Tips for building sustainability for your NGO

This is the typical story of nonprofits in India.

According to a report by Bain & Company on India’s philanthropic landscape, the social sector funds have grown at a rate of 11% over the past five years. Still, NGOs are fighting for sustainability, funds and a growth graph projection to accomplish their goals.

Started with passion and a zeal to solve a global problem, NGOs usually concentrate more on what they want to achieve rather than how they can achieve it. This simply translates into — Dearth of funds and long-term planning.

Hence, a solution is required — For building sustainability for organizations that are the presenters of hope for a better future.

But before that, it is essential to know what sustainability is?

Sustainability is the capacity of an organization to continue its activities by providing quality services and products for minimizing its financial vulnerability.

Information that an organization must have before starting to strive for sustainability:
  1. Assessment Of Needs: This assessment simply means collecting all the information (financial, technical, market survey) that your non-profit would need in order to build a plan of action.
  2. Business Plan: When you have all the information collected in one place, then it is time to build a proper business plan. This plan consists of projections like the cost involved in executing a strategy, the gestation period for results to show up, and expected funds to be obtained.
  3. SWOT Analysis: Now, when your business plan is in place, make sure to do a SWOT analysis for it. This will help you in understanding your model’s strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Feasibility Plan: After having the bird’s eye view of your business plan, you can curate a feasibility chart to check the priority of the tasks + investment that each of them requires.

Once you have the above data, you can start building a sustainability plan with the 7 step approach we have curated for a non-profit. What follows ahead in this 5-minutes article is a blueprint strategy for building sustainability.

So without waiting any more, let’s dive in!

Step #1: Develop A Holistic Strategy

As a non-profit, it is great to have a cause to work upon. However, it is equally important to build a revenue stream to support that cause. Hence, developing a holistic strategy will help your non-profit in building mind maps to achieve financial security by selling products or services that will promote an inflow of funds.

The basis for forming this strategy are:

  1. Assessment Of Needs: This assessment simply means collecting all the information (financial, technical, market survey) that your non-profit would need in order to build a plan of action.
  2. Know your target audience well.
  3. Be open to building multiple income streams such as organizing fundraising events, online webinars, selling souvenirs, and goodies that can help you to pull more funds towards your organization.
  4. Do not forget marketing. From stalls to social media posting, everything that makes people remember your non-profit’s name is going to profit you in the longer run.
Step #2: Build A Community

In a world where Facebook, Telegram, and WhatsApp are working towards getting people to collaborate in groups, there is surely nothing more powerful than building a community. With several travel, networking and startup communities building revenue models that are jaw-dropping, why can’t non-profits leverage the whole system?

With community building, NGOs can build a network of advocates who will promote their causes to help them reach a wider target audience.

Step #3: Build An Online Brand

In the world of cluttered content, a non-profit needs to leverage the power of content marketing in order to reach its target audience. One way of making this possible is by social media marketing. An NGO can post relevant content that will help its fans know about how their donations are put to use and the impact that the NGO is able to create. All this will help in channelizing more funds towards the non-profit.

Also read: How data enhances the credibility of NGOs

Step #4: Plan For The Future

It is vital for a non-profit to plan ahead because closing the entire system in one day due to the dearth of finances is the most heartbreaking reason for a driven non-profit to shut down. Hence, having campaigns planned well in advance can help NGOs to be financially secure for at least a quarter or so.

Step #5: Diversify Your Marketing

Marketing is an amalgamation of offline and online channels, but the non-profits often forget that. Mixing the two can help you in reaching a wider audience. Hence, offline activations like events, flashmob, story-telling shows, etc. when amalgamated with social media marketing and influencer marketing can help in building trust in the non-profit that will eventually mean its sustainability in the market.

Step #6: Create A Product/Service

Do not just rely on fundraising. If you can decide upon a product or a service to sell, this will help you in building another income stream for your non-profit. For example, many NGOs purchase hand-made clothes, jewelry, cards, etc. made by underprivileged people and sell them at higher prices in order to raise funds to work towards their causes.

This way, two goals are achieved in one go:
  1. People who are in need get employment opportunities.
  2. NGO can build a sustainable revenue stream for itself in order to fund more such initiatives.
Step #7: Work On Partnerships

What’s better than the power of a single organization? The power of two!

Nonprofits can usually sign bonds with big companies to build a perennial source of income for working on their cause. Such an arrangement is generally made between corporates that have CSR funds and nonprofits that have a compelling cause to work upon.

This arrangement helps corporates in avoiding setup costs of their own foundation and the non-profits gain funds from a credible source to remain sustainable.

That’s it!

This is how simple it is to build an action sustainability plan for your non-profit. Just add some products/services + good marketing + a couple of partnerships, and you are all sorted for the upcoming quarter.

In addition to the above steps, you can leverage BillionLives to enhance your organization’s working and efficiency.

And until next time, keep the good work up!