How to Take Your Nonprofit Business to the Next Level



You know all of the ins and outs of your nonprofit business. You thoroughly believe in what you’re trying to accomplish and you know why people give to and get involved with, what you’re doing. But lately, you’ve started to feel like things have plateaued a bit. You might believe that you’re stuck or completely missing key opportunities that will take you to a new level. You may even believe that no matter what new approaches you try, your nonprofit business has reached its peak. If this describes how you’re currently feeling, then this article is for you. Let’s look at 7 ideas that you can start doing right away to drive your nonprofit to a new level of success.

1. Pick Up Your Phone

Tomorrow when you’re about to shoot out a few emails, stop yourself and step away from your computer. Then, grab your phone.

Rather than sending yet another email to a prospect, donor, community leader, or board member, pick up your smartphone and start dialing instead. Doing so portrays a higher level of personalization and professionalism and helps build stronger long-term relationships. And you never know; any one of these calls could force you to take out your nonprofit payment processing system and make a donation over the phone.

2. Get Into Several New Organizations for Networking

It’s common, especially in smaller towns, to simply run out of new people to talk with about your nonprofit. To combat this issue, join a few networking groups that you haven’t been involved with in the past.

Some options include:

  • Peer-to-peer business groups
  • Kiwanis Clubs
  • Local Chambers of Commerce
  • College alumni associations

No matter which options best fit you, it’s a great idea to join and start heading to their regular meetings. You’ll find yourself connecting with a lot more people that can help take your nonprofit to the next level. Networking is the key to keeping your business growing. Try your best not to miss out on opportunities to share with others what your non-profit is about. You may even be able to establish relationships that will benefit both your companies and grow your businesses.

3. Renew Your Vigor for Social Media

If you’re like most, you’ve probably launched a Facebook company page, LinkedIn Group, Twitter account, and Instagram profile. You also probably started out like gangbusters, posting on each account multiple times per day and uncovering qualified prospects.

But as other things get in the way, your social media activities start to tail off. To take your nonprofit to the next level, re-engage with your social media audiences. Make it one of your top priorities. There is a wealth of qualified prospects on social media that you don’t even know exists yet.

4. Pay Attention to Your Volunteers and Staff

Think about the last time you actually asked for, and paid attention to, new ideas from volunteers and staff members. Maybe they have new ideas for the company that you haven’t thought of.

Schedule a meeting to get them all together. Have them come prepared with new ideas for fundraising, operations, or anything else that helps drive you’re nonprofit forward. There may be a few duds, but often this will get the ball rolling and give you lots of input on how to improve your business. Listen and consider each idea on its own merits. You’ll be surprised by how inspired you’ll be.

5. Treat Five of Your Smallest Donors to a Meal Out

No doubt you’ve taken your biggest donors out on a regular basis. And you should. But have you ever considered getting in touch with five of your smallest donors and taking them out to eat? Anyone who is contributing to your company should feel like they matter to you and your business. 

Give a few of them a call and invite them to lunch. Talk to them about what their motivations are to give to your nonprofit. You may learn a whole lot more about your company based on their views as a smaller doner. Also, listen to any ideas they have that can help take you to that next level of service.

6. Start a Brand New Initiative

Spend some real-time thinking outside of your regular fundraising box. If you’ve become stuck in your patterns of outreach and don’t switch up your methods it’s time to launch a new one.  

For example, if you don’t already have a planned giving program, it’s time to get started on one. Have you been communicating with donors mostly through email blasts? Try a few rounds of direct snail mail instead. It’ll make an impression. 

7. Get Out of the Office

Few things lead to new ideas better than spending a day in the field with staff and volunteers. You’ll find that a whole lot more ideas come to mind when you are in a new environment.

If your nonprofit benefits schools, spend a day or two helping to tutor some of the kids. If your nonprofit is for the homeless, get out there and serve a few meals (and clean-up after). Either way, getting out of the office will certainly help clear your head and allow you to focus on why you created your non-profit in the first place.

Taking the time to get out and explore the area will help lead you down new paths of ingenuity. Perhaps you’ll realize that a certain strategy needs to be remodeled based on what you see other companies doing, or realize that you’re on the right track but just need to refine the process. The key is to get out of your own space and see what others are doing.

The Next Level Is Possible

Don’t feel like your nonprofit has plateaued. There are many things you can do to bring it to new heights. You may need to try several to figure out how to help grow your company but the key is to continue checking in to see how you can improve. These seven tips will help send you on your way.


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