A peer consultant called me the other day (for sake of anonymity, we’ll call them D.) Our conversation went something like this:
D: My nonprofit wants to launch an end of the year campaign that makes a lot of money!
S: Do they have a list of donors? Do they send appeals?
D: No. They’ve been around for 20+ years but they only have a CRM for their business.
S: Business? Point of sale?
D: Yes! They make a 30% profit on an existing business that largely supports their entire budget.
S: Why not develop a product to add to the existing business? A specialized end of year version of product or service already sold? Maybe even a point of sale donation ask?
D: Good idea…
If a nonprofit that lacks the traditional fundraising infrastructure of many other organizations, they may be ahead of the 8-ball instead of behind it. I wouldn’t suggest that this nonprofit get a database, rush to build a list, write an appeal, get on social media platforms, email and snail mail their request to hit mailboxes with the flurry of other solicitations.
What’s exciting is the fact that they have a direct line of contact with customers who know them and appreciate the work they do in the community. Asking existing customers to donate a few extra dollars or to purchase a special edition of a beloved item, will capitalize on the existing strengths of this nonprofit. Don’t forget, the giving season can be the earning season too!