6 Crucial Investment Ideas For Nonprofits To Succeed

Running a non-profit is challenging. In order to do the most good, NGOs today have to function like any other venture, building a team, having a strategy and working with targets. It is almost like running a business albeit a lot more rewarding. Therefore, every social entrepreneur or a nonprofit founder requires the essential business skills to operate effectively, and efficiently.

Doing social good has moved away from the naive idea of raising funds through events or charity dinners once a year. It is now a 24×7 job where volunteers and workers, work constantly to engage the community, spread awareness and effect change. Like other businesses, NGOs must invest in key areas to ensure smooth functionality and a greater impact.

So, how do you make sure your limited funds are invested in the correct areas?

Here’s a list that can help you out:

 

1) Having the Correct Business Plan is the Key to Growth

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Your passion for the cause should not take over the practicalities involved in running a successful NGO. It is imperative to have a business plan that highlights your long-term as well as short-terms goals. Set achievable and realistic goals. The business plan should also cover how you plan to achieve these goals with the resources you already have. Every few months you can look back to your business plan and see how far you’ve come, the progress you’ve made and the areas you need to dedicate more time to.

 

 

2) Legal and Financial Areas Cannot Be Avoided

The most critical activity of an NPO is to raise funds and the law has several rules governing how an NGO manages funds. You will need a legal aid to understand the legal framework of running a charity. Financial managers are responsible to set budgets, conduct audits as well as go over the accounting procedures and policies of a nonprofit to ensure all rules are being adhered to and the funds are well-utilized and managed.

 

3) The Right Team Will Take You Places

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NGOs usually don’t have enough funds to recruit a huge team so one has to recruit smartly. Make sure your team shares the love for your cause equally and genuinely care about making a change. Though recruiting volunteers is a good way to get things done, having a permanent team is crucial to not let operations stop at any time.The perfect team of personnel to run your nonprofit should include leaders/board members, admin staff, communications executives, legal and financial managers, and full time/part time employees or volunteers.

 

4) Don’t Talk a Lot, But Always Keep in Touch

In the Digital age, communication has taken up a new space altogether. How and how often you communicate to your community ensures a large part of your success as an organisation.

Especially with NPOs looking to raise funds, communications aimed at persuading donors can be very tricky at times. Each cause will have a different target audience. Once you find the right one for you, you must analyse their interests, their history with philanthropy, donating patterns, and plan your activities accordingly. Get journalists involved, interact through social media, do on-ground events, send out emailers and updates to donors and always keep in touch with your community. Remember, content is king.

5) Your Community Won’t Fail You

NGOs thrive due to their global/local supporters and volunteers. When all fails, the community is often the one that comes to your instant rescue. The community is built of people/groups that already care about your cause and have already contributed to furthering it. As a nonprofit, you need to ensure that you respect your supporters and keep them engaged. You can do this by sending a personalized thank you message or token of appreciation, shoutouts on social media, invites to events, merchandize, on-field tours etc. Such acts of gratitude are necessary to maintain long-term relationships for the future benefit of your nonprofit.

6) Take Your Cause to the Crowd

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A great way to expand your donor base is to get your cause out to the crowd, to a community of caregivers who would be interested in knowing you and supporting you. In the age of the internet, spreading the word isn’t tough. Try online fundraising by partnering with a crowdfunding platform which could not only help you deal with any spontaneous costs or big projects, but will also help you get more donors.

 

 

If you have these aspects ticked off your checklist, you are all ready to spread the joy! So get started now!

 

This 34-year-old’s entire life changed in a moment…

A young, happy Shobana, who like many of us led a normal life, working at a bank and taking care of her widowed mother, was left bedridden and unable to speak after one incident changed her life forever.

Perhaps, no one in Shobana’s family would forget the night of 1 October 2015, when they suddenly had to rush Shobana to the hospital and watch an energetic 34-year old lie immobile for 4 months in a hospital ward and go through two major brain surgeries.

Shobana grew up with her mother and her elder sister Sukanya in a humble house-hold. Their father passed away when they were very young but their mother somehow managed to educate them. Shobana received her MBA and went on to work and support her family. Everything was alright, until one night as Shobana was returning home from work in an autorickshaw, two men  tried to snatch her purse.The intensity of the pull threw Shobana out of the rickshaw on the road and left her seriously injured. She was immediately admitted to Nanavati hospital where she underwent two major brain surgeries and was treated for almost 4 months. The injuries caused problems in her cognitive development, hampered her mobility and left her bedridden. Shobana couldn’t move or talk.

