How to grow a small nonprofit

By Chloé Gee on March 30, 2022

By Chloé Gee on March 30, 2022

We love nonprofits at T&S! Nonprofits exist to make a difference, whether providing food and resources to people in need, preventing drunk driving, or fighting against human trafficking. Every good deed done or task completed is possible through hard work and donations from supporters.

We’ve worked with a lot of nonprofits over the years, including ones just starting out. When a nonprofit is just beginning, it can be difficult to kickstart a strategy and get donors—but have no fear! If you are new to the nonprofit world, you are not alone. Here are a few tips to get started on growing your nonprofit.

Organize and restructure

Think about who the voice of your nonprofit is. Who is the target audience? Are you currently reaching the right audience? What needs to be improved?

Organizing your efforts typically requires you to question your current strategy—figuring out what is and isn’t working as well as what goals you ultimately want to reach.

Invest in digital marketing

The internet is the way of the world now, which means investing in digital marketing at some point is a must. This doesn’t mean you have to join every social media platform that exists or spend a bunch of money on paid ads. However, having some sort of digital presence is crucial in gaining supporters and increasing donations.

We recommend joining popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram (as long as it makes sense) and sending at least a monthly newsletter to supporters. Not only will this show people that you care, but it will help inform and update supporters regularly.

Create fundraising events

Events can take a lot of work, but are a powerful tool that you should take advantage of! One of our nonprofit clients recently had a fundraising event to raise money to build homes for orphans, and they did it through a silent auction.

Events can excite and energize current supporters while also inviting new supporters. It’s a good feeling to have everyone together and make a difference. A silent auction is just one way to do it; feel free to get even more creative and fun with it!

Build a volunteer program

Volunteers play a huge role in nonprofit organizations. They help with fundraising and other tasks, but they help spread your nonprofit’s mission. Many nonprofits implement a volunteer or ambassador program, and you should consider it, too!

Even if your mission doesn’t naturally lend itself to volunteers, find a way to plug them in. It helps people feel involved!

Be transparent

Transparency is key. If you want supporters, and you want those supporters to donate, you must be transparent, especially about finances. What are your donations being used for? Keep your supporters updated! They love to hear updates on what is being done and what else is needed.

Need more advice? Check out what some of our nonprofit clients have to say!

“Build with a focus on strategy and its relationship to the mission. Make sure that mission is forefront and any changes to your operations or framework is geared to complementing your core goals. If you’re hiring, don’t hire to fill a role; hire to build a team. Solid teams advance strategy. If you’re working on your organizational culture, make sure it’s transparent inside and out. The less impediments you have to your team understanding the strategy, the more they’ll be able to comprehend its relationship to the mission. Often, organizations can get distracted by the opportunities presented by growth and fall away from their mission.” 

– Sean Rose, Executive Director of Victim’s Impact Panel

“‘Nonprofit’ is a tax-exempt status, not a business model. If you are going to grow and have a thriving nonprofit, you need to be focused on running a strong business and have a plan to do so. That doesn’t mean you aren’t living mission-focused; I’m all about mission and impact, but a mission without resources is not sustainable. So, don’t overlook the business aspects while you are getting excited about the mission of your nonprofit, or you may not have a nonprofit to run in a few short years.” 

– Keith Howard, CEO of Circle of Care


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