Oct 21, 2015
Running a nonprofit is hard work. Some days it might seem you have a thankless job, especially if you're the president of one. Passion for the cause fuels you, your employees and volunteers. But sometimes tension can run high when staff members compete and run concurrent fundraisers. Communication can get muddled and team members can lose sight of the nonprofit's overall goal.
It's helpful to use online fundraising tools and donation forms to make it easier for donors to give to your organization. However, your patrons could be scratching their heads if they receive two different fundraising requests from your not-for-profit.
It's vital for nonprofit managers to plan fundraising events in advance to keep them from overlapping or conflicting and keep your message clear. A healthy not-for-profit also needs a leader ready to solve any internal strife whenever it rears its head.
Putting a plan in place
The best way to keep nonprofit conflicts to a minimum is to draw up a communication calendar, according to Jennifer Vanderveld of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and Lisa Maska of Lautman Maska Neill and Company.
The two recently presented nonprofit strategies and best practices at the 2015 Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference, The Nonprofit Times reported. According to Vanderveld and Maska, an effective organization should formulate its communication approach to its donor base a year in advance. Major events and ask campaigns should not overlap, but nonprofits should reach out to donors multiple times a year.
Besides sending out regular thank yous to all donors, a nonprofit needs to formulate different strategies for approaching each level of contributors. For instance, direct mail campaigns could continue to attract mid-level donors or those that give at the $500 to $4,999 range. However, patrons that tend to donate more need more stewardship through face-to-face communication, Vanderveld and Maska advised.
Placing donors on tiers will not only organize them, but also keep your employees from fighting over them and sending out too many solicitations that could turn a patron off.
Having all sections in your nonprofit sharing information and communicating freely from marketing and major gifts to the mailing department can ensure that donors aren't being ignored or lapsing, Vanderveld and Maska noted. All parts of your organization should review the planned communication calendar together to keep the nonprofit's message on track and its donor base robust.