Nonprofit work is tough, no question about it. Not only are you dealing with trying to improve people's lives and make the world a better place, but most nonprofits are constantly strapped for cash. The financial struggles in nonprofit work only got worse as the economy crumbled and people become more protective of their disposable income. But even amidst the downturn, some grassroots nonprofits' fundraising efforts are still shining. Last week, the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund put out a new study on fundraising "bright spots." Written by Kim Klein of Klein and Roth and Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint, the study shows that the key to successful fundraising is all about mindset. Even when nonprofits across the country were struggling, those that kept fundraising at the core of their identity, connected it to their mission, and involved everyone, had success.
I am honored to know one of the staff people highlighted in this report. Beth Rayfield, a good friend of mine, is the Director of Development at CHIRLA, an immigrant rights organization in LA. Beth has taught me many things about fundraising, and it wasn't a surprise to see her work highlighted in the report. You see, Beth is a movement person through and through, but she also gets that asking people to donate to CHIRLA's work is asking them to invest in a different vision for the world. She isn't afraid of it...she enjoys it, because she knows that with more resources, more immigrants will have opportunities. And she has infused the whole organization with that mindset. Every single staff member in CHIRLA participates in the membership drive, which now brings in over $300,000 annually for the work. Check out the report!
Another recently released study by M & R Consulting and The Nonprofit Technology Network shows that for some nonprofits, especially larger ones, email fundraising has increased even though the open and click-through rates continue to go down. "We did not find many large-scale differences between the Top 25 and their less-successful peers in how their emails performed (and believe us, we looked)," the study says. "The truth is, top nonprofits are not the X-Men; they don’t have superpowers. They aren’t defying gravity to achieve dramatically higher email response rates; they are diligently sending more fundraising appeals. They aren’t reaching new audiences telepathically; they are investing more in paid advertising. There are no shortcuts here."
Don't think you have the money for paid advertising? Well Google Ads offers up to $10,000 in FREE online advertising for nonprofits! Take advantage of this great opportunity and get the word out about your work. To watch a free webinar recording on how to take advantage of Google Ads, check out Wild Apricot's online summit recordings.