There’s never been a better time to diversify your nonprofit’s streams of income. Living in uncertain times means that nonprofits that tend to rely solely on grants and major donors may not be in an ideal situation, as many people are hesitant to give in the current global state of the economy. So now is the time to boost multiple revenue streams and double down on diversifying how you can exceed your fundraising goals.
There’s no doubt that donations from individuals and groups are invaluable to a fundraiser’s success. But why stop there? Applying multiple streams of income to your fundraiser such as eCommerce stores, corporate sponsorships, and add-on events can boost your campaign’s exposure, profitability, and awareness beyond what you might think imaginable.
Here’s What We’ll Cover
- Identify Your Mission
- Fundraising and Charitable Donations
- Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding Campaigns
- Monthly Giving and Membership Programs
- Gaming for Good
- Government Funding and Grants
- Earned Income
- Matching Gifts Programs
- Event Add-ons as Revenue Boosters
- Charity Sponsorships
- Corporations and Foundations
- Top Tips to Consider
Identify Your Mission
Before getting into the details of how to monetize your fundraising events, your nonprofit needs to decide on the values and mission behind your charity campaign. Once this is clear you’ll be able to choose what direction to go in and what revenue streams make the most sense to stay aligned with your brand and cause. For example:
- If you are a key organizer and behind-the-scenes kind of person, why not reach out to get great sponsorship deals that will help with financing?
- If you are planning a crowdfunding fundraiser, could it benefit from selling branded merchandise?
- Are you eligible for a government grant or are you in a position to line up small businesses to offer corporate giving?
So, make sure that from the get-go you have a clear view of which streams of income will work best in exceeding your fundraising goals, staying true to the core values of your cause, and satisfying your target audience’s needs and desires. With all this in sync, you’re guaranteed to pull off an unforgettable and profitable fundraiser.
So let’s start you on your way to diversifying your nonprofit’s revenue streams and finding the key to profitable fundraising success!
Fundraising and Charitable Donations
Typically, donations from an individual or certain groups and communities have been the preferred means of funding a charity campaign. This type of giving includes a mix of high-level donors (major gifts donors), and mid to low-level donors (regular donors). It’s simple, effective, and convenient through online donations.
Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding Campaigns
By now you’ve heard that peer-to-peer fundraising is an excellent fundraising strategy for nonprofit organizations and schools. By tapping into your supporters’ social network of friends and family, your organization is able to reach a much larger audience of new donors, spreading greater awareness of your cause, and raising significantly more dollars than traditional fundraising campaigns.
P2P campaigns are best suited for active events (think run/bike/ride fundraisers) and friendly competitions that promote community. These types of nonprofit fundraising events work well because new supporters and donors can get excited about supporting the individual who participates in the event and thereby learn more about your cause.
Monthly Giving and Membership Programs
Establishing a nonprofit monthly giving program can have a positive impact on achieving your organization’s financial goals. Monthly giving programs provide consistent, year-round funding which is vital to meeting overhead costs such as rent or mortgage, employee salaries, and more. Just be sure to define and communicate a clear purpose for the monthly giving campaign. Pinpoint a specific and ongoing service, effort, or another aspect of your organization that needs consistent financial support.
Learn the steps to launching a monthly program for your nonprofit here.
Gaming for Good
Another great way to create multiple streams of income for your fundraiser through individual donations is gaming for good. This is a new trend that’s taking off in a big way. Basically, when gamers turn on their consoles, many of them choose to share their game with an audience, so they start streaming it on platforms like Twitch or YouTube. Each gamer can add donation buttons to their stream and people can start giving to a good cause. Why not incorporate gamification techniques into your fundraising campaign to heighten levels of supporter engagement, attract more generous donations, and diversify your nonprofit’s stream of income.
These sources of fundraising revenue are a great way to support your charity campaigns and reach your fundraising goals, but they can at times be unreliable and prone to fluctuation, especially if donors’ interests change. So, let’s move on to other fundraising revenue streams that could be more dependable and generate a bigger profit for your organization.
