Strategic Philanthropy: The new game-changer in the world of Giving

4% of the world’s billionaire are of Indian origin. In comparison to most developing countries, philanthropy in India has grown a lot in the recent years. No longer are we caught in the stereotype that the Indian population is engaged in philanthropy and giving, but only when it comes to temples and religious institutions. In the recent years, it has been observed that India’s younger generation has created a new wave of social responsibility in giving. As the Indian economy is growing with the spending capacity of people increasing, the individualistic mindset of people is also undergoing a change. Such a change in thought isn’t just limited to individuals and groups, but also corporate, who have recognized the benefits of what has been termed as – ‘strategic giving’.

 

Let’s begin by understanding what strategic giving really is. No, it isn’t just an annual CSR activity where you sign a grant cheque for a non profit, and in turn gain some goodwill. The relationship between a corporate and a nonprofit is much more nuanced, in a way that ensures both are equal beneficiaries of the partnership. This means companies ensure that their charitable giving activities are targeted towards a certain issue that will support their own business objectives. For that, companies need a pre-determined strategy that includes, goals, budgets, investments, and long-term giving objectives. That said, strategic giving can be narrowed down by certain criteria that define its underlying logic.

 

  • Fundraising activities are chosen based on pragmatic rationale, as opposed to emotion.
  • A company’s fundraiser will have a common area of focus, one that aligns to its value objectives.
  • A strategic giver aims to give larger donations, but to fewer causes.
  • Strategic giving isn’t just about money, but also about volunteering, collaboration, and activating personal networks.

 

Contemporary philanthropy has taken many different forms. With technology and digitization playing a major role in our lives, the newer generation is leaning towards online giving through online donations. One simply has to choose an online crowdfunding platform and set up a campaign for the cause. Especially with the impact of demonetization on our economy, crowdfunding in India is picking up pace quickly. All of these factors, among others, need to be taken into consideration before creating a concrete plan of strategic giving for an organization. Besides, it’s not enough to just have an initial plan, such a form of philanthropy is an ongoing process that requires timely monitoring and evaluation. To provide deeper insight into such a process, we’ve listed out the elements that one should consider before developing a plan of strategic philanthropy.

 

The fundamental reason for giving

Define your aspirations. The underlying theme of any philanthropic activity needs to be to create an impact and bring a change. If you are able to understand the purpose you want to achieve through your charitable deeds and donations, then you’ll have more clarity on how to go about it. The best way to figure this one out is by imagining the outcome you would like to see from your efforts. When you know which cause matter to you most, you’ll be able to carefully select a few organizations to support.

 

How you’ll go about it

Consolidate all the resources you are putting in. This means you need to determine your financial resources available for donations, your team that will be involved, volunteer work, and the time you can dedicate to the project.

 

The channels through which you will give

Determining a tangible way to donate, one that best suits your organization is an important element of strategic giving. With the development of concepts like crowdfunding, most people are opting for online giving. Also remember that money isn’t everything. You can add value, through personal resources, personal networks, communication assistance, etc.

 

The time frame

How far ahead are you willing to commit? In most cases, strategic giving involves a long-term relationship, wherein the nonprofit and the company are dependent on each other in equal parts. Having long-term plans allow financial stability to a nonprofit. However, the time frame depends entirely on a company’s business forecast.

 

Strategic philanthropists are most successful when their charitable giving reflects the vision and mission of their own businesses. The reason is that donating to an organization doesn’t just mean giving a donation, but it means that you have aligned yourself with their cause. Therefore it is vital to pick organizations that you are comfortable being associated with for a long time. Going further beyond, organizations should aim to leave a legacy with their philanthropic strategy. Take the example of the TATA group, that is known and honored for their contribution in the charitable sector. With regards to philanthropy in India, the TATA group formed one of the largest trusts that has fueled innumerable development projects in the country.

 

Strategic giving make a difference not only in how you are viewed, but also in increasing business opportunities, drawing in employees, as well as in providing a meaningful way to express one’s personal philosophies. Now, more than ever, corporates are in the midst of a culture that propagates social responsibility. With an array of options such as online fundraising and crowdfunding, corporates have the chance to grow their philanthropic portfolio and make it as comprehensive as possible. Implementing a strong strategy for giving is the best way to do well in your own ventures, as well as to make a difference in society.

