A Time to Grow: 5 Considerations When Scaling Up a Nonprofit Organization
As is the case with a for-profit business, there comes a time when a nonprofit organization reaches a growth point and needs to scale up. And, just like with other businesses, careful thought must be given to which areas should be expanded. For a nonprofit, key areas to be considered should include fundraising, workflow processes, donor services, board member transitions and committees.
Nonprofits that are looking to ramp-up their fundraising business model might not have the in-house resources to execute multiple initiatives to help raise needed funds. A workaround for this problem is to contract with independent grant writers who can help find and apply for as many grants as needed. Most grant writers work on an hourly or per-project basis, while some will consider a fee based on the commission of the grant.
As an organization begins to scale up, workflow processes can become overwhelming and difficult to manage. Today, there are a number of professional tools and resources specifically designed to help nonprofits better manage tasks relating to project management, administration, social media, marketing, and even messaging apps for organizing customer service emails. For organizations that offer employee benefits, professional employment organizations are a good way to deliver and manage benefits — without the administrative burden.
Never has a nonprofit considered too many donations a problem. However, as an organization begins to scale up, managing gifts can become difficult. Today, donation software tools are fast becoming an ideal solution to this problem, allowing donors to give easily and more frequently in a secure operating environment. For the organization, donations can be collected anywhere, 24/7, and can even be designed to be recurring. Setup is generally a quick and easy process, with most programs allowing organizations to embed a custom form on their website or use a pop-up widget.
A nonprofit board position shouldn’t be a long-term commitment. To successfully scale up, organizations should establish an infrastructure that routinely transitions board members every three to four years to ensure that ideas and initiatives stay fresh and current. A solution for creating smooth board transitions is to have a continuity plan that clearly outlines the process so that everyone understands the terms of board service.
When organizations grow, they often have a need to expand existing committees or even create new ones. Before making changes, it’s important to first consider specific areas of focus and whether the organization has enough qualified internal volunteers or employees who can take the lead and properly manage the committee. In some cases, external consultants or subject matter experts might need to be brought in to provide guidance.
At Charity First, we’re passionate about providing innovative products, services and resources to meet the changing needs of nonprofit organizations as they grow and scale up. For information, contact us at 800-352-2761 or firstname.lastname@example.org.