Almost every day I speak with someone who tells me they can’t afford to invest in their not-for-profit organisation. But a lack of money is very rarely the real problem.
More often than not, it is a fear of making a bad investment that causes them to object. They don’t want to attract the wrath of their board or worse, lose the trust of donors, so they do nothing. But the problem with doing nothing is that nothing changes. You have to take some risks in order to change, to grow and reach your full potential.
That is not to say you should be cavalier with your financial resources, just that you should make the effort to decide what kind of investment has the greatest potential for reward. Today, I want to discuss three areas that you should consider investing in.
1. An Outside Perspective
Given that providing an outside perspective is the basis of what we do at OKP, it is only natural that this would be on our list. But this isn’t just an opportunity for self-promotion, we strongly believe that there are times when it pays to bring in the experts. Anyone who has ever attempted a DIY project without the prerequisite skills will know that attempting tasks you don’t have the skills or experience to complete, can often end up costing more and wasting valuable time. Using an external resource like OKP not only provides you with access to expertise you don’t have in house, it can also help upskill your team and identify income opportunities you had previously considered.
2. Your Team
At the heart of every successful fundraising program is a committed and cohesive team. Building a team like this takes time, great leadership and most importantly an investment in its members. Investing in skills development, recognition & reward and team-building will make your team more productive. It will also help combat the high staff turnover which plagues the third sector and slows organisational growth and achievement.
3. Your Current Donors
Before going down the path of new donor acquisition, first consider if you are getting the most out of the donors you already have. It may be a wiser to invest in a strategy that encourages your existing donors to give more and more often. It is also important that you have a strategy in place to convert new donors to loyal, ongoing supporters. Depending on the study you’re looking at, between 60 and 90% of all first-time donors fail to give again.
At OKP we believe that you reap what you sow. We want to help organisations to overcome their fear of investing and make educated decisions about where to invest their funds. We also want to see growth in the third sector, which is why we invest in resources such as this blog and the annual Giving Trends study.