I thought this post on Beth Kanter's blog from Frank Barry (@franswaa) of Blackbaud was worth sharing: It's an overview of Blackbaud's 2012 State of the Nonprofit Industry report. Not surprising, "flat or decreasing funding" ranks as one of the top problems cited by the nonprofits surveyed. More interestingly, nonprofits who use multichannel approaches are more optimistic about their fundraising prospects and are up to three times more successful than groups relying on fewer channels.
Most of the groups I talk with understand they need a multichannel strategy but have a hard time getting off the dime into new approaches. Usually the culprit isn't a lack of ideas, but ironically, a history built upon huge success in a single channel. That is, a nonprofit will find success in one channel and naturally build its organization around that channel. But ultimately this can create a structure that is too rigid. In other words, business processes are often the biggest impediment.
If your organization has processes that are overly centered on a single way of approaching donors, diversifying doesn't need to be as difficult or as scary as it sounds. Like everything else, the key is to start small. Initial forays into major giving, digital giving, direct mail, or event fundraising can be bite-sized -- you don't have to start by hosting your own triathlon.
Better results are a compelling reason to diversify in my book. And the prospect of being happier and more optimistic each day? Sign me up!
Full infographic at the source link below.