 

Craft your strategy to change lives today!

 

Annual Fundraising Strategy for Nonprofits

Having a detailed and a strategic plan before starting your fundraising efforts is probably the best advise anyone who has had experience in this field will give to the nonprofits. Planning out every activity gives you and your team a sense of direction and a goal to keep aiming for. More often than not, the success of your crowdfunding efforts depends on your initial strategy. The best thing that can come out of detailed planning is that you get to learn from the past. As each year goes by, you will better understand the nuances of the philanthropic world, as well as the fast-growing method of online crowdfunding in India.

The best crowdfunding plans should have answers to every possible question that a potential donor may have, from the NGOs, before contributing to the cause.

 

This article offers a six-step fundraising strategy and planning process for anybody who is beginning fundraising efforts for their NGOs –

 

Step 1: Analyze past figures

Learn from your mistakes. This is a key suggestion for any kind of organization. Put together your income and expenses from the previous year to know your spending pattern. Analyze where you can cut down costs and where you need to dedicate more time and resources. Evaluate the sources that brought in money, and the sources that didn’t. A good way to do this is to make a chart of the previous year, and then consequently make one for the year to follow. This step will help give you more accurate projections for income and expenditure in the next year. It should include all costs associated with advertising, campaigns, overheads, travel, food, staff payments, and every other cost related to your NGO or nonprofit.

 

Step 2: Have a mission

In simpler terms, determine the philosophy of your organization. Your annual fundraising campaign should begin with giving details about your background, your team, your vision, your goals, and most importantly – your current efforts. It is necessary to have a firm positioning about these details from the very beginning, because it may reflect instability and unreliability if you change your vision and mission in the middle of your crowdfunding campaign. It would be good to include some noteworthy achievements from the previous year as well, as it helps to create goodwill for your nonprofit initiative.

 

Step 3: Gather your resources

Your online fundraising resources are all the assets (fixed, variable, tangible, intangible) that make your crowdfunding campaign successful. This includes people, money, materials, and equipment. Assign a tangible value to each of these resources. This step is also important when it comes to budgeting your expenses for the year.

Another vital part of your resources is your team. Be sure to put together a strong team of like-minded individuals, with the same ideals and goals for the NGO. Having said that, it might be beneficial to have a mixed bag of people with different professional and lifestyle backgrounds, as they will be able to bring in a lot of varied ideas and insights owing to different experiences. Ensure that each member has a specific skillset that will be used to further your cause, such as, strategy, communication, accounting, social media, etc.

 

Step 4: Budgeting

The first step of this annual fundraising strategy was to put together the numbers and figures from the past year and analyze them. We suggested making a chart for the same. Assuming you have all your information together, that chart will tell you so much about from where did your income come in the most, where do your heaviest expenses lie, where you can cut down costs, which departments need more attention, which resources are most valuable to you. Your analysis should include the following costs:

  • Staff payments
  • Overheads (rent, electricity, etc.)
  • Advertising
  • Cost of communications (includes designing, printing, stationary)
  • Consultations
  • Food and travel
  • Events
  • Other miscellaneous expenses

This way you will be able to make an accurate estimation of your income and expenditure in the following year.

 

Step 5: Set up a network

Taking previous years into consideration, analyze the sources from where most of the income is being generated. This will help you with segmenting the market, and knowing exactly where your donor base is. When you have a fixed target market, you can direct your cost of advertising, campaigning, and communication efforts towards them. For instance, if most contributions are coming in from CSR activities by big business, then that’s where your audience lies. You can even consider combining your online fundraising efforts with offline engagement events, which will grow your network of donors and open up more options for future collaborations.

 

Step 6: Set goals and timeframes

Each year, your fundraising campaign should have a new goal. The most common goals include the following:

  • Expanding operations to other parts of the city or country
  • Acquiring new donors with a fresh fundraising strategy
  • Engaging your current donors in fundraising activities

 

There are two ways of setting these goals. You can either have one goal for the entire year, and direct all your efforts and resources towards achieving it, or you can give a fixed time frame to each of these goals by distributing it throughout the year. For instance, the first six months can be dedicated to expanding operations, the next quarter will be dedicated to acquiring new donors, and the last three months will be occupied with engagement activities for current donors.

