How Nonprofit Can Thrive During Tough Economic Time

This post will continual the discussion in the previous post on “How to Maintain a Nonprofit during Tough Economic Time”, but also look at some examples of “How Nonprofit Can thrive during Tough Economical Time.

Economic concerns are still large in most conversations with unemployment and foreclosure still rising. So, how do you keep your nonprofit strong and stable when the economy has donors scare to spent or give. In situation like this many people panic. Surviving a bad economy should not send your organization retreating for cover, but it should force you to focus on solutions and efficiencies. A good leader should know when to retreat so that an organization can rebuild its strength so that it can come back to fight another day.

“In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage. In every defeat there is a lesson showing you how to win the victory next time.”-Robert Collier, Writer & Publisher

Here are several suggestions to focus on during tough time.

1. Don’t cut back on fund raising.

You must keep your name out in the donor community. You    should become more focus and efficient with your fund raising efforts. You gain nothing by cutting back fund raising and you certainly stand a chance of gaining something with your more focus efforts. You should get a better return on your fund raising investment dollars. Get more personal and cultivate your relationship with your donors. Keep acquiring donors. Donors are general worth more every year.

2. Give donors what they want.

Donor’s behaviors are changing radically, but that don’t mean people are not giving. It means that donors are thinking longer and harder before they give. You need to find out what your donors want and find a way to deliver it. Communicate with your donors to learn, what’s more important to them. Give them a call, sent a email, take a survey, uses online tools to view chat rooms and message boards. If you keep your eye on your donors, you can take advantage of their many woes and give them what they want and add to your success in tough times.

3. Let donors know that they are appreciated and needed more that more now than ever.

Donors want to feel good. Let them know they are appreciated. Make them feel special. Donors want to have an impact, make a different with their donations. Donors want to know that there was a return on their donations. In business it’s known as a return on investment (ROI). Don’t give donors the doom and gloom story, give then something positive. Give them testimonials of those that their donations helped. Who can the donor save? What can be made possible with their donations? How can they change a life with a small donation? Tell a compelling store. Add pictures, add video to your website, a picture is better than a thousand words.

4. If you must cut, cut what’s unclear.

If you have lees money, spend on those things that are necessary to reach your mission. Spend money on things that have a measurable impact. Donors want to see the returns on their donations. Don’t spend on things that have questionable impact or none measurable results. Spend funds in marketing that will have a direct impact not something that has a lot of form (looks good and sound good) over substance (getting the intended results; donations, volunteers, etc). Cut programs that are either unneeded or too costly to justify for your budgets or returns from the program.

While the economy may be responsible for some of your problems, but it’s not the whole store. Your organization must prove its relevance to donors and supporters. You need to communicate with your donors to find out what they are looking for as a return on their donations. Communicate with your staff, supporters and volunteers to find out how things can be made better. Keep looking to find out your problems and what steps are necessary to correct the problems.

There are many more suggestions and tips that we will discuss in later posts.

During these tough economic times nonprofit, citizens and the government will be forced to work together more than ever in order for nonprofit to thrive. We will need new ideals and solutions for today’s problems. We must share strategies and resources and also collaborate when necessary. Now, more than ever we need to share resources and information so that   nonprofits can not only thrive but emerge even stronger. Have resources to share? Contact us so we can share with others.

Keep checking back here for more ideals, information and resources as we moved forward in tough times.

Please take a look at my newsletter for other tips, resources  and valuable information.


Have you ever considered telling a compelling story that will touch donor’s hearts? If you have been operating for awhile you have stories to tell.  There is no better time to search out the personal testimonies of those you help and let them talk to the donors in their own words. The donors will be deeply touched and greatly appreciated when they connect to someone they have helped or maybe even saved a life. A Multimedia presentation can do wonder for your fund raising campaign. Also, just as valuable. Invite donors to a forum or programs where the donors can interact with the beneficiaries of their gifts. A caveat!  Don’t sink to begging or doom and gloom tactics.


“ Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

By sharing information, ideals and working  together, we can help our organizations, serve our community and change the world!

If you know of any nonprofit organizations doing great work , please sent me an email. The organizations may get mention in a later post or may even get listed as a resource on my web site. Please take a look at my newsletter for other tips, resources and valuable information.

If you know of resources that you think would be helpful to other, please forward their contact information so that we can share it. Keep checking back here for more information, ideals and comments as we moved forward in these tough times.

See you soon!


2 Responses to “How Nonprofit Can Thrive During Tough Economic Time”

  1. Mary Ellen Bascomb Says:

    This information has really been helpful to me. Thanks a lot. It has given me a lot of information to consider in forming my not for profit.

    • nonprofitinfo Says:

      Thanks for the comment and I encourage you to joint the nonprofit community. Please take a look at my web site for additional information, resources and services that I provide to nonprofits.

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