Why Nonprofits Fail


I know first-hand how two non-profits have failed. Neither can blame it on the economic recession nor on bad programs. They failed because they constantly underrated the real cost  of providing services to the community. 

According to  David Greco, Vice President of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, nonprofits should retool their thinking. Here are some tips Greco gave during a recent workshop in Phoenix:

  1. Nonprofits should ask funders for the real cost of providing services. Do not bring the cost of programs down.
  2. Have the discipline to say “No” to funders and others in the community who ask for services at steeply discounted prices. Think like a corporation as the 501-c-3 is just a tax exempt status.
  3. Educate funders that you are in for the long haul. Discounted services will affect your long-term growth.
  4. Change from being a program provider to an enterprise. Think business like.
  5. End the culture of funding programs. Instead, focus on the organization as an enterprise.
  6. Get real data and use it to highlight the good you do.
  7. Target growth in unrestricted income as this is your net worth. Have adequate cash in your reserves to grow your organization. Board designated reserves will add to your financial health.

Charities should care about mobile marketing


Charities should act fast and raise money through mobile marketing. According to Devin Anderson, mobile advertising executive at Google, people will buy more mobile devices than desktops as early as 2013. This holiday, “more people will walk out with a mobile device than a notebook,” he said.

Searches using mobile devices are increasing eight times faster than those  from a personal computer. Anderson suggested the following tips at a meeting organized recently by  AZIMA:

  1.  Mobilize your Web presence: A mobile presence is the newest storefront. Web retailers using mobile storefronts are reporting an 85% surge in consumer engagement.
  2. Set up mobile specific campaigns: Mobile specific campaigns yield higher click through rates. Keep consistent messages.
  3. Think local: One in three mobile searches is local. Nearly 61% called businesses from mobile sites. Google predicts 44% of last-minute searches and store locator terms to come from mobile devices this holiday season.
  4. Use mobile unique ad formats: Drive local and in-store traffic using mobile only ad formats.
  5. Users care about mobile sites: Impatient users will punish poorly designed mobile sites. 61% are unlikely to return if they had trouble, 40% will visit a competitor’s site while 19% will navigate away from the site.
  6. Track and optimize mobile presence

How does this relate to fundraising? Prospects will donate to their favorite causes from their palms. Good charities that design content for thumbs, not mice will thrive. Simple layouts that highlight  impact will attract prospects. Those who don’t will raise less money.