In the last week we have seen three major sporting events and three teams claim victory in a fierce competition.
All of the press coverage surrounding the AFL Grand Final, America’s Cup and NRL Grand Final and accolades for Hawthorn Football Club, Oracle Team USA and Sydney Roosters, has got me thinking about how differently we view sporting and charitable competition. Competition in sport is viewed as something exciting and inspirational, yet ever increasing competition we are faced with in the NFP sector is often referred to as a “challenge” or “barrier to success”.
With over 700,000 causes vying for $11billion+ in donated funds, charitable competition is greater than ever before, however is this necessarily a bad thing? Here are three reasons why increased competition is good for the NFP sector:
- It makes our industry more professional
When I first started working in the philanthropic space, people were often surprised to hear it was something I was paid to do. However with increased competition, has come the professionalism of the industry. In order to continue to attract support for their cause, charities had to become more business-minded and put structures and processes in place that would give supporters confidence that their donations will be ethically and professionally managed.
- It breeds creativity and innovation
Fundraising has become more art and less paint by numbers as fundraisers look outside of the box for ways to attract donations and engage supporters. Charities are embracing new technologies and looking to engage with people in new and more meaningful ways.
- It helps build a culture of giving
A high level of competition makes charities more visible for the benefit of the whole sector. We saw this effect in action following the Boxing Day Tsunami. Despite greater competition for the philanthropic dollar, raising the public profile of charitable giving resulted in increased support across the NFP sector. Despite uncertain economic conditions, people are still continuing to give and confidence in the future of philanthropy is high. According to our latest Giving Trends report nearly 70% of NFP leaders believe that personal giving rates were steady or rising and more than half reported an increase in fundraising income from 2010/11 to 2011/12.
Elite sporting teams know that winning is never about luck, only partly about skill and always about strategy. To gain the advantage in an increasingly competitive environment, NFP organisations need to focus on strategy and forward planning. An effective strategic plan will provide vision, direction and engage your key stakeholders.
O’Keefe & Partners are experts in strategic planning with many of our clients now leaders in their fields thanks to the strategies we have helped them to develop. We can help you create a plan that is backed by our thorough knowledge of the NFP sector and data from our Giving Trends research.
If you would like to find out how a small investment in strategic planning could reap big rewards for your organisation and increase your ROI, call Julie Johnson on 1300 721 799.