Nonprofits need funds to help them support their local communities, and fundraising isn’t simply asking for donations and hoping there are enough donors to pay the nonprofit’s bills and help them serve the people and animals they help. While fundraising is an important part of nonprofit development, nonprofits can raise funds in many ways, including fundraising, grants, individual giving, events, and business partnerships.
You heard us right; businesses can fund nonprofits in many ways, helping the nonprofit have multiple streams of revenue that can protect them when one source of funding falls through or doesn’t make as much money as the nonprofit needs. Businesses that partner with nonprofits can get tax deductions on any money they use to fund a nonprofit, and they can easily take deductions yearly using tax software. Nonprofits also benefit from partnerships with businesses because it provides them with another source of revenue that can help them fund their yearly goals. Nonprofits must diversify their revenue by working with businesses. Here’s how a business can find a nonprofit:
Successful businesses can partner with nonprofit organizations, allowing the organization to receive funds and donations. Companies can sponsor nonprofits as a partnership, or they can sponsor events or specific campaigns. The sponsor typically receives some sort of recognition for their sponsorship, so it can be a great way for businesses to build brand awareness.
Sponsorships can come about through networking, or board members within the organization may already be working with nonprofits they support. However, nonprofits might also reach out to businesses and approach those with a connection to the cause. For example, a pet brand might sponsor local animal shelters.
Grants should always be part of a nonprofit’s financial game plan. Grants come from the government and other foundations to help nonprofits reach their goals. Grants are typically restricted to specific sectors, locations, or types of programs. Because grants are so specific, nonprofits have to constantly search for the right ones for their organizations and apply. Grant applications are long and complex, so nonprofits must have a plan of action in place for choosing applications wisely, especially if they don’t have anyone on staff who can spend all of their time applying for grants.
Businesses don’t give out grants, but some businesses can help nonprofits apply for grants, especially if they share the same mission. For example, a company that already donates to homeless shelters might donate their full-time legal employees’ time to helping them fill out grant applications and ensuring all the legal complexities are taken care of.
One of the easiest ways for businesses to fund nonprofits is to make individual donations, and you don’t have to donate very much for your donation to have a huge impact on the nonprofit. In most cases, nonprofits can accept money online through the nonprofit’s website, send a check in the mail, or take out loans. You can also choose to give money monthly and set up recurring payments with the nonprofit. Monthly giving can help fund the nonprofit every month, giving them a reliable income that helps them plan for the future.
You can also empower your community to help fund a nonprofit with peer-to-peer fundraising. P2P fundraising is when supporters create fundraising pages and reach out to friends and family to give. You can motivate your employees to get involved by offering them incentives for donations.
Larger businesses can also become major donors, a special category of donors. These donors have the financial means to give more than most individuals, but many nonprofits define major donations differently. For small nonprofits, a major donation could only be a few hundred dollars, but larger nonprofits might consider five thousand dollars a major donation.
Businesses can help support nonprofits through events in the community. Typically, businesses sponsor events that help raise money for the nonprofit. Common events are charity walks and runs, auctions, and galas. However, you can organize your event any way you see fit. Events offer great brand awareness for businesses and nonprofits, allowing the community to learn more about both organizations.
Corporate partners can set up volunteer programs, sending their employees to volunteer with a nonprofit. The volunteers may help staff, organize events, or do any behind-the-scenes work. These programs are even better when staff skills can transfer over to the volunteer work they’re doing to help fill the skills gaps the nonprofit may have. For example, a marketing copywriter could help with the nonprofit’s social media marketing.
While this work doesn’t directly translate into funds for nonprofits, it can help them free up their staff to strategize more ways to make money as volunteers can take over essential day-to-day duties. Of course, if you’re going to offer a volunteer program through the workplace, it’s always best to have a strategy in place for when your employees can volunteer. It’s unwise to think all of your employees will spend their free time working with your nonprofit partner for free. This system could eventually lead to burnout, even if your employees are only spending a few hours a week at the nonprofit. Instead, you can send employees once or twice a week to the nonprofit for a few hours while they’re on the clock, which is a great way for you to donate resources to your favorite cause.
With a workplace giving program, employees donate to the nonprofit, but they typically need encouragement to give away the money they just received on their paychecks. Businesses can encourage workplace giving and higher contributions from employees by offering to match their donations. Workplace giving programs can help employees feel accomplishment if they can’t volunteer. However, workplace giving can also make employees feel like they must give their money to the nonprofit, so if you’re not paying your employees enough and they’re living paycheck to paycheck, this might not be the right opportunity for your business.
Instead of letting the nonprofit do all of its fundraisings, a company can choose to begin its own fundraising. There are many types of corporate fundraising strategies, but the most common is to run special promotions and ask customers to gather change and drop it off at a donation station set up near the business. You can also choose to give a percentage of your proceeds from sales directly to the nonprofit.
Don’t forget to capture your fundraising activities and create videos to promote it across all of your channels to get more customers to make a purchase that directly impacts the nonprofit.
Funding a Nonprofit
There are many ways businesses can help fund nonprofits and make it easier for those organizations to serve their communities. Fundraising typically involves many of these types of revenue sources and working with a nonprofit benefits businesses and the community. However, businesses must pay close attention to their balance sheets, as funding and resources can quickly add up.