Having a rough idea of what you want to achieve in the year to follow is not enough information to go by, and this will become glaringly obvious, the more often you start making strategies for your mission.

It is not an easy task to plan your fundraising strategy with such great detail. But once you’ve done it, you will find that it has the potential to make your job so much easier. We also suggest some amount of transparency with your crowdfunding team, so that everyone in the organization is up-to-date with the current status, as well as with future goals.

So here it is, we hope this six-step guide helps you better plan your crowdfunding activities for the next year!

Ready to create a fundraiser for your nonprofit organization now?

Good luck!

5 Reasons why your nonprofit should collaborate with a Startup

Startups and for-profit organizations have recognized for long the value of collaboration and teamwork. Strategic alliances have benefits that go way beyond their monetary value. These include strategic communications, larger audiences, credibility, and brand image. That is just one aspect. Startups and young entrepreneurs today are driven by their age and their knowledge of the millennial generation, i.e the influencers. Their enthusiasm and awareness can greatly benefit any nonprofit initiative, and further a good cause.

So here are 5 reasons why collaboration with a startup might just give your nonprofit that extra edge in doing things better.

  1. Entrepreneurs are potential donors

 

essentials

 

Startups are a solid partnership for a nonprofit because of the funds available to them. There is a whole market of people out there who can dedicate time and energy in analyzing startup strategies, and invest heavy amounts in them if the idea sounds brilliant. That said, entrepreneurs make for great potential donors for your NPO. There are funds available for branding activities such as advertising, public relations, social media, and other platforms for communication. Such resources can be shared by teaming up with them. Thus Non-profit collaboration with start-ups is a win -win deal for both of them.

2. New innovative ideas

start-up blog - innovation

 

Startups bring fresh ideas to the table. Since a majority of the startups in our country are youth based, the ideas that are generated come from the influences of the larger population. Besides that, entrepreneurs are people who embrace risks fearlessly and such an approach can always prove beneficial in inspiring your team to become go-getters without limits. So if you’re a non-profit, desiring that ground-breaking impact, then collaboration with a start-up is a must!!

 

 3. Loyal user/customer base

 

Loyalty-strart-uo blog

 

It is well known that most startups have an initial network of friends and family that constitute a really loyal support base to bank upon. A nonprofit, therefore,  can always collaborate with a start-up, to leverage that network and convert it into a stable donor base, using effective and targeted communication. Most startups today take advantage of a community that is narrowing down every day due to social media. This means that entrepreneurs embrace collaborations with other startups, in order to maximize profits, as well as increase customers. For instance, there are large Facebook groups dedicated to communicating the innovations of startups. So collaboration with a startup gives a non-profit, exclusive access to a community that is driving path breaking change, across economy and society.

 

4. A chance to grow with them

Growth startup blog

While a startup may be small in the beginning, everyone aims to expand their business. They usually chalk out detailed growth plans that can take their organization from a regional, to national, to international standards. When you are in the shadow of a company with aggressive expansion plans, you have a great opportunity to grow with them! This is why non-profit collaboration with start-ups could be the way to fast-forwarding social change and progress.

 

5.  Credibility

credibility

 

Collaboration between nonprofits and start-ups is a symbiotic relationship that benefits both. While start-ups enhance their overall goodwill by firmly implanting their CSR imprint on firmer shores, nonprofits gain a lot by embracing their overall dynamism and leveraging their fast-expanding social and geographical reach. By attaching itself with a credible start-up, a non-profit can always gain that extra boost of corporate legitimacy- thus becoming more attractive to large donors.

For a non-profit collaboration with a start-up may seem as a risky proposition in the beginning, as they do not have an established name in the market. However, one cannot ignore the fact that these young startups with fresh ideas are the most driven, and have a better understanding of the youth’s relationship with philanthropy.

 

So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! Strike a partnership today.