She had passion. Lots of it. And so, like a lot of nonprofit founders, she started an organization to work on her cause. She’s spent the last three years, trying to build the programs; attempting to find board members who care about the cause and aren’t serving just because they are her friends. And she has tried to raise money.
Like too many nonprofits, her focus has been on foundations—and she is feeling really frustrated. Everything she reads and hears says that foundations are looking for nonprofits with track records. Or, lacking that, celebrity backing. Some days she just wants to sit down and cry.
And yet, new nonprofits do survive. Some even thrive. Those that do tend to have a few things in common:
- They have a clear plan for what they are and will be doing and a road map for how they will get there.
- They recruit active and influential board members—and they spend time with those board members, helping them to help the organization
- They seek funds from a broad base that includes individuals, corporations and yes, foundations.
- They appeal to individuals at many levels and in many different ways
- They connect everyone they deal with to the organization and clearly show how their gifts and grants make a difference (or would make a difference, if only they would support the organization).
- They are consistent. They don’t start and stop.
It’s not just startups who would benefit from these 6 steps. All nonprofits need clarity and consistency in order to best accomplish their goals.
Janet Levine works with nonprofits and educational organizations, helping them to increase their fundraising capacity. Learn how she can help you at http://janetlevineconsulting.com. While there, subscribe to the free monthly newsletter