Nov 22, 2013
Revenue streams for nonprofits are far more limited than those of regular businesses. Fundraising is the name of the game for charities, but a dependency on donations has led many organizations to ignore other avenues that may very well be just as lucrative, such as the following:
Online affiliate programs
Not incredibly well known, but certainly growing in popularity, many of the regularly used online retailers offer partnership programs with charitable foundations. One such program, operated by online giant Amazon, offers nonprofits upward of 10 percent of advertising fees for any purchases made through links on an organization's website. Similar programs can be found all over the web, most boasting some sort of financial return for increasing traffic to charity websites.
Raising money for charity through grants can provide thousands of dollars in funding, but applying to them can be labor-intensive. Typically offered by certain government agencies and private foundations, these revenue streams will most likely require intimate details of a nonprofit's mission, activities and how active and successfully goals are set and accomplished. Additionally, grants often come with a certain amount of oversight included. The funding entity will commonly ask charities to reveal how they will use the money and provide regular updates to continually justify the expense. It's a process that can be described as a hassle, but certainly one many organizations wouldn't mind taking on.
If a nonprofit inspires an individual to give $100, that's a win. But if that same contributor happens to work for a company like General Electric, which matches employee's charitable gifts, the organization could see that amount double - free of charge. Plenty of companies act as partners in charity, offering employees the chance to increase their donations. Unfortunately, most people don't really understand how exactly their business's gift-matching program works.
According to GreatNonprofits, a resource for charities, each year, up to $10 billion in matched funds go unclaimed each year.
"People can get their donations doubled in many cases by their employer," said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits. "Matching donation programs are a big part of corporations' social responsibility initiatives, but awareness of them is often shockingly low. As a result, billions of dollars that can go to deserving nonprofits, towards vital social programs, are never distributed."
Essentially, free money is floating about in the corporate ether, waiting to be seized. Nonprofits can encourage all donors to inquire about corporate matching programs at their respective workplaces before making donations.