Nonprofits caught in cycles of inefficiency, lack of online mastery

Research on nonprofit performance and operations indicates many organizations lack basic technology and best practices to deliver sustainable donations for long-term success. Once a charity gets snagged in a cycle of inefficiency, it may struggle to raise awareness and funding in the future, and could eventually crumble. The findings underscore the value of online donation pages and mobile-optimized giving platforms that offer consistent messaging and convenient options for donors in a wide pool.

Linda Wood, senior director of leadership and grantmaking with the Haas, Jr. Fund, explained how nonprofits are facing challenges to maintain consistent operations and fundraising success despite growing inefficiencies being found internally. These concerns are often tied back to deeper problems organizations must address to ensure roadblocks that prevent advancements in fundraising from taking off. 

No Clear Plans
Research from CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Hass, Jr. Fund revealed nearly 25 percent of nonprofits have no comprehensive fundraising plan in place, and another 20 percent have no fundraising database. With a lack of sustainable planning in place or action plans to drive revenue streams, ill-equipped nonprofits face a constant uphill battle as internal disconnections or inconsistencies drive down productivity and growth potential.

Providing a digital presence to share information with the public and encourage contributions is a key component to a sustainable fundraising strategy and cannot be overlooked. Digital tools and online donation pages are vital additions to any fundraising strategy, as the initiatives offer cost-effective alternatives to traditional efforts to engage with younger donors better through more convenient channels.

The research recommends incorporating digital tools into strategies from the start to diversify projects without increasing spending. Furthermore, it is recommended that nonprofits continue to evolve their strategies as new trends and best practices are presented by peers. A nonprofit that is on the cutting edge of fundraising opportunities and innovations will have spent ample time planning to coodinate multichannel success. 

Challenge Raises $3 Million
An example of a creative fundraising strategy that leverages online platforms was seen in Sarasota, Florida, during the second annual Giving Partner Challenge. The 36-hour online philanthropy marathon raised awareness and funding for 285 nonprofits in the region, totaling $2.78 million after increasing donors by 65 percent year-over-year. Because the challenge was hosted online, the donation page was accessed by donors in 50 states and 24 countries, emphasizing the reach digital and social media fundraising efforts have worldwide, the Herald-Tribune reported.

Aside from monetary contributions, the participating nonprofit organizations also benefited greatly from the experience in extending awareness of their causes beyond their immediate regions. Extensive networks of professionals, families and friends were all tapped during the event, as communications discussing the organizations spread like fire online, the source reported.

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