How Funders Can Better Equip Grassroots Nonprofits to Diversify Their Revenue - Exponent Philanthropy
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How Funders Can Better Equip Grassroots Nonprofits to Diversify Their Revenue

A full version of this post originally appeared on Resilia’s company blog.

Photo by Monstera Production

Most funders already understand the importance of supporting nonprofits with capacity-building resources “beyond the grant” to help them achieve their mission. But where do you begin as a funder with many areas to focus on? One clear area of focus is fundraising. While receiving a grant from a funder can breathe new life into an organization, nonprofits must continue to work to diversify their revenue to become sustainable for the long term.

To that end, Resilia has identified four resources nonprofit organizations regularly use to amplify their fundraising efforts. This blog post will explore these resources to help funders understand how they can better equip their grantees to diversify their revenue.

Fundraising Resource #1: Storytelling to Connect with Donors 

For thousands of years, people have used storytelling to connect with others, share experiences, and convey ideas. In the nonprofit world, storytelling is critical to success, particularly regarding fundraising.

To inspire people to donate, nonprofits must create emotional connections between their mission and potential donors. And there is no better way to do that than through storytelling. Here are just a few reasons why telling powerful stories is so crucial for nonprofits:

  • Stories make a cause relatable. Nonprofits often work on issues that are complex, abstract, or far removed from people’s daily lives. Telling a story that brings their cause to life and makes it tangible can help donors connect with their mission on a personal level. A story can show how an organization is making a difference in someone’s life, which can help donors feel that their contributions are having a real impact.

  • Stories inspire action.Hearing a powerful story can motivate them to donate, volunteer, or advocate for a cause. A story can create a sense of urgency and help donors understand why their support is so critical.

  • Stories build trust. When people donate to a nonprofit, they want to know that their money is being used effectively and efficiently. Telling stories that showcase successes and highlight impact can help build trust with donors, showing them that their contributions are being put to good use.

Fundraising Resource #2: Online Donations Portal to Accept Funds Wherever Donors Are

Online donations are a fundamental part of every nonprofit’s revenue strategy. When potential donors land on a nonprofit’s donations page, it should be easy for them to donate. Small, grassroots organizations already face innumerable challenges, and using complicated tools that hinder donors is the last thing they need.

An ideal online donations platform should have the following features to make the donation process as seamless and straightforward as possible:

  • User-friendly interface:The platform should be easy for organizations to set up and allow donors to donate.

  • Multiple payment options:The platform should support multiple payment options to accommodate different preferences. It should also allow donors to set up recurring billing to make regular donations throughout the year.

  • No hidden fees and donor-paid transaction option:Ideally, a grassroots nonprofit should be able to set up its donations platform for free without worrying about hidden fees. Even better, the donations page should allow donors to pay any transaction fee as part of their donation.

  • Hassle-free payouts: Small nonprofits generally need revenue quickly, so their donation platform must make weekly, automatic payments to their bank accounts.

  • Mobile compatibility: Donation platforms should be optimized for mobile use as more people use mobile devices to make transactions.

  • Customizable donation page:The platform should allow organizations to create a customizable donation page highlighting their mission – enabling them to convert visiting supporters into donors.

  • Social media integration: The platform should allow organizations to share their donation page link on social media platforms to reach a broader audience.

  • Donor recognition:The platform should provide a way to recognize donors for their contributions, such as personalized messages or certificates of appreciation.

Fundraising Resource #3: Grantmaker Database to Find More Grants

To ensure sustainability, it’s vital that nonprofits, after receiving one grant, do not rely on a singular grantmaker. To gain further help, tens of thousands of organizations offer grants to nonprofits in numerous cause areas and communities across the United States.

Funders strive to establish trusting, long-term relationships with their nonprofit partners. However, encouraging grantees to seek continued funding from other sources need not weaken a long-term relationship; instead, it shows that a funder cares about a nonprofit’s longevity. Finding grants on a one-by-one basis can be time-consuming for nonprofits, but there are several online resources where funders can direct their partners for help.

Fundraising Resource #4: Training, Campaign Templates, and Personalized Coaching 

Many funders know that encouraging their nonprofit partners to scale existing fundraising programs can help the organizations define their long-term goals while ensuring they make the most efficient use of existing resources. However, many smaller, grassroots organizations may need to gain the experience or knowledge required for long-term budgeting or campaign planning.

It’s critical that funders provide access to training, advisors, and other resources that will empower nonprofit leaders to plan effectively and efficiently run their organizations. Some funders may offer training courses, hold periodic seminars, or even hire consultants to work with their nonprofit partners for brief periods.

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About the Author

Resilia is a Series B tech-for-good company with a purpose: to power the people changing the world. The Resilia platforms helps nonprofits, foundations, corporations, governments, and other grantmakers with a suite of features designed to strengthen nonprofit capacity and amplify philanthropic impact

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