All NGO’s are different and operate in their own unique ways, so different income streams work better in different environments. Making sure you have a healthy mix of income sources will not only diversify and grow your income, but also reduce the risk of being reliant on one source.

NGO’s should be conscious if 30% of their total revenue comes from one income stream, if this suddenly disappears, making sure you are diversifying through new ways of giving will assist with this.

Four New Ways of Giving

Everyone will have different reasons for donating, and ideas on how much they want to donate, and some might not even know how much they want to give, or how involved they want to get. Giving donors different options will grow your income revenue streams, and help you reach new audiences who may not be engaged in the traditional ways of giving.

We have identified some of the most effective alternative ways of encouraging donations:

1) Weddings, birthdays and special events usually involve a gift or a favour, and what better way to celebrate by giving to others in need. NSPCC have taken this on board and provide donors with donation boxes to use at their venues, and merchandise which can be used as favours. They also encourage donors to share their stories on social media.

2) New opportunities are emerging all the time, especially on social media. Facebook is a key advertising channel, and a great way to tap into new audiences, and amplify your message to a larger audience. Your NGO might need a new computer, clothing, or a helping hand – post this on social media, your community is likely to pick this up, and share it with their networks.

3) Run a viral video campaign, similar to the ice bucket challenge which saw huge international success in raising awareness and funds for Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Video content is one of the most popular forms of content right now, and using this to spread the word, gain awareness and donations is worth exploring. If you are interested into tapping into a younger audience, this is a good place start.

Tip: make sure you associate your campaign with a hashtag, so you can keep track of participants, and activities related to the campaign.

4) Giving time, instead of a donation. There will be people who can offer their time, skills and expertise, whether it be an accountant helping you with financial activities for a day, a carpenter who can lend a hand at your premises or even organisations like BNZ which have annual days when their staff donate time to community organisations. This is a great way to reduce the cost of running a business, especially for smaller NGO’s who do not have the resource to employ staff members.

Other traditional forms of donating are still really important, including fundraising, corporate sponsorship and bequests. Also, giving people a range of donation options is a great way to increase donations, including offering different price levels, one-off, and recurring options.

This is the second blog post in our four-part NGO series. See our other posts on digital communication for NGOs, encouraging donations online, and nurturing repeat donations using email marketing.

If you are interested in exploring new ways of giving for your NGO – get in touch. We have a bunch of ideas, and digital tools worth looking at!