Tuesday, August 31, 2010

GuideStar Survey Shows Difficult First Half for Many Nonprofits

Jane Page-Steiner, JPS Nonprofit Strategies 

How are your nonprofit's revenues for the first half of the 2010? Some 40 percent of participants in a recent GuideStar economic survey reported that contributions to their organizations dropped between January 1 and May 31, 2010, compared to the same period a year earlier. Another 28 percent said that contributions had stayed about the same, and 30 percent stated contributions had increased.

How can a nonprofit organization address a shortfall of revenues mid-year in a budget cycle?

You may want consider the following strategies:

1. Reconnect with past donors by phone or in person to ask for their support - take the time to explain your critical need for support and how their support will make a difference.

2. Ask your board to increase their annual donation to your organization or challenge the board to create a matching fund appeal - where the board matches up to a targeted amount raised from an appeal to the community. Ask one or two board members to write a story for your newsletter or website sharing why they financially support your organization.

3. Make sure your organization is set up to accept donations on your website, FanPage or any other social media you may be using. MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR DONORS!

4. Revisit your strategy plan and how it relates to your budget - extend out goals to help minimize expenses.

5. Consider your policies and practices on utilizing your reserve funds or endowment - can these resources be used to sustain your organization as you build new revenue strategies?

Strong leadership and thoughtful planning can ensure that your organization will continue to thrive even during difficult economic times.

To read the full report from GuideStar "The Effect of the Economy on the Nonprofit Sector: A June 2010 Survey" go to ... Read more.

Jane Page-Steiner, President of JPS Nonprofit Strategies is the publisher of the Cincinnati Not-for-Profit News and a 20+ year leader and consultant with nonprofits. You can reach Jane at at jane@jpsnonprofit.com , call 513.574.9797, or www.jpsnonprofit.com .

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