated volunteers or donors, rather than people in your state or around the nation.
3- Beef up your organization’s website.
Many nonprofits strive for top-notch websites. Similarly, virtually all of them accept donations. However, few provide fun ways to donate through their websites. Offer interactive games that lead to donation opportunities or funny videos about your cause, city, or donating.
4- Make use of infographics.
It’s been shown that younger generations’ attention spans are shorter than older populations, suspected to root from our society’s reliance on smartphones, social media, and the Internet. Many social media videos are only a few seconds long, similar to those sent and hosted by news agencies on Snapchat. As such, the popularity of well-crafted infographics is steadily rising. Make use of infographics in spreading information about your nonprofit, or in persuading people to volunteer or donate.
5- Host think tank contests.
Whether it be in-person or through digital means, you can involve donors, volunteers, and interested persons through think tank contests. Have participants offer ideas for how your nonprofit can solicit donations or host events. After selecting the best idea, give credit to its author by giving prizes, providing them services, or recognition.
6- Mention volunteers and donors on social media.
If people give time, mention them on social media. If people donate, make their handles known on social media. Any time people interact with your nonprofit, spread their name through social media. While it’s not advisable to share the dollar amounts that people gave to your organization, simply mentioning their name will encourage others to give to your nonprofit, effectively spurring growth.
7- Host events that utilize mobile game and activity participation.
It seems like everyone has a smartphone, and many people can’t unbury their faces from the somehow-addictive glow of their devices. Make use of technology in hosting events that utilize mobile participation. Ask them to give donations through mobile apps or play games while at in-person events at brick-and-mortar locations.
8- Don’t just give — help disadvantaged people with loans or financing.
Most nonprofit organizations solicit donations, host 5K or similar events, help people in need, and related “normal” activities nonprofits engage in. While these activities are great for the individuals and communities being served, they’re not very innovative. Most nonprofits won’t get more innovative than hosting 5K runs with individualized shirts, for example. One way to help your nonprofit grow is through offering a limited number and dollar amount of personal loans or financing for reasonable vehicle options. Doing so projects your organization’s love for the community and its inhabitants, as most impoverished people can’t find reasonably-priced financing, forced to visit “buy here, pay here” car lots or payday loan centers with exorbitantly high interest rates.