The Center for Association Resources

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Is an association management firm focused on helping Non-Profit associations succeed in their mission.

Fund raising in non-profit organizations

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

It deals with strategies and methods involving the fund raising of non-profit organizations

Fund raising has always been an issue for most non-profit organizations. It is also a limiting factor in the reach and functioning capacity of the organization. A regular flow of funds is required to keep the organization in its tracks. All non-profit organizations should have a definite policy towards fund raising. Though fund raising is no easy job, it can be managed well with steady flow of funds and quality capital, all made possible with some fore planning and good execution.

Everything starts from the administration of the organization itself. The goals of the organization must be clearly set and should be viable for effective propaganda and response. For example, a group that simply says “save the trees” or “cancer research foundation” is going to pass up as just another organization. This should not be the case. The goals and achievements of the organization must clearly be seen from anybody’s perspective. It is what sets the targets and urges people to contribute funds. A good spokesperson and contact personnel are a must.

Managing the collected funds is another important factor. The contributors would also like to see how their money is being used up. A good team capable of budget planning is required. It can also be done by another third party. But it is better to keep the management of funds transparent as that itself can be used as a propaganda tool effectively.

A fully dedicated team of people is required to be set up for the sole purpose of fund raising. It must consist of planners, team leaders, liaisons, creative designers, advertisers and special people who can raise funds using their skills or status (e.g. Celebrities). This team must foresee and execute the various plans made towards fund raising. They must identify potential targets and decide on the way of approach. Having an effective team solely for this purpose can be the difference between efficiency and bankruptcy.

Target identification is the step involving the identification of the people from which the organization can raise funds. The most important target group will be the people who are directly connected with the goal of the organization (e.g. Persons affected by cancer are viable target groups for cancer research institutes). Other important target groups are business tycoons, general public, politicians, stars, celebrities and so on. Employing different methods for each of these groups are vital for success.

The methods that can be used for fund raising vary from simple handouts and posters to mega campaigns. But in order to be effective, it must be target specific. The common methods that can be employed are posters, handouts, TV shows, rallies, ads, demonstrations, campaigns etc. General public can be campaigned with posters and rallies, as well as mass media. A single TV show covering the activities of the organization can generate a lot of funds. Creative ads and posters in net can be a great propaganda tool (e.g. Green Peace ads). Corporate companies can be made to contribute by striking deals so that they can use the publicity and the organization can use the funds. Billionaires can be canvassed for donations. Having a celebrity in the organization can work wonders. In this age of social networking, a good ad in websites like Twitter can be very effective.

There are also other sources like fund raising shows, but it all comes to how the organization effectively uses them to further spread their propaganda. Instead of focusing on the immediate requirements, a definite long term policy and a good administration system towards fund raising can get any non-profit organization free from financial woes.

fund raising,non-profit,non-profit organization,methods of fund raising,The Center for Association Resources

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Illinois, Marketing, Non-Profit, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , ,

Non Profit Fund raising through online Auctions

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

For any non profit organization, the most important element that keeps the organization running is the fund required for providing the service. Providing service without expecting any monetary benefit is the main factor that separates a non profit organization from a commercial organization. In that way, the non profit organization should have a proven methodology to have sufficient funds for carrying out its activities. One of the most commonly used methods by the non profit organization for collecting funds is the fund raising method. Fund raising can be done in a number of ways. Some of the methodologies that have been commonly used include the fund raising music concerts given by popular musicians and performers, fund raising sports events between two popular teams, fund raising movie shows, fund raising by traditional auctions, among others. With the advent of the internet, more and more operations related to commercial business have now moved online.

