Creative Ways for Nonprofits to Generate Revenue

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( — August 29, 2022) —

Post-pandemic conditions and a looming recession have created a perfect storm for economic challenges for all organizations, but especially nonprofit organizations like schools. And if your organization is still asking for donations through form letters, it is time to move forward. All it takes is a little brainstorming and creative thinking to come up with new and lucrative fundraising ideas. 

Apply for grants

There are several foundations, businesses, and government institutions that make grants to groups for diverse needs, activities, and events. Start with your local city or municipal office, state, and finally federal offices. Search online for grants from companies and other organizations, including colleges, other nonprofits, and foundations. It takes time to study and implement, but it is well worth the effort.

Host an event

Dinners, auctions, 5Ks, bike-a-thons, and walk-a-thons are examples of special fundraising events. Choose an event that allows you to promote your organization and objective in the most effective manner, then develop a marketing strategy to raise awareness, ticket, and registration sales.

Other charities host annual galas to generate donations. The events can be costly to arrange and execute but can generate reliable sources of heavy income. During these events, revenue can also be generated through silent and live auctions of donated travel experiences, items, and services.

Performing arts organizations have an advantage in this area and can use concerts, dance shows, and music recitals to support the arts. Other events include telethons, such as those held by public radio and television stations to raise operational revenue.

Ask for sponsors

Invite local companies to help sponsor your events, special programs, or other organizational initiatives and offer them with promotional visibility in event programs or advertising, in your lobby or newsletter, or on your website.

Corporate Assistance

Many companies contribute to charitable causes through their yearly budgets. Frequently, corporations seek out charitable organizations that serve the same communities as themselves. An optometrist, for example, could be a suitable philanthropic partner for an organization that campaigns for the blind.

Corporate donations often outweigh private funding. Benefactors often request mentions in marketing materials. As with sponsorships, offer to hang banners with their name at a workshop or conference or provide corporate supporters with free space in your newsletter or conference program.

Rent your space

Do you have a physical location with suitable office or event space? Schools, churches, museums, cultural centers, and performing groups frequently rent out their buildings and space; this money is not only tax-exempt, but sometimes essential to the organizations’ survival. 

Consider renting the facility to other community organizations or groups during downtime. For example, if you have a classroom sitting empty every weekend, why not rent it to the local SAT tutor looking for a space to hold an SAT prep class? If you have a soccer field available, rent it out to the local club soccer teams. In many instances, such income is tax-free. If you go this route, be sure to turn to Facilitron to help you manage facility operations.

Affiliate with online sales sites

eBay and Amazon provide charitable giving initiatives to their consumers through eBay Giving Works and Amazon Smiles, respectively. Both are easy to register for online, and you can utilize them to generate revenue for your charitable organization.

Donation Matching Program

Request matching donations from local companies and corporations for specific projects. If you are seeking cash for a new building expansion and raise $4,000 through Go Fund Me, they will offer a matching gift of the same amount.

Offer Services to Other Institutions

Using the knowledge and experience of your team, you may build and execute training programs for a fee. Create online versions of the training sessions or training manuals for sale and make them available on your website. It may need the development of a procedure for “revenue sharing” with workers who assist in the development and delivery of training programs. However, it’s a win-win situation.

With a little ingenuity, you can find ways to capitalize on the resources you have and opportunities to partner with other organizations to boost revenue even in the most challenging economic conditions.