The Center for Association Resources

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

Fundraising ideas for non-profits

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.

Nonprofit organizations need funds to survive.  The fantastic news is that there is a vast array of ways to generate these much-needed funds.

One method of collecting funds for a nonprofit group is to create a well-designed website, with a “donate” section, for the organization.  This is a terrific way to receive donations as people can go to the website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, And donations can be collected from people all over the world.  A shopping cart can be placed on the website; and products related to the organization’s cause can be sold on the website, as well.

Selling ad-space on the organization’s website is a fantastic idea that can bring in a lot of money.  Small businesses are always looking for places that are inexpensive to advertise their products or services.  Setting rates that small businesses can handle will attract many business owners, and add to the group’s bank account.

Another terrific idea is appealing for donations through social networks.  Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Linkedin are popular sites for generating donations and have been highly successful in creating funds for nonprofits.

Spare change can add up.  Placing a few collection jars in local grocery stores or other businesses can add up to a lot of money in a short time.  Giving their spare change away is easy for people. It can be surprising that giving just a little bit of change can add up to so much money.

Corporate sponsorship is another option.  This is when a large company gives money to a nonprofit cause.  They do this as a form of advertisement so that they will then be associated with the cause. The corporation benefits because they generate publicity for themselves, and the public sees them as generous.  They can also receive tax deductions for their donations.

Another source of support that nonprofit organizations can appeal to is grants.  Many public and private foundations offer grants to nonprofits to help with their causes. When applying for these grants, it is a smart idea to have an experienced grant writer write out the request and approach the foundation.

Fund raising events, such as walk-a-thons, car washes, bake sales, yard sales, craft sales, carnivals and auctions can be a fun way of making money for the group.  Another great way to earn money for your group is to sell products offered by companies specifically for fund raising.  These products include candy bars, candles, magazines, cookie dough, doughnuts, coupon books and popcorn.

When appealing for donations, one should keep in mind that donations of such things as equipment, office supplies and services can be just as valuable as money.  Often, a person may not have money to give, but they may be able to donate their time or services or a piece of furniture that the organization needs.

In conclusion, nonprofits need help to keep their organizations running.  There are many ways to obtain this help, and it is a win-win situation for all those involved.  Donors receive valuable tax deductions for their donations and the feeling of having given to their community, and the nonprofits can continue their work.

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

Creating awareness through SEO

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.

Search engine optimization or SEO is vital to any nonprofit organization trying to create awareness of their cause. However, many nonprofits feel intimidated when faced with search engine optimization.  They may think it is extremely complex, or that it requires a large budget.  However, the truth is, SEO does not require an expert.  The only things necessary for successful SEO is time, patience and the desire to learn.

There are many benefits to SEO.  SEO increases the traffic to websites and rank in search engines such as Google.  It also increases the nonprofits “visibility”.  Although an expert can be utilized for SEO, the nonprofit can accomplish successful SEO on its own, as well.  There are no short cuts to SEO, it takes time.  However, one will see success soon enough by following these useful tips.

First of all, successful search engine optimization requires solid, clear goals.  One should organize their website by answering all of these questions.  Is information, such as events and new products or services, up to date?  Can people make donations online?  What can visitors do on the website?  Are forms asking the right questions?

Next, the nonprofit should determine who they want its audience to be.  An ideal audience includes potential donors, press, members of the organization and present, as well as, past beneficiaries seeking support.

Keywords are crucial to any SEO strategy.  When launching an SEO campaign, one should make a list of relevant keywords used repetitively on the site.  One should also pay close attention to “meta-tags”.  A meta-tag or “invisible text”  is not displayed on the pages of the site, rather it is in the HTML code which SEO robots analyze.  The elements of meta-tags specify page descriptions, keywords and images.

Content is crucial.  Content should not only be clear and compelling, but it should also be unique, engrossing and geared towards the audience.  Headlines should be descriptive and not contain any ID numbers.  The body’s content should be formatted in HTML context, rather than graphical, so that the robot can read it.  Using a clickable anchor text helps to boost the site’s ranking.  A breadcrumb trail offers users the ability to view various pages on the site.  This is often found horizontally across the top of the homepage below the headline.  Headline tags offer this option, as well.  There should be no more than 450 to 600 words on each page, and keywords should be in bold or italics so that users can identify them.  Internal linking or cross linking is perfect to use for navigating within the site.  In-bound links are useful too in bringing traffic to one’s site.

A site map should be created and posted on the nonprofit’s website, as well.  This allows robots and users to quickly and easily navigate within the site. A site map is terrific in helping with the usability and navigation of the website.  When creating a URL, one should be sure to use keywords and file names to raise SEO.  Making use of such things as documents, spreadsheets, pictures, videos and presentations also help an immense deal.

Finally, by signing up with Google’s Webmaster Central and Google Analytics, one can see how well their site and inbound links are doing, and how much traffic is going to the site.  By checking this on a regular basis, one can adjust their strategy as needed and can create a highly successful website for their nonprofit organization.

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

November 2017
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