How nonprofits can continue to impact the economy
How do nonprofits impact our economy? According to an infographic put together by the Rebecca Gordon Group, nonprofits impact our economy in a significant way. Here’s how:
- Fundraising. In 2011, charitable giving rose to $347 billion. In 2012, charities expect to raise $360 billion. Individuals were responsible for 75% of contributions made, with foundations, bequests, and corporations responsible for the rest.
- Providing jobs. From 2000-2010 the nonprofit sector’s employment rate increased in 45 states with a total of 2.1% overall. New York is the leading employer of non-profit workers with more than 1.2 million jobs. To add some perspective to that number, the for-profit employment rate decreased by 0.6% during that time. In comparison to other industries, the nonprofit sector employs the third most people in the country with 10.7 million. Retail trade and manufacturing top the list.
Although these numbers are impressive, there is still room for improvement. One area of focus that your nonprofit can take is targeting corporations. Corporations only made up 5% of the total amount of charitable contributions made in 2011, demonstrating a tremendous opportunity for growth. If you factor in that more and more companies are offering programs related to charitable giving, this number is sure to rise in 2012 and beyond. Here is what to look for when you’re formulating your corporate giving strategy:
- Grants. Grants are still the mainstay of corporate giving and thousands of companies contribute billions of dollars per year. The Foundation Center makes it easy to find these grant makers, tracks their giving history, and lists their criteria. It is best if you find a company whose mission statement closely aligns with yours to help improve your chances of building a long-lasting and fruitful relationship.
Since individuals make up 75% of contributions made in 2012, it is important to continue engaging with them. One of the most effective ways to do this is online. According to the chart by the Rebecca Gordon Group, one of the main reasons behind the upswing in charitable giving is that recently, more donations are made online and through mobile devices. If you want to get the most out of your online presence here are a couple of things you can do:
- Be Interesting. Since nothing beats word-of-mouth promotion, give your donors something to talk about. Whether it is creating viral videos like Charity Water has done, sending personalized thank you notes as the Carter Center has done, or using social media to tell stories about the impact your work is having on real people, it pays to have something your audience can talk about and relate to.
- Be Engaging. Are you talking with your audience? With social media, it has never been so easy to engage with your donors in interesting and fun ways. You don’t need to host a tweet-a-thon to succeed at this. You can start sharing stories and photos on Facebook and Pinterest. You also don’t have to always talk about your organization and what it’s doing. People will respond more favorably if you interact with them. Get the conversation going by asking some questions and answer their questions as well. Also, whenever you send out e-mails to your subscribers, be sure to include links to your social media pages.
- Make it Easy. While it is good to have a donate button on your website, it is better to spread it across your social media channels. You can streamline your donation strategy by adding a button to your Facebook fan page to increase avenues for donors to give to your organization easily.