The process of fundraising on behalf of a non-governmental organization is often very different than the process of fundraising on behalf of a for-profit enterprise. After all, when for-profit business owners and startup founders seek capital, they usually offer some kind of financial return in exchange for the resources provided by investors. Whether they offer equity, interest or fees associated with the investments that have been made, investors generally stand to profit financially from supporting a for-profit enterprise.
The benefits tied to investing in an NGO are often far more valuable than a financial return. NGOs do an extraordinary amount of good for society. Whether an NGO seeking funding aims to cure disease, provide resources for those in need, promote the arts or otherwise contribute to the greater good, investing in such enterprises is often well worth the resources of those who opt to assist in such operations. But because investing in an NGO does not result in a financial payoff for potential investors, one cannot approach the process of fundraising for non-profits in the same ways one might fundraise on behalf of for-profit companies.
Crowdfunding platforms do not simply function in ways that allow startup founders to find investors interested in helping them launch their companies. Various crowdfunding platforms allow artists, inventors and non-profits to raise funds in this increasingly popular manner as well. This fundraising model generally allows anyone to donate any amount that suits them to either an organization or a specific campaign launched by that organization. It may significantly benefit your NGO for you to speak with an attorney about the most relevant crowdfunding platforms for your purposes and about the best ways to generate funds on such sites given your NGO’s mission and model. Depending on how you ultimately choose to use crowdfunding as a tool, you may utilize this method of fundraising in various ways again and again.
Aiming to be “Trending”
A few years ago, millions of Americans participated in “The Ice Bucket Challenge.” In addition to going viral, this challenge received significant coverage on late-night shows, afternoon talk shows, local news broadcasts and morning shows. The challenge involved taking a video of oneself accepting the challenge, pouring a large bucket of ice water over one’s own head to increase awareness of ALS, posting that video challenging others by name to participate and making a donation to causes associated with ALS. In all, the challenged raised more than $115 million for the ALS Association during the summer of 2014 alone. The organization notes on its website that challenge-related videos have been viewed more than 10 billion times.
If your organization can come up with an innovative way to remain “trending” for a significant period of time, you will have the opportunity to raise funds while providing public awareness about your organization and its mission. It will take some creative determination in order to make a specific challenge, campaign, hashtag or other online tool go viral, but the Ice Bucket Challenge proves that such efforts may be worth that energy.
Rewards and Loyalty Incentives
When National Public Radio and PBS host membership drives, they provide rewards for those listeners and viewers who either opt to renew their memberships or newly invest in NPR and/or PBS. In addition, member stations in various states also provide loyalty incentives throughout the year, including early access to tickets for certain events and “insider information” related to the goings on of those particular stations. While many individuals familiar with your NGO may be inclined to donate funds regardless of reward offerings and loyalty incentives, other potential donors may be drawn to a particular “prize” for helping out. In addition, offering these kinds of incentives and launching campaigns aimed at targeting those who may be interested in them will help to remind loyal “fans” of your organization of your on-going financial needs and will educate others about your organization and its needs for the first time.
Fundraising Assistance Is Available
If you are interested in financing the launch of a non-profit organization or fundraising for an established NGO, please consider connecting with the team at LawTrades today. We are passionate about helping NGOs succeed and we offer the largest platform of freelance attorneys to assist in your legal needs.