When new nonprofit administrators want to learn about the latest tips and helpful hints for fundraising, there are a number of resources they can go to for help. For instance, a simple Internet search for "fundraising tips" might do the trick, or they can ask their peers or even politicians what they do when they want to raise money for their causes.
These burgeoning charity owners might not always think to ask local spiritual leaders. However, no matter the religion, many of these individuals are particularly adept at getting worshippers to donate their time and money to making their parish, temple, mosque or other center a better place.
In fact, the Catholic Archdiocese in Philadelphia recently decided to try out a new course of action when attempting to garner funds for church activities. This is something that leaders at almost any nonprofit could learn from.
Moving the office
According to KYW-TV, Philadelphia's local CBS affiliate, one of the first things the chairman of the new Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP) did was move the central office of the charity out of the Basilica that it will likely help fund.
"Notice you did not pull up to 222 N. 17th, that's on purpose," Richard Clark told the news outlet, referring to the church's address, and explaining that this nonprofit is actually an independently owned operation.
This strategy could be taken by any nonprofit. Leaders are going to want to move the office to a neutral location, so that potential donors won't feel any pressure to give money, which could make them uncomfortable. For instance, if a charity backs new projects in a hospital, it might be best for that organization to be run from a more traditional office space, lest individuals avoid that area in the medical center.
Choose a smart leader
The best administrator for a nonprofit might not be the person who's the most emotional about the cause. Take the CFGP, it's run by Clark, the former CEO of Merck. He told KYW that he plans to use his business acumen to influence decisions and raise funds, endeavors he has experience in.
Engage, not plead
According to CatholicPhilly.com, the ultimate plan is not actually to beg local parishioners to give money. Instead, the CFGP will be asking consumers how they'd like to see their money spent to benefit the church. All types of nonprofits should consider lobbing potential donors this question - not only does it inadvertently suggest that they donate, but it also indicates that they'll have a say in how the money is used, which might also prompt action.
The source did state that once it creates a branch that will give specific grants to start projects that donors seem to be interested in, then the charity may start soliciting for money.
The main point, however, the news provider explained, is to engage, not plead with people who might want to donate. This way, they seem like partners within the charity, rather than a money sign.
Organizations that are looking to raise funds through grant opportunities or local campaigns can use nonprofit financial management solutions to improve their chances of success. The software can help program leaders identify potential donors and send out applications with accurate accounting information.