Government Funding and Grants
Although competition is fierce among nonprofits to see who will snag a valuable government grant, it’s always worth the effort to help multiply your organization’s revenue streams. Once your nonprofit passes the strict eligibility requirements, you will benefit from non-repayable funds awarded by the government, which will be invaluable to your fundraising success.
A huge chunk of nonprofit revenue comes not from individual donations and grants but from earned income. But what does this mean? Earned income is the revenue that’s generated from the sale of goods, services provided, or work performed. So, it’s basically like running a business where you get paid for your efforts.
Here are a few top examples of earned income and how it can boost your nonprofit’s fundraising success.
Hosting a sales fundraiser with your own eCommerce store is a great way to diversify your nonprofit’s revenue streams. Selling customized branded merchandise on your online store makes it easy for supporters to give to your organization. Better yet, constituents can display your brand everywhere they go – on t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, and more – carrying your logo and message on your nonprofit’s behalf.
Some nonprofits offer a membership program, where individuals and other nonprofits pay a recurring fee to access some of the services and benefits they provide their members.
License Intellectual Property
If you are a nonprofit that has created an app, software, platform or virtually any content that could be shared to benefit other nonprofits and individuals, it’s a great idea to license it and start generating revenue. Not only will you multiply your organization’s income streams but you’ll also be expanding the reach of your work.
There is often a common concern about whether nonprofits can earn revenue through selling products and services. It’s important to understand that it is allowed but only if you align your earned income with your nonprofit’s charitable mission. You cannot just start selling products or services randomly! Also, you may be subject to sales tax, so please contact your financial advisor to learn more about this.
Matching Gifts Programs
This is the year to incorporate matching gifts programs, also known as match gifts or match funding, into your fundraising campaigns. This is where employees are given the chance to increase their fundraising when their employer or other corporate partners match the money they’ve donated. Match giving is a great way to double your donations while doubling your impact.
Check out more of our top 2022 fundraising trends here.
Event Add-ons as Revenue Boosters
Elevate your nonprofit’s online, hybrid and physical fundraising activities with add-ons. With our software, it’s easy to start combining a variety of campaign trends to open the door to multiple revenue streams.
Here are some popular ideas to pair:
- A charity golf tournament with a fund-a-need add-on
- A walkathon with merchandise sales
- A charity gala with a silent auction
- A school festival or carnival with a penny social
- A breakfast fundraiser with a 50/50 raffle
If your organization is planning to run a charity fundraiser, one of the best ways to help finance it, make a profit, and expand your outreach is by finding great charity event sponsors. Corporate event sponsors can support your fundraiser with charitable donations or in-kind support. While your charity receives funding to help create a successful and profitable event, sponsors expect marketing perks and exposure in return.
Corporations and Foundations
Sustainability, impact, and purpose are top values that many corporations and foundations are taking seriously nowadays. When looking to diversify your nonprofit’s revenue streams, look for businesses with corporate social responsibility (CRS) goals and programs that align with your organization’s mission. This is a win-win relationship as nonprofits benefit from valuable and often recurring contributions, while companies are notably aware of how their consumers celebrate these charitable attributes.
Top Tips to Consider
- One or two fundraising revenue streams are great but ten are even better! Just make sure that you are fully prepared to pull each one off successfully and that you don’t spread yourself too thin. In the end, it’s better to have just a couple of income streams running seamlessly instead of ten mediocre ones.
- It can get tricky when you are juggling multiple revenue streams. Take the time to dedicate more time to the operational and business side of your campaigns so that everything runs smoothly and becomes more successful year after year.
- Why not implement nonprofit CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to bring all of the data into one place and simplify matters greatly? With all your vital information stored in one location, you’ll alleviate stress levels and be able to focus on what really matters – the cause.
- It’s one thing to have multiple streams of income in place but don’t forget to promote them so that your supporters know that they all exist. Use social media platforms, direct emails, and your personalized fundraising page to make your donors aware of your fundraising revenue streams so that they can get more involved in your campaign.
As with any organization, one of the great benefits of incorporating multiple streams of income in your fundraiser is that if one part of your event falls through you’ll have a number of back-ups. It’s important to have money coming in from a variety of sources rather than relying on sole-source funding. Once you have mastered this the success of your fundraising campaigns will be unlimited.