Running a non-profit can be just as tough as running a business, and yet there’s not as much advice out there for those who are just starting out. Certain mistakes could harm the success of your non-profit organization. By identifying these mistakes, you can learn how to avoid them. Below are just some of the big no-nos to consider when running a non-profit.
Skimping on marketing
Marketing is essential for attracting support for your non-profit. Many budding non-profits underestimate just how much money they should spend on marketing. A good figure to aim for is about 5 – 15% of your operating budget. This should include a variety of marketing tactics such as email marketing, SEO, video marketing and social media.
Getting carried away with events
Events can be a fun and effective way to raise funds. However, you should be wary of relying too heavily on fundraising events as a marketing tactic – it’s easy to overspend on events. It’s also important to make sure that events are actually working and getting results, and that you’re not just getting carried away with the thrill of organizing them.
Neglecting your website
Many small non-profits think that they can get away with a basic website that they rarely ever update. However, a high-quality website that is regularly updated is more likely to rank higher on search engines and convert more donors. Consider whether it’s worth paying a website developer who can regularly maintain your site and help you get traffic.
Not nurturing your donors
Attracting new donors is important, but you should also nurture your existing donors. In fact, it’s often better to secure donors who will regularly contribute funds to your organization. You can nurture your donors by keeping them updated with new campaigns and successful progress emails. Regularly thanking donors for their donations can also have a big impact.
While many non-profits are exempt from having to pay tax, it is still important to keep your accounts organized. Messy bookkeeping will effect how well your non-profit is run and could result in money not being spent in the right areas. Check out these non profit bookkeeping tips to keep on top of accounting.
Failing to spend money on security
Cybersecurity is also important for non-profits. Some cybercriminals do not care who they target and will extort money from charities if they can find a weakness. Make sure that your digital devices are suitably protected and make sure to keep any cash secure in a safe.
Not investing in growth
Many non-profits focus on keeping their organization ticking over, but don’t consider investing in growth. If you want to reach more people, growth could be essential. This could include investing money into hiring staff, buying new equipment and putting on bigger events.
If your nonprofit is run by volunteers, it may be a case of accepting whoever is interested. However, when it comes to hiring full-time and part-time employees to run important parts of your organization, you shouldn’t rush the process. Just like hiring employees for a business, you want to hire people who are reliable and qualified for the position so make sure to take your time advertising and interviewing candidates.
Hiring poor management
The people who manage your organization need to be good leaders and they need to be able to juggle different responsibilities. Poor management could result in poor decisions that could negatively affect the success of your non-profit, so take extra care when hiring people for managements positions.