How to grow your Not for Profit business - Kotak Bank
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The common perception is that non-profit organisations do not need growth. As compared to for-profit companies, they do not need to look into expansion as their goals are pre-set. Many believe that NPOs can run on a few steady donations without having to look out for more. But this is far from the truth. Steady donations are not a reality. Most donors, both individual and company, only commit to a certain period. Funders usually near the limits of what they can or will contribute. Hence, every non-profit organisation requires a consistent flow of funds in order to sustain and then grow. Instead of spending time keeping existing funders engaged with minimum resources, you need to look at growing your business and attracting more funds to serve better with. Here are a few tips that will help you chalk out a plan for the company’s growth.

Be open to change
When you started out, you chalked out your mission and put a plan in place with the help of your partners or group of directors. But do not close your mind to making some alterations as and when required.

1) The tried and tested method
There are three practices that were identified among non-profits that succeeded in building large-scale funding models:
Develop funding in one concentrated source rather than across diverse sources
Find a funding source that is a natural match to your mission and beneficiaries
Build a professional organisation and structure around this funding model

You can look at employing these techniques, although not every mission might necessarily attract large sources of funding.

2) Target the right sources of funding
As mentioned in the earlier point, you need to look at finding a funding source that identifies with your mission and the people who will benefit from it. Approaching individual donors is a lot easier than approaching bigger organisations, but getting a long-term commitment from an organisation is easier than an individual source. Also, it’s important to find a source of funding that is promising and prepare for it by recruiting the right team and building a plan that will work when you pursue them.

3) Make the most of your established revenue source
There are two kinds of funds, restricted and unrestricted. While you are legally obliged to use restricted funds only for the purpose of which the funder gave them to you, unrestricted funds can be used for any purpose to help you achieve your charitable goal. Make use of these unrestricted funds to improve the company’s efficiency by hiring more skilled workers and adding better resources.

What's more, keep your funders updated with the status of their funds, building a stronger relationship with them in the process.

4) Hiring is key
You might think that the organisation is doing fine at the moment. But it’s important to plan ahead, and this means investing in expansion. Start looking for the right set of employees and volunteers to bring on board. They should share the organisation’s vision and have the capability of contributing to its mission. By allowing people to work in harmony towards a shared goal while still fostering creativity and maintaining accountability, a non-profit can harness its energy and apply it to new ideas towards building long-term success.

Spread your wings
The most important aspect of a company’s growth is the number of client it caters to. In terms of a non-profit business, it depends on the number of donors the organisation can bring on board, and funds it is able to accumulate.

1) Catering to a bigger audience
Finding a primary funding source to scale an organization is important, but it’s only the first step. You can invest significant amounts of time and money to attract and solicit the right kinds of funding, but sometimes it’s just not enough. You need to look at targeting more than one donor. With that, you will be compelled to build a team and pool in resources that are big enough to handle a bigger clientele. Additionally, with a bigger donor base, you don’t have to really worry about losing out on income when a donor withdraws his/her donation.

2) Find newer ways to assist your beneficiaries
Everybody likes a fresh idea and fresh perspective, even your donors. Instead of following a linear path towards fulfilling your mission, find innovative ways of helping out your beneficiaries. The best way of doing this is to establish smaller missions leading up to the big one. Each mission successfully completed stands as a milestone towards your primary mission. This will also help you measure your company’s growth. Not to mention, donors will be impressed by your constant endeavours in achieving your goal.

3) Open franchises & unlock new destinations
The best way to expand your not-for-profit business is to open centres around the country. This way, not only will you be able to reach out to more donors, but also spread the message of your mission on a personal level.

Digitize your business
1) Build a mobile-friendly website

With internet surfed more often on a mobile than a laptop/desktop computer, it’s essential to build a website that is easy to navigate on all devices — mobiles, desktops, laptops and tablets.

2) Stay active on social media
No other medium can attract followers to your non-profit’s mission as much as social media. Fundraising on social media has become a trend and is hugely successful in today’s time. If you can build a credible case, it is the easiest way to attract funds to your cause. Make sure you employ a group of people exclusively to be in charge of handling your social media accounts.

Spend for a cause
Be prepared to invest money at a moment’s notice for your business. Sometimes, not all your expenditures can be planned in advance and there will come a time when you have to put in additional funds for the sake of growth. Yes, organic is the best way to grow, but it’s not advisable to solely depend on it. Make sure you leverage the right mediums that pose minimal risk like overdraft, loans and more. You can get in touch with our representative who can assist you with the best possible financial tools for your business in a way that will benefit you to the max.

Stay tuned to our next series of blogs for more ideas on how to start, run and grow your business.

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