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How to grow your Non-profit

Written by Jolanda Konarska

To Grow your Non-profit, you will need buckets of patience and loads of resilience, but that does not mean it isn’t doable!

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Taking the plunge and starting up a Non-profit is often a stressful time. It is likely to be a massive self-learning experience requiring your involvement in lots of new areas in order to grow this new operation into a thriving operation. Making an initial impact from point zero can be hard especially in an already crowded market, and this coupled with limited funding. Hey! It’s going to be a challenging time!

To Grow your Non-profit, you will need buckets of patience and loads of resilience, but that does not mean it isn’t doable! So to get you thinking, we have put together some key tips which help you grow your Non-profit, and hopefully without breaking the bank!

Consider technology

To grow your Non-profit, you must have the right technology to allow your organisation to scale up your work smoothly as you grow. Having the right technology will allow you to serve more people and create a bigger impact. There are many software tools available so its key to find the one that will be cost-effective and that can be personalised to your strategy.
As your organisation grows and matures you will need this technology to aid you with key business areas: communication, stakeholder relationships, and project management (to name a few examples).

Many Non-profits are still using Excel spreadsheets to manage their data but often find they are spending an excessive amount of time trawling through endless spreadsheets and realigning data. There is an alternative way!
If you do not have the right technology in place at the launch of your Non-profit, you may find as your Non-profit is starting to grow, the lack of appropriate technology may not give you up to date data in which to base your business decisions on, and worse, stunt your expansion.
Up to date technology costs money, however, investment at this stage will reap cost savings in reduced operational drag, giving you and your team more energy and time to spend where it matters most, which is making an impact.

Grow your team

Scaling up your Non-profit will need man-power! Now, you’re probably thinking ‘that seems expensive’ but it doesn’t have to be. If 2020 taught us one thing, is that people want to help. After going into our first lockdown in March 2020, over one million people volunteered their time to the NHS. Therefore, It is clear that there are many people out there willing to donate their time and skills to a worthwhile cause. So why not ask for volunteers? Many websites link volunteers with charities, some include ‘Reach Volunteering‘ and ‘Do It‘. These websites are very useful and will help you find a network of people who are willing to donate their time and skills to your cause. Volunteers can contribute in many ways dependent on their past work or experience: e.g.marketing, finance, admin etc. If you feel you need volunteers for a longer period of time, then why not get in contact with your local education provider? There are many courses (including BTEC’s) that have allocated time for their students to take up extra work alongside their course. The students receive both learnings in the workplace and develop key skills. You will receive some support and perhaps a future employee!

Build trust and show your impact

Building trust is difficult and takes time to embed, especially if you are a small Non-profit or just starting up. The key to building trust with your community is transparency. Letting your donors know exactly how their donations are being spent will increase their trust and strengthen their bond to your cause or goal. This strengthening of the bond can result in ‘repeat donating’ as your donors can see exactly how their donations are making a real difference. You can further show your donors how they are helping you with activities by sending monthly newsletters, inviting them into an open event at your HQ, and constantly sharing successes. If you can give reliable statistics as to how many people you’ve reached and impacted, this is often very impactful.

Utilise social media

Social media is a great (and free!) tool that you can be used to your advantage. Remember those college students we talked about earlier? They will have grown up in the ‘digital age’ and will be familiar with how to utilise social media to your Non-profit’s advantage. There are often new social media channels coming online e.g. Tik Tok which has exploded in popularity this recent year. It’s very important you stay on track with the current trends so you can use the new social media where appropriate and post your messages onto that medium.
If you have any spare budget, you could invest in some slick, professional social media advertising. Facebook is a great place to start as you can create your own campaign for as little as £10! Facebook also owns Instagram so you can set your ads to appear on Instagram and Facebook stories and specific timeline posts as well – all within a set budget, wow! So simply put you are advertising on two different channels for one cost – great!
Another way in which to utilise Social Media as a Non-profit is through ‘engagement’. Many companies will post on social media expecting viewers to add ‘likes’ and ‘follows’, but many of these viewers will not actually spend that extra time to ‘like’, ‘follow’ and talk to other accounts. This is called ‘engagement’, and it is hugely underrated as it’s considered by some as a ‘waste of time’. Evidence proves otherwise!
Taking that extra time each day to ‘like’, ‘follow’, and start a conversation with other accounts will get you noticed, raising your profile and soon you will find your followers and ‘likes’ starting to grow quickly and organically. Trust me, doing this each and every day consistently will enable you to create greater engagement and exposure to your prospective clients.

We hope you found our tips for growing your Non-profit useful.

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