As 2020 is quickly approaching, non-profit organizations are preparing for the upcoming year by analyzing their fundraising strategies. The demands for more creative and effective fundraising campaigns will continue to increase, but many non-profit organizations have limited in-house support staff and resources to support the rising consumer demand. Outsourcing with the right partner can improve messaging and communication with your audiences, fill in any missing links within your team structure, and enhance your overall fundraising efforts.
If you’re still unsure whether outsourcing is right for your organization, audit your fundraising strategies. Do you have the in-house expertise in place to manage it? Are increasing consumer demands exhausting your budget? From there, you’ll have the information you need to identify areas that could be strengthened by bringing on the right outsourcing partner. In this blog, we discuss when it’s the right time to bring on an outsourcing partner and strategies to bring them onboard.
3 Signs it’s Time to Outsource
- You need more bandwidth. Your staff is hyper-focused on driving donor support for your organization. Hiring an outsourcing partner will eliminate time-consuming tasks, freeing up employees to focus on executing your mission. Work with a partner who can focus on increasing donations and donor retention, making fundraising calls, processing donations, and running campaigns.
- You need to increase donor satisfaction. Donor satisfaction is a critical aspect of fueling your organization’s mission. An increase in donor satisfaction will likely increase donor retention, and also, their overall connection to your mission. Outsourcing allows you to provide a gold standard of donor service by offloading time-intensive tasks like donor contact management, ‘thank you’ letters and appreciation event management.
- You need to reduce costs. A large amount of most non-profit organizations’ budgets is spent on executing their fundraising strategies. Outsourcing will give you access to a talented workforce trained in marketing, outreach activities, and other important initiatives. Their exclusive focus will drive successful results.
Benefits of Outsourcing for Non-Profits
- Reduced long-term operating and capital costs
- Increased funds for initiatives
- Enhanced efficiency
- More nimble resources and the flexibility to adapt
- Increased access to technology, skills, and insights
- Increased ability to focus on your organization’s mission
- Opportunity to leverage subject-matter experts to enhance campaigns
Sometimes you can outsource specific tasks, like tax preparation or advertising. Other times, it makes more financial sense to outsource an entire department such as:
- Information Technology
- Donor Relations
Finding the Right Partner
Once you review your fundraising strategies (i.e. donation goals, internal operating resources), evaluate what you need in an outsourcing partner. An ideal partner is:
1.) Data-driven. According to Charity Village, a non-profit staffing and networking organization, data and performance metrics will guide your organization to:
- Make informed decisions
- Increase fundraising revenues
- Increase the efficiency of how your organization runs
Tracking data is essential to identifying which initiatives were most effective and which campaigns fell short. You want a partner who is focused on data, interpreting campaign results, and optimizing tactics to provide better performance in the future. This partner can use:
- Existing donor data to create highly effective campaigns.
- Campaign performance to analyze what worked well and what should be repeated.
- Industry data to identify beneficial trends to incorporate within your fundraising strategy.
2.) Tech-savvy. The ideal partner is tech-savvy in multiple ways. First, they are familiar with the non-profit technology tools, software, and platforms that ease contact management. Additionally, they will have experience processing donations and using reporting to optimize performance. Your ideal partner should also be aware of the technology landscape including social media, best practices for web and mobile, and how different generations and audiences are behaving online. The right outsourcing partner will stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and optimize campaigns in real-time.
3.) Established with a proven track record. Non-profits run a very different campaign than traditional businesses do. Therefore, it’s important to bring on a partner that understands the unique issues your non-profits is facing:
- Focusing on donations and impact, not profit
- Adhering to laws and regulations specific to non-profits
- Creating an overall impact not output
Keys to Outsourcing Success
After you’ve determined outsourcing is right for your organization, here are a few tips to maximize your outsourcing partnership:
- Providers should be selected for their expertise in working in the non-profit sector and should demonstrate awareness of relevant legal and regulatory requirements.
- Leadership should communicate enthusiastically and proactively about outsourcing as a way to enhance the mission, not move jobs away from the organization.
- Monitor the performance of your partners closely to ensure their efforts align with your mission, your internal efforts, and your fundraising goals.
- Boards and senior management must still provide oversight and retain legal, fiduciary, and program responsibilities.
Non-profit leaders rely on Ascenta to create custom solutions that help them extend their reach and impact. Our donor acquisition strategies are customized to your charity’s community, organizational goals and messaging. We work closely with non-profit organizations to research, design and execute the most effective donor acquisition campaigns, either for specific initiatives or your charity as a whole. Learn more about our donor acquisition solutions.