Jul 25, 2014
Nonprofits are continually looking for new ways to direct potential givers to their online donation forms, and this requires a combination of creativity, innovation and evaluation. However, each of these components demands a certain amount of individual attention and strategy to maximize their fundraising potential.
Creativity can be a tricky attribute to nail down, though it's especially necessary in your fundraising staff and media managers. When recruiting, you'll want to look for not only evidence of past creative tactics, but also the potential and ability to apply that creativity to your nonprofit. You may even want to offer options and advice to encourage thinking outside the box in all your employees. This might be as simple as advocating free time allocated to the creative arts - going to a live event, watching a movie or visiting a museum are three activities Geoff Livingston recommended on his blog. Additional suggestions included taking a nap, journaling, spending more time with your kids or partner and hiking, enjoying the sunrise or set. Take a walk, work from a new location, such as a cafe, and read, listen or watch something inspiring or funny, Jeff Brooks added at Future Fundraising Now.
Take risks with your creativity
As essential as creativity will be to your fundraising, it can be seriously hindered by an unwillingness to innovate. Once you've found your new takes and groundbreaking campaign, you have to conquer the fear to take a risk. Nonprofit innovation is about moving forward in spite of fear, Michael Smith, Director of the White House's Social Innovation Fund, advised in a keynote speech, FrogLoop reported. Much like still relatively new fields like online donating, your fundraising should not all be wildly creative and high-risk endeavors. However, nonprofits are encouraged to bet big, experiment and embrace failure - make bold moves to affect serious change. Innovation and creativity go hand in hand, your nonprofit should generate a long list of potential approaches and unique ways to enact them.
Know when you're wrong
The third and necessary follow-up to creativity and innovation is evaluation. Failure, while not to be feared, is only useful if your nonprofit has an evaluation system in place to learn from those mistakes. Developing effective awareness-raising strategies requires that charities look closely at what works and what fails, both as an instigator for creative and innovative change and as an analysis of subsequent risks.