If you’re involved with a not-for-profit, you probably regularly think ‘We need some funds!’ Attracting funding is increasingly competitive and standing out from the crowd is important if you want to have the edge. So, how do you get noticed amongst all the other organisations vying for the attention of funders and investors?
#1 Communicate with a stellar report
Share the value you create for your community with an annual report that showcases the difference you make. Develop an annual report that has a professional finish and shares as much as possible about your mission and programs. It’s your chance to really highlight why your organisation is worth getting behind.
#2 Measure your impact
It’s not enough to ‘feel’ like you’re making a difference. With so much competition for the funding dollar, if you want to have an edge, you need to be able to quantify the impact you are making. You might find it useful to use program logic to map out what you anticipate your program will do. If you haven’t used program logic before, you can talk to our team about some upskilling in this space. Getting super clear about the intentions of your program makes it so much easier to see what and how you could measure impact.
#3 Tell the stories
Quantitative data is great, but nothing speaks to the heart more than a great story. Highlight the difference you are making with case studies that unpack how your service is changing the lives of the people you work with. Including some testimonials and a great photograph will really humanise the message you are communicating.
#4 Stay connected, consistently
Develop up a communication strategy to map out how you are going to stay connected with funders, other stakeholders, and service users. Take an active approach to communication and manage how you share your message. Instead of the only time they hear from you being when you need support, work out an approach to drip feed them constant information about how you make a difference.
#5 Consider your language bank
Language is incredibly powerful. Taking the time to flip how you speak to potential financial supporters can make a big difference to how they perceive your organisations. Asking for ‘donations’, ‘help’ or ‘assistance’ makes you appear passive and needy; whereas offering the opportunity for them to ‘join’, ‘build’ or ‘get involved’ and then communicating the value of their engagement positions your organisation as having something to offer the relationship, rather than in the weaker, passive position of needing them.