Perhaps the most common need amongst all nonprofits and ministries is the need for funding….funding on an ongoing basis. Far too often organizations spend a lot of time and resources developing funds that support their immediate need. Bottom line…no money, no mission. However, there are opportunities available to nonprofits and ministries to create sustainable revenue.
Building a strong, vibrant organization is an important first step in creating a sustainable organization. This includes building a firm foundation comprised of a governing board of directors and a mission statement that engages. Without these two essentials, the organization will never be sustainable. But, going beyond these two pieces, a sustainable organization is often a dream or hope for many organizations.
A sustainable organization is defined as one that will last.
Begin by tying outcomes to finances. Typically, money is spent on things that are important to us, so if outcomes (the results of our organization) are important to us, then we need to spend money to measure them. In today’s world, as the number of organizations continue to increase, it is important to be able to communicate clearly about the accomplishments of the organization. How have lives been changed? When you are able to clearly communicate how the organization is making a difference, donors want to get on board to support your work.
Build a strong base of revenue generating strategies. Far too many organizations rely on just one or two streams of revenue. It is important to diversify! Doing so will protect the organization from a down-turn in one or more areas. Obtaining grants is not the key to all of the sustainability problems. Develop a blend of donors, grants, special events, etc.
Look at social enterprise opportunities. Social enterprise ventures provide funding for an organization in one or more of several ways. Quite often they are set up as businesses whose profits support the work of the ministry or nonprofit. One common example is a thrift store whose proceeds go to the organization.
Develop affiliate relationships. Through the development of affiliate relationships an organization can develop sustainable revenue that comes to it every month or quarter. Often, it is revenue that can be counted on! Affiliate relationships are one of the most underused sources of revenue available to nonprofits and ministries.
It is our goal to help you become sustainable and then move beyond to thriving.
You are cordially invited to attend our upcoming Nonprofit Compass Training, “Preparing for Fall Giving Campaigns.” Join us on Tuesday, July 21st at 1 pm ET. Register here.