Similarly, the fundraising also can make use of the reach of the internet and perform certain activities that will bring in the required funds. One fund raising on line activity that can be done by any non profit organization is the setting up on line auctions through an on line auction provider such as E-bay. For setting up an online auction, one needs to have an account with the on line provider and a product on which the auction will take place. Finding the right product to sell on auction is highly important to generate sufficient funds from the on line auctions. To get an idea about the type of items that have generated excellent responses from the bidders, these online auction providers have a list of items that had been very popular in the past with respect to generating money based on the bids placed. The non profit organization can have a look at this product listing. After arriving at the right product, the on line auction provider will provide the necessary process steps to complete the auction. Once the auction is complete, the non profit organization should send a mail to the bid winner providing details about the bid amount, the features of the product that was won, payment method and the shipping period. These types of interactions will help to maintain a relationship with the bidder.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Leadership, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , ,

Establishing a reserve fund

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

In today’s economy, the giving of funds to nonprofit organizations is way down.  Those persons and businesses who used to give a lot are now giving less, and the persons and businesses who gave a little are not giving at all.  With that said, it is highly crucial for nonprofits to establish and maintain a reserve fund in order for them to survive.

Nonprofit organizations have to re-work their budgets and make some extremely difficult decisions in order to keep their causes going.  Organizations have taken extreme measures such as cutting their workforce and moving to more affordable locations, and, in some cases, the organization has even shut down.  However, there are some organizations, both in large cities and even small towns that continue to thrive.  How do some nonprofits thrive while others do not?  There are some key strategies that these organizations utilize to attain their long-term success.

First of all, they develop all the “social capital” that they possibly can.  They accomplish this by spending a lot of time on the phone with potential donors, and also by visiting them or having coffee or lunch with them.  The nonprofits develop close relationships with these persons and businesses so that they will attend fundraisers and donate funds or items to their causes.  These funds are seriously needed to add to the reserve funds of the organizations in order to keep the nonprofits alive.

A successful nonprofit, which has attained a lot of reserves, is sincere.  They care not only about their donors’ passions but their situations, as well.  Sincerity is extremely attractive and will attract a large amount of donors to the organization.  If a donor’s passions and a nonprofit’s passions are similar, there is significant potential for long-term funding to help with the nonprofit’s reserves.

Enthusiasm is a tremendous factor in the overall success of nonprofit organizations.  Without enthusiasm, a nonprofit will accomplish far less than their desired goal.  The nonprofit must have a strong desire for the success of their organization.

Finally, it is crucial for the nonprofit to create and maintain a strict, annual budget.  This will help them manage the organization throughout the year, and also help them see how much funding they need to keep them afloat.  It is possible for any nonprofit to establish a solid reserve fund that will help their group become successful by following the examples of organizations that have become successful, themselves.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , ,

Hotel contract negotiation

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Negotiating a contract with a hotel for your non-profit organization can be a difficult and time consuming process.  There are often many layers of the hotel to go through, mainly dealing with contracts, fundraising, their tax write off ability and, as a founder or negotiator of the contract, a lot of people to talk to at the hotel.

If you want to host a dinner at a hotel, you have to have a solid estimation of your visitors.  The important thing to remember here is that your attendees to your fundraiser are there to be entertained.  It is their checkbooks that are opening up for the sake of your organization.  They have to feel pampered.  Make sure you organize a few solid negotiating points for the hotel, like live music, vegetarian options for food and a cash bar.  I say cash bar because that will offer the hotel a chance to recoup some of the losses that they would face should they offer a large conference room for your organization.  Not only that, it is critical to use their name on your flyers, website and possibly offer them some future cross-marketing potential.  This way, the hotel recognizes that you are offering a service to your visitors (a live band), considering their needs as well as your own (vegetarian options) and the hotel is offered something as well.  The cross-marketing is an excellent point of negotiation because the duration of their involvement lasts beyond a single event.  Your organization recognizes them in terms of a strategic partner which may help you in the future.

Beyond conference rooms and fundraising partnerships, if your organization needs rooms at a hotel for a non-profit fair or are simply traveling for the purpose of expanding your organization, remember to network market your organization.  The more people who are educated and aware of your purpose and mission, the more leverage you can have in that town.  Ask for recommendations from friends, contacts, even law firms in the area.  If you can connect those you already know with people in the states or countries you are visiting, you can gain a lot of structured leverage.  Governmental organizations are thrilled to have non-profits because they take some of the public service burden off of the governments back.  Contact you local government, of whom your organization should have a strong relationship with and see if they know anyone in the city you are visiting.  They can use their contacts and networking for your organization and put you in touch with the hotels with either a discount or if you are lucky, a free room!

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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