Sunday, August 02, 2009

Suggested Money Saving and Money Raising Methods...

Some more suggestions for for your nonprofit to both save money and raise some new money...

__ In whatever method you use to regularly reach out to your donor base, volunteers, and clientele or the beneficiaries of your organization's work (e.g. a newsletter, organization's website, regular e-mail blast, etc.) include a list of all new (or gently or unused) items that your agency needs (e.g. office equipment such as maybe a fax machine, laptop, walkers or wheelchairs, etc.); and also ask for other office supplies such as stamps, coupons for items that your organization regularly purchases for itself or the beneficiaries of its work (e.g. tea, coffee, toilet paper, or coupons for specific dog food brands if you operate an animal welfare organizations), etc. Receiving new or unused items, as a nonprofit, is also a form of donation called an in kind donation. Just as when a donor gives money, a nonprofit should thank the in kind donor and provide them, in the thank you letter, with the fair market (which is their legal tax deductible) value of the item given.

__ Call on other nonprofits in your neighborhood or region and gather a few organizations together as a sort of co-op. If, for instance one of your organizations is needing a new copy machine, perhaps another one of yours' does, too and all of you could approach Office Max, Staples, or Xerox (as a cohesive group or co-op) and ask them if they could provide all agencies with a good discount deal on new machines (meaning, the others who do not yet need a new copy machine will have the good offer either standing when they need a new machine or may be able to negotiate a better one if you can provide them with a competitive offer from one of their retail competitors). This co-op could also buy other supplies that any nonprofit needs, in bulk together, such as paper, printing services, fuel, etc.

__ If you aren't already, begin writing an annual appeal letter to send to your donor base and those in the geographic region that your agency serves who are not yet donors but demonstrate an interest in the cause your agency serves (an annual appeal letter campaign is a fundraising method that should be repeated once, the same time, annually). Most organizations are ramping up on their annual appeal letters about now as it is best to get those letters in the mail and to the donor by Thanksgiving. Why by Thanksgiving? Many people look, at the end of the calendar year, for donations to give to create a larger tax deduction for themselves for that year (as taxes will be due in April of the coming new year). Since so many nonprofits send letters to the public at the end of the calendar year, getting your organization's letter in to donors before they receive others' (such as prior to the holidays) is smart.

__ Be sure that your organization is listed in employers' employee giving program lists in the geographic region that your nonprofit serves. For instance, if your nonprofit serves the greater downtown Portland, Oregon region - I would research if the major corporations, the larger retailers in the area, and any other major employers offer their employees an opportunity to donate, regularly, via their paychecks through an employee giving program. For each of these larger employers I would find out how to get my nonprofit listed in the booklet that employees use to choose the beneficiary nonprofit(s) of their donations and get it listed sooner than later! Usually, the company's Human Resources Department will have a form for nonprofits to fill out and return to be included.

__ If it qualifies, a nonprofit may be allowed to become what is called a United Way Umbrella Agency in those regions where the area United Way offers such a program. The Umbrella Agency is usually a direct service or Information and Referrals nonprofit that provides real solutions to the community and can prove that it does (through service stats, etc.). The United Way provides direct funds to their Umbrella Agencies and includes them in the pool of resources it offers to the local community. It is a win-win situation for those nonprofits that qualify. To determine whether your agency qualifies, contact your local United Way and ask about its Umbrella Agency program.

__ Register your nonprofit to be included in the list of nonprofits that a seller may choose (if they wish to) submit some portion of their sales made with eBay (www.missionfish.org is eBay's charity arm) amazon.com and other online retailer hubs. For amazon.com's program, log into their site and then go to "Tools for Nonprofits" under "Corporate Responsibility". The link ishttp://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_84598971_3?ie=UTF8&node=13786401&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-6&pf_rd_r=1M3EG0SFTACX6HRC34MZ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=484745631&pf_rd_i=13786321 and go to "Amazon Payments" for this program. Also note, amazon offers nonprofits the ability to create wishlists and the only key is that your agency then inform your donors and volunteers, etc. (on your website and in your newsletter, etc.) that your organization has a wish list on amazon.com, what it will be used for, and the link where they can go to purchase items for your group. To explain the donation programs, if, for instance, a seller on eBay chooses to provide 30% of their sales to your nonprofit, after the sale is complete (which your organization is not involved in) your nonprofit then receives the 30% of the designated sales as a donation check.

We hope that these suggestions are helpful and if combined with a good public relations or marketing campaign (getting the word out about your organization, its work, its successes, and its potential, including these new campaigns) the money raised (or saved) will increase, over time.

For more ideas read Your Nonprofit Needs Money During This Economic Pinch?

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