When you own and operate a nonprofit organization, contributions are a part of the financial footing you need to continue operating. Every year, when it is time to determine your annual budget, you have to set some goals for contribution. These goals can be based on the previous year’s donations, and can be predicted by looking at various factors currently affecting the economy. Yet ultimately, it’s simply a prediction.

How much money you want doesn’t matter; instead it’s based on both internal and external factors, and how they ultimately affect your annual drives.

Internal factors may include:

  • Historical trends in gift giving
  • Analysis of current donors and their giving history
  • Marketing campaigns towards new and first time donors
  • Lifetime memberships and estate planning strategies
  • Relationship building strategies with likeminded organizations
  • And more

External factors include:

  • Economy
  • Society changes
  • Competition
  • Technology changes

Smart organizations start by basing their budgets on adding up the expenses they know will occur over the next year. Then they calculate how much revenue will be coming in through fairly reliable sources. The difference is the fundraising goal.

The best way to set realistic contribution goals for your nonprofit organization is to base your goals on what you need to operate, not what you want. When you set your goals based on what you want, you may be setting your expectations too high. Focus on what your nonprofit needs to operate and when you gain that amount, any additional contributions will be an added plus.

Don’t forget to change your marketing strategies as technology changes. Now its easier than ever to reach out to first time donators by playing with social sites like Facebook and Twitter, and creating a website specifically designed for accepting charitable contributions. Sometimes it takes thinking outside of the box in order to find new ways of bringing in donations. With simple strategies, and dedicated people helping you reach out in new ways, it may be easier than ever.

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