For the first time ever, Micro-enterprise in some instances can be more powerful than macro-enterprise. What does that mean? It means that a small organization that is serving a very specific need may be the best tool to address a problem. For example a large relief organization might be able to help 30 villages in Africa, but a small organization focused on helping one village may do a better job. A small nimble organization in that instance can understand the needs of the village and respond specifically too them. The large organization is trying to run programs that fit with all the villages.
What does that mean regarding fundraising? It means that with online giving and social networking you can be just as powerful as UNICEF, World Vision, or St. Jude’s. How you might say? Well first you need to make sure that you have a very specific mission. No organization can be all things to all people so make sure to know what your strengths are. From that point find different mediums where you can get your message out their in a compelling way to the masses. Start a blog or create a website for your non-profit. Use social networking tools and your existing donor base to launch you into the online community.
Did you know that your donors can give more than money? Of course you do—many organizations strongest advocates are their major and monthly donors. Giving results out of a desire to make a difference to impact something you care about. Perhaps your non-profit has a small staff (maybe just you) and only a handful of development people and that makes it really hard to get your message out.An organization called the Mission Increase Foundation is trying some revolutionary ways to get the message out. One of these ways is to use your donors as advocates and development officers. What if you provided your donors with the tools that they needed to tell the story of your non-profit to their friends? Instead of sending out direct mail you sent out packages of 10 greeting cards for your donors to write a story about why they care about the non-profit and pass them along to friends and neighbors. Or when sending out your next e-newsletter you challenged your readers to forward the email on to a couple other friends with a quick note on the top of their email talking about why they support the organization.
What I’m talking about is not a change in degree in fund raising. It’s not about doing more of something, or doing something more systematically. It’s about a change in kind. It’s a bold leap that’s awaiting anyone who’s awakening to the value of seeing fund raising as a powerful communal experience. Eric Foley
What do you think of this idea? Would it work in your non-profit? Why or why not? I think that one of the keys to making this work is to create ideas that fit with the mission of your non-profit. Maybe instead of sending a letter to forward on you send a magnet, postcard, or miniature coffee table book. Any other ideas?