Nonprofits are always on the lookout for ways to boost their revenue base. And this is for a good reason. With lots of organizations out there and donor retention declining by the year, it is crucial to leverage other ways of generating funds for the proper functioning of your organization.
Although a few ways top the chart, statistics show that corporate giving has increased tremendously over the years. The 2018 annual report released by Giving USA stated that Americans gave a total of $410.02 billion to charity in 2017, with corporate giving accounting for $20.77 billion of the total amount. Corporations also gave $405 million to disaster relief.
Corporations benefit from brand recognition through giving campaigns, and companies are increasingly eager to develop positive reputations for making meaningful contributions to their communities. As more workers opt to give back to society, it is crucial to grab these opportunities as they come.
That said, a major problem facing nonprofits is how best to leverage these opportunities. Which is why I curated this article with four expert tips to help you leverage corporate giving opportunities.
TIP 1: PROVIDE WORTHWHILE MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES
Companies are no longer interested in just having their logos printed alongside several other logos in exchange for a sponsorship. Companies want their brands to be marketed correctly, creatively, and effectively. It is important to pay attention to what the corporation’s marketing goals are for this partnership, and be willing to help them accomplish that goal.
We’ve learned that companies know a thing or two about marketing themselves. So be open to their ideas, and don’t be afraid to use their established content. Evaluate your resources and upcoming opportunities and see how you can best maximize the corporation’s brand. It can be as simple as having one of your celebrity ambassadors provide a shout out on social media, mentioning the corporation by name during a television interview, or providing their executive with a chance to speak at a cocktail party or gala.
TIP 2: INCLUDE CORPORATE MATCHING GIFT INFORMATION IN DONOR FORMS
As you acquire new donors and incorporate them into your donation flow, make sure that you’re letting them know about matching gifts. One of the easiest ways to do so is by optimizing your online donation form. You can integrate your online donation software with a matching gift tool, which will place information about matching gifts on your form. One of the most common reasons why donors don’t submit matching gift requests is because they don’t know that their employers offer such programs. Even if they are aware of their company’s matching gift program, they might not know about requirements, deadlines, or restrictions. By integrating your matching gift software with your donation forms, you help raise awareness around matching gifts. Additionally, you provide donors with an easy way to start the matching gift submission process.
TIP 3: CREATE A UNIQUE HASHTAG FOR A GIVING CAMPAIGN
Most of the hashtag advice I see about donations goes like this: “Include #donate in your posts and you’ll inspire someone to donate!” I’ve never seen that work to collect a single dollar. What I have seen work is using hashtag power to collect donations through a community initiative.That may sound a bit complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.
Here’s a great example. FEED, an organization that provides meals to American families, asked their supporters to collect donations from their friends by hosting dinner parties. To help their supporters out, they even supplied a toolkit with paper placemats, name cards, and hunger facts to those who wanted them. All they asked in return was that they used #FEEDsupper when they shared their images of their dinners. It was a very simple idea.Supporters invite their friends over for dinner. They collect donations. Then they post their photos online with #FEEDsupper.
Here’s what happened. Within a month, thousands of people were hosting dinner parties across the nation (even Martha Stewart jumped on the trend) and spreading the word about #FEEDsupper. By the end of the campaign, FEED raised enough money to provide over 2,000,000 meals for children and families in need. That’s amazing. The initiative was such a success, FEED has turned it into a year-wide campaign. If you’d like to get more donations using hashtag power, consider inspiring your supporters to donate through a community initiative, like a dinner, run, or a clean-up, and then share their experience with their friends using a hashtag you’ve created.
TIP 4: ALIGN ALL RESOURCES
Businesses have tremendous resources to contribute to good causes. Aligning all of a company’s resources—including human and intellectual capital, products, skills and volunteerism, as well as financial capacity—in support of carefully chosen nonprofit partners promotes deeper stakeholder engagement and promises a better return on investment.
In addition, aligning philanthropic strategy with a company’s products and operations creates coherency between philanthropy and business objectives. Examples include healthcare company support of wellness, disease prevention and cures; technology company support of STEM education; food production company support of hunger-related initiatives; and beverage company support of clean water.