We\’re excited to announce our Founder and CEO Pamela Hawley was just featured in Forbes publication! The article is entitled How Nonprofit Organizations Can Gain More Support This Holiday Season, and was published on December 11, 2018. Please see below!
The time of giving is upon us, and America has been recognized as one of the most generous nations. Recent research revealed that Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. have the highest rate of charitable donations as a portion of gross domestic product (GDP). The rates of giving as a percentage of GDP were 1.44% in the U.S., 0.79% in New Zealand and 0.77% in Canada.
Giving is in our nature, as a country. As French diplomat Alexis de Tocqueville said: “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
If you\’re looking to gain more support for your nonprofit organization this holiday season, you need to know what is expected of you from people who want to give.
1. Prepare For Site Visits
As a nonprofit, you should be prepared for site visits. People might have heard of your organization from a friend, on the radio or through their own research. Now, they want to visit and experience it for themselves.
Donors want to give with quality and do it thoughtfully. When they visit, think about the kind of impact that you can share. Show them what your day-to-day looks like, share any special programs that are going on and introduce them to your constituents. They want to know you care, and they want to see where their funds are going.
2. Demonstrate Your Quality
One way to demonstrate your quality to potential donors is to get vetted. Having a third-party stamp of endorsement shows people outside of your organization that you are top-notch and verified, thus making your organization a safe choice when it comes to holiday giving.
In addition to vetting, show qualitative results by sharing video testimonials from your stakeholders, such as a homeless person speaking about how your nonprofit helped them get — and stay — off the streets, or a board member demonstrating their commitment or your team showing the cohesiveness and positivity of your culture. This way, you have both a quantitative and qualitative stamp of approval — the perfect mix!
3. Show International Impact And Higher Return
Donors can have an even greater impact if they give internationally. A dollar you give internationally tends to go further than in the U.S. To put things into perspective, an emergency room visit in the U.S. costs $1,223. But in Nepal, three people can visit the hospital for high-quality health care for just $100. That same amount can also be used to deworm nearly 1,000 children.
Additionally, the holidays are often celebrated differently in the U.S. than they are abroad. In the U.S., we have thousands of department stores, decorations and businesses preparing for our gifting traditions. In truth, many developing nations aren\’t thinking about the holidays; they are just trying to sustain themselves. Many don\’t have Santa Claus, department stores or decorations; some cultures don\’t even know about or support it. That\’s why it\’s so important to give. We can share this spirit of giving and help provide life-giving sustainability for the billions who are suffering.
If you are an international nonprofit organization, remind donors of the impact they can have not just in the U.S., but all over the world. Show them how their dollar can go further by giving internationally. Nonprofits can do this by educating donors and sharing videos, photos and testimonials from the actual recipients and their families. This way, donors know when they give internationally, their money can go further and make a bigger impact, and they\’ll feel more involved in your organization. Alternatively, you can send donors a letter or email featuring this same information. There is always a way in communication.
4. Get Endorsed By A Rating System
In addition to getting vetted, look into getting rated. Charity Navigator, for instance, provides ratings based on how well a nonprofit organization is run. They have certain criteria and stars to help guide donors when it comes to charitable giving. However, they are often overloaded, and it can be hard to get them to rate you. But if and when you do get rated, be prepared to be reviewed, with all your systems and operations in place.
There\’s also GreatNonprofits, which relies on user reviews. These are people who know about your nonprofit, may have worked at your organization or have volunteered. Therefore, you have a group that provides independent criteria, as well as a group that relies on personal feedback and testimonials.
Encourage and remind your donors, volunteers, board members and team to support you through testimonials for your marketing materials, website, donor letters and these review sites.
Every day we can do good. Make sure your good can have the greatest impact by informing and encouraging your donors as we enter the holiday season. Most importantly, as the recipients of funds, we should always be grateful and do a good job of expressing it. We can express gratitude before people donate, while they are giving and after they have given. Wishing you a fruitful season of giving and gratitude!