For small nonprofit organizations, efficiencies are an ongoing necessity. In these especially challenging financial times, taking a look at every new possibility to stretch limited resources is even more critical.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently held an online ‘live discussion’ on this issue with several consultants who work with small nonprofits. They shared these strategies:
- Always remember, it’s about the people served, not the organization, its staff, or board members. The mission has to be at the center of your strategies.
- Nothing is ‘off the table.’
- Think outside the grants/foundation box!
- Leadership (ED and board) and staff need to work together to seek and initiate practical, new approaches in all areas of the organization. Leadership at all levels is key…embrace it from everyone.
- Find creative new streams of revenue: low/no cost events; collaborate with other NPs on an event to bring in funds and extend your friends circles; barter services; combine ‘back room’ functions; seek corporate sponsors.
- Keep morale up through lean times and job cuts. Remind everyone that ‘this too will pass’; give people a little more autonomy to do creative projects; help them stay connected with your mission and passion about the work and people served.
- Keep perspective: Recognize there will always be more needs than you can fulfill.
- Continue or join membership in state and regional associations.
- Reach new and younger audiences with social media IF you have great news that people will want to ‘talk’ about you to their ‘friends.’
What strategies are working for you, personally, and for your organization? Please share them so we can all benefit from a wealth of creative ideas.
You can read the entire conversation at http://philanthropy.com/live/2009/05/small_charities/