How to attain more funding for your Non-Profit Organisation
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How to attain more funding for your Non-Profit Organisation

Getting funding as a non-profit can be a difficult task, but thankfully you can utilise your marketing efforts to attain more funding for your NGO or NPO. Here are Zanthe's insights.
by Zanthe Agrela
09. 09. 2021

When it comes to marketing, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profits (NPOs) really don’t have it easy. If you’re in this industry, you’ll likely understand the struggle with resources and consistent financial backing even at the best of times. But now with all the challenges COVID has presented, keep your organisation alive and thriving may make you feel as though your back is against the wall.

In this guide, I’ll be providing you with more info on how to catapult your marketing efforts to ensure measurable results, thriving sectors, generous donors and even other lesser known ways of attaining funds through reputable avenues.

Before we continue, here’s my 3 part guide on marketing success for NGOs you should read first for some basic principals and other important marketing information:

Part 1: My NGO marketing best practice principals

Part 2: Why digital marketing is paramount for your NGO and how to choose the right one 

Part 3: Identifying and utilising resources available for your NGO to your brands advantage

If you need more info to send to corporates on why they simply can’t afford to ignore their CSI obligations, here’s a link to that article too.

Some basic points you should have clear defined answers to before looking at alternative funding sources are:

  1. What’s the mission and goal of your NGO and what help you need? You need to communicate this clearly so there’s no confusion of who you’re helping, why and what they so desperately need and how the public can get involved with a clear call to action such as “donate now", “give your time” etc.
  2. Understand who your audience is and what makes them give. Are they B2B, B2C or individuals? If the answer is more than one or even all three, you’ll need a strategy for how to approach each. 
  3. What’s your donors purpose, and what motivates them to give? What’s the most important metric of success to them? Without knowing their important metric of success, it’ll be hard to keep them happy and even harder to justify why you need their funding and why they should indeed invest.
  4. Do you have a website that communicates who you are as an NGO? Why you exist, who you’re helping, what problem you’re trying to solve and why, why the problem currently exists and what’s needed to eradicate it, etc. Additionally, your website should provide stats on the problem, who you’re helping, the lack of resources, how your funds are used and how many lives were affected by this. As well as any heartwarming success stories too (this info could also work really well as an infographic, which can be sent out to corporates in a newsletter for example).
  5. Are you partnered with a marketing agency that cares about your cause as much as you do? When funds are limited, you need the best in the business to ensure that not a single cent is wasted in trial and error mistakes by amateurs. You need a marketing agency that understands your cause, is passionate about it and willing to go the extra mile. Their team should include specialists such as copywriters, designers and web developers so you can have access to all these resources and skillsets without hiring the help or trying to learn yourself. Lastly, their marketing manager should be able to give you a detailed account for how they’ll be spending your marketing spend, where they would attain any free grants, what results you can expect each month, each quarter and each year and tie this to clear, defined marketing KPIs that you can present back to your funders. They can also help you build your business case backed up by stats, should you need more funding. If you need a specialty, award-winning marketing agency with passion for uplifting and empowering communities, contact us now.

Once you have clear goals on the above, here are some inventive ways (over and above traditional fundraising) of attaining more funds for your NGO. Non-profits can fund their work through sponsorships, grants, individual giving, events, fee-for-service, and so much more. This is great news because having multiple streams of revenue protects your organisation in cases where one fundraising source falls through. To diversify your revenue sources, it helps to know which opportunities are available. Here are of some of the main sources of revenue for modern non-profits looking to explore new avenues:

Sponsorships

Sponsorships allow NGOs to partner with other reputable organisations to receive funds and in-kind donations. Companies, corporates and organisations may sponsor a non-profit as a general partnership or in conjunction with a campaign or event or a part of their own internal CSI initiatives. The sponsoring company will likely expect some sort of recognition or promotion of their brand too. Usually, this comes in the form of public thanks and displaying the sponsor’s logo or other branded paraphernalia at the event (as seen at events such as charity fun runs/walks).

As part of your marketing strategy, your appointed marketing agency will be a great resource for identifying potential sponsors and CSI partnerships that make sense for your organisation. For example, grocery stores and restaurants might be interested in sponsoring a non-profit fighting hunger. They can also suggest ways of marketing to them, reaching their key decision makers and possibly even helping you with a sponsorship deck or landing page you can share with them.

Grants

Grants, often can be restricted to a certain sector, location, or type of programming. But there certainly are grants of all sizes for every charitable cause sector. For this reason, non-profits must search for grants appropriate for their organisation and apply for consideration. One important grant you should look into is Google AdWords’ grant for free advertising through Google Search. This can be set up and applied for by your marketing agency with all the right keywords and ads in place to ensure you reach your main objectives.

Individual Donations

Individual donations make up a large portion of charitable contributions, specifically if there’s some form of personal affiliation to the cause. This can be done through online giving using online payment methods, monthly debit orders, peer-to-peer fundraising allowing supporters to create their own fundraising pages, and major donations.

Individual donations work really well on a dedicated landing page that your marketing agency can build for you. This can be marketed through avenues like Facebook and to audiences who are interested in your cause, increasing the chances of that all-important conversion and enabling credit card payments or PayPal etc.

Events

Along with traditional fundraising campaigns, events are also a long-standing fixture in non-profit development. Common types of fundraising events are charity fun runs or walks, auctions, and galas. These fundraising events often combine several of the above revenue sources. For example, an organisation’s end-of-year gala might sell tickets to their event, obtain sponsorships from local businesses, and solicit major gift donations from key supporters or auctioned items. But be aware of event expenses, which can quickly add up and eat away at your revenue. If your non-profit has staff or a separate department devoted to events, your development team should work closely with them to optimise your fundraising results.

If you’re handling all the fundraising for your small non-profit yourself, you’ll have to judge which revenue sources are best suited to your organisation and start with the ones that take advantage of skills or opportunities you already have. Rely on that first and you can slowly incorporate more ways to attain funding as your team grows.

Events can be marketed through newsletter mailers, initial discussions with C-Suite management through LinkedIn, and even through other digital and advertorial channels identified by your marketing agency.

I hope this article gave you some insight into new funding avenues and how to go about them. Do you need a marketing agency that cares about your organisation’s community as much as you do? Want to show your donors more value for their funding? Contact us today on hello@arcinteractive.co or visit www.arcinteractive.co for more NGO marketing tips. You can also follow Arc Interactive on FacebookTwitter or on Instagram.