These were not ordinary circumstances. The family’s income could barely support the heavy treatment cost of Shobana and the long period of treatment ensured that the bills kept piling up. Shobana’s life wasn’t easy too. Her movements were limited as she couldn’t walk, eat and even had trouble speaking.

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But Shobana is a fighter. Today, a year and a half later, she continues to fight the odds and is slowly getting better each day. Her sister Sukanya, who has been fighting alongside Shobana the entire time, is gathering all the support she can from friends, family and others to aid Shobana’s recovery.

Shobana is being treated at home now. She needs constant care but due to financial constraints her family can afford a day nurse only for a limited period of time. Her daily physiotherapy and speech sessions are on too. According to her sister, her limb movements are getting better, she sometimes speaks a few words, she is trying to eat on her own and is even attempting to write with her left hand.

The family is hopeful for Shobana’s recovery. However, keeping up with the daily cost of her treatment is becoming difficult. Her sister, Sukanya is raising funds online on Impact Guru to help her and has so far raised around 6 lakh rupees. Their current expense per month is around 1.5 lakh rupees.They are going to need all the help they can get to complete Shobana’s treatment till she gets better.

You can help them by donating or sharing the fundraiser, here.

3 Things To Watch Out For While Donating To NGOs

Donating towards a good cause can be the most rewarding feeling, isn’t it? But sometimes we tend to get carried away by the idea of doing charity, and rush into the process without checking some crucial details about the organization/ NGO/ nonprofit we’re donating to. For instance, if the NGO is not genuine, then your hard-earned money that you parted with for a good cause, may not actually reach the beneficiaries they were meant to.

In order to be sure that your funds will be directed towards the growth and upliftment of society, here are three things you could check for, before transferring money to an NGO:

 

Is the NGO registered?

Since NGOs are private institutions, it is not necessary for them to register themselves to conduct charitable work. However, there are certain benefits of registering under the country’s specific acts and laws. For instance, registered NGOs are eligible to obtain a legal status, seek assistance from government agencies, contract funds and support from the relevant departments, tax exemption from certain incomes, training opportunities, technical assistance, and concessions when obtaining vehicles, equipment and commodities. Moreover, NGOs in India that register under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Registration Act), are even eligible to get donations from a foreign source, which is a huge step for the financial stability of any nonprofit. Keeping in mind the benefits of foreign funding to Indian NGOs, crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru, that are affiliated with notable international donors like Global Giving, are able to help registered NGOs raise larger sums through NRI donations.

 

Will you be eligible for a tax benefit?

Did you know that Government of India provides tax saving benefits to donors, to encourage more people to contribute towards good causes that benefit society? The Income Tax Department allows an individual donor to claim up to 100% tax exemption under Section 80G, on the amount donated to verified charities and NGOs. It’s a great opportunity for you to plan your annual giving strategy in a way that will not only benefit others but also yourself! In fact, even NRIs who donate towards Indian NGOs are eligible to get tax benefits from their own country, if they donate via crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru.

 

Is your method of payment safe?

In the past, a lot of NGOs have been caught in money laundering scams, where donor funds were not being used for the right social cause. Every donor should check for the nonprofit’s accountability and transparency, as well as their past accomplishments and financial stability over the years. It is always safer to avoid donating in cash, and instead opting for written cheques, or even better, online payments. In fact, a lot of donors now prefer supporting causes through crowdfunding websites like Impact Guru, where they conduct a due diligence and verification process for anyone raising funds through them. Moreover, they offer safe and reliable payment methods to the donors, who can be sure that the funds will reach the right cause.

 

In conclusion, it is great to support causes that are close to your heart, but if your money doesn’t reach the right people, your contribution and deeds of kindness might be futile. Checking an NGO’s authenticity by logging onto their website or social media pages will only take a few minutes to ensure that your funds are put to good use. If you see the progress an NGO has made, you can even consider being an annual donor for them. Moreover, getting involved in social work needn’t mean just giving money; time, skills, and volunteering holds as much value as donations!