4 Ideas to Diversify the Income Stream of Your Nonprofit

by Danielle Bloom

2 min read

More often than not, nonprofits work with very limited budgets that include a mix of grants and individual contributions. These financial limitations are a harsh reality that many charitable organizations face daily. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to diversify your nonprofit’s income stream to create a healthier, more sustainable organization. If you’re looking for ways to diversify your nonprofit’s income, consider these four ideas:

Look Into Grants

Nonprofits in Canada can find both private and government-funded grants from a number of sources, including Grant Watch, and the government of Canada’s funding opportunities website.Some nonprofits use a dedicated grant writer or resource development staff member to research, compile, write, and regularly report to grant authorities. If you don’t have the financial ability to support this role, consider hiring a freelance grant writer to help with the process.

Create a Recurring Giving Program

Recurring giving, also known as monthly giving, is an effective way to bring in a steady stream of income every month throughout the year. Instead of a single donation, nonprofits can encourage donors to give a smaller amount on a monthly basis. Most of the time, nonprofits deduct the donation automatically so a donor doesn’t necessarily have to make a phone call or submit an online form 12 times a year. To maximize the impact (and appeal) of your recurring giving program, make it easy and convenient for a donor and, if possible, offer an incentive such as a gift match. Some of the best recurring giving programs send out a monthly impact report along with the donation receipt.

Host a Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign

Get your nonprofit’s supporters involved in the fundraising process by asking them to participate in a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Whether you recruit supporters to go door-to-door asking for donations or you set up an online peer-to-peer fundraiser, you’re still engaging your audience and getting your nonprofit in front of a large group of prospective donors. Follow peer-to-peer fundraising best practices such as these:

  • Give your participants/volunteer fundraisers all the tools they need to run a successful fundraiser
  • Mentor and provide guidance to participants whenever necessary
  • Report the results of the campaign and thank your donors and fundraisers immediately after the campaign closes

Donor acquisition is an area of struggle for many nonprofits, but peer-to-peer fundraising helps spread the word about your nonprofit’s work organically.

Promote Your Fundraisers on Social Media

Social media makes it easier for a nonprofit to connect with donors, volunteers, prospective supporters, etc. In a way, social media can provide a backstage look into how your nonprofit operates, and the impact you’re having in your community or across the world. Here are some of the ways you can use social media to promote your fundraising campaigns:

  • Add a “DONATE” button on Facebook like the UN Refugee Agency of Canada
  • Post nonprofit stories related to your fundraising campaign that end in a call to action to donate, share, fundraise, etc.
  • Ask the people connected to you through social media to share campaign-related posts on their own social media pages

In the nonprofit world, it’s increasingly difficult to create the maximum amount of positive change with such a limited budget. But, when you use creative means to diversify your income stream, you spread out the risk and ultimately increase your reach and impact.

References & Resources

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