The Nonprofit Comeback



The pandemic has taught the nonprofit community quite a bit. We’re rethinking how we communicate with donors and volunteers. We’ve learned how to work as a remote or hybrid team. We’ve learned how to pivot and rethink how we’re doing business. Now we’re focused on rebuilding nonprofits by consulting on topics like building a pandemic-proof business plan and identifying non-traditional funding sources.

Pandemic Impact

Since the pandemic, I have a client whose nonprofit has grown from $1.4 million to over $4 million in their operating budget. How did this happen? They acted quickly and considered funding sources from places they hadn’t tapped into previously. I am honored to have been part of their team and want to share how rebuilding your nonprofit can make it stronger, and better funded, than ever. We start by asking these questions.

· What are the mission and vision of the organization?

· Who are your funding sources?

· What impact do you make to those you serve?

We know there are nonprofits who are struggling right now, many through no fault of their own.

No one could have predicted what has happened. Now we have the opportunity to build pandemic planning into our organizations. We can be more creative than we ever have been. After all, the world is rethinking everything, so why can’t we? Let’s start the nonprofit comeback by going back to basics.

Remember why the organization exists. Review the mission and vision with employees and volunteers as a reminder of all the good you’re doing for those you serve. Think about how to re-engage donors and attract new volunteers. Be creative in where funding is sourced. Continue to communicate pandemic protocols; the last thing you need is a PR nightmare to stall your efforts.

As I’ve talked to nonprofit leaders, the conversations have led me back to my Nonprofit NERD branding acronym.

Navigate the possibilities by remembering the mission and vision of the organization.

Encourage and empower your team to be rockstars by bringing their strengths to the conversation.

Reverse engineer by leading with the vision and setting clear goals to make the vision the reality.

Deliver impact by being intentional with everyday activities that positively impact the organization and community.

In this way, you’re keeping true to the mission of the nonprofit while at the same time, focusing on what the future can bring. What does that mean in the world of nonprofit management and fundraising? It means staying focused, listening to ideas, and being open to change.

In the article Trends for Nonprofit Leaders, Forbes highlights the impact The Great Resignation has had on hiring both in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Salaries are competitive which means to attract, and keep the best talent, your nonprofit must be competitive. Be clear about who you’d like on your team and create a job description, salary, and benefits to attract the right person.

Set clear expectations. Employees and volunteers should have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. This may mean adding or changing safety protocols related to pandemic rules like wearing masks indoors.

Reach out to donors and volunteers. Re-engage with an update on a particular project or highlight an initiative that impacted those whom you serve, especially during the pandemic. Tell the story of the nonprofit and remind them of the mission.

Re-engage donors. Overall, donations have been down across nonprofits serving all sectors. Donors want to know your nonprofit is still a going concern. They want to know how to help and who they’re helping. And of course, they want to know appropriate precautions are being taken to ensure their safety and the safety of others at in-person events.

Get creative. From funding to events, re-engage and re-invigorate your supports while attracting new ones as well.

Keep in mind the mission and vision of the organization. Be open to change and remember those you serve. The nonprofit comeback is full steam ahead. I’d love to hear your stories!

If your nonprofit is experiencing a comeback, I’d love to offer The Rayvan Group consulting services to get your team on a path to success. Contact us today to learn more.