Even if the prospect of growth is intimidating, sometimes it is necessary to expand rather than wither.
At the Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference at National Harbor, Md., Nadine Gabai-Botero of Focus Fundraising LLC, Joan Geiger Wood of Joan Wood & Company LLC and Isabelle Blanco of the Foundation Center offered advice for small organizations thinking of utilizing outside resources for growth.
They emphasized the following considerations:
- Fundraising strategy. Seek guidance to develop the organization’s annual strategy and help determine resources that will be most effective.
- Board development. A consultant can provide perspective, help elevate issues and encourage the board to take action on best practices, strategic recruitment, research, training and coaching.
- Planned giving. There is enormous potential in planned giving, particularly to small nonprofits.
- Direct mail and online. An organization can outsource its entire direct mail or online campaigns, or just pieces of them.
- Data analysis and management. Data management can be outsourced. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.
- Events. Think through the goals when considering outsourcing an event.
- Messaging. Communications is key to keeping donors informed and engaged.
- Grant writing. Considerations include leveraging more of the available funding opportunities, developing proposals that require particular formats and supplementing staff without adding a new full-time position. Consider a trial run with a short proposal before the big one.
- Prospect research. It’s not just for the big guys, and it’s not magic.