Capacity. A word that makes us scratch our heads and means something different to everyone and their nonprofit. When it comes to capacity building, it’s more than an organization’s ability to effectively delivery on its mission. Capacity building is really about investing in effectiveness to sustain your organization into the future.
Dave Koken, director of impact with Social Venture Partners Denver, shared his thoughts on capacity at our February Learn 365 event. Most nonprofit organizations operate with very limited resources, so the question is how do you invest those limited resources of money, time and expertise to position your organization for growth? Dave suggests there are two primary paths. You can invest in capacity or you can invest in fundraising, and the two are deeply connected to each other.
Choosing the path that’s right for your organization can be tricky, but asking yourself the following questions can help you start navigating the path toward sustainability and growth:
1.) Is your team aligned on a clear vision?
2.) Do you have a strong case for impact?
3.) Can you effectively use new funding?
When you can answer, “Yes!” to these three questions, your organization is what he calls Funding Ready. Answer “no” to any of them, and it’s time to focus on Capacity Building. Watch the entire Learn 365: Rev It Up webinar for more insights!
ColoradoGives.org offers several ways to help you on your capacity building journey. The first step is storytelling.
Review Your Organization’s ColoradoGives.org Page. Will a donor find what you have to say interesting and does it offer an emotional connection? Is it informative? Do you integrate photos of your work in action? A picture is worth a thousands words. Take advantage of the tool to add imagery and video. Quick tip: Link your Instagram or Facebook platforms to easily add imagery and stories to your page!
Leverage Fundraising Pages: Fundraising pages offer unique messaging opportunities and unique reporting. Learn More
Secure a Matching Grant: Matching grants create opportunities for specific, compelling and time-sensitive campaigns using a match to incentivize donations and highlight your story for impact. Learn More
Finally, nonprofits can use the data in their ColoradoGives.org account to measure growth. The overview dashboard, donations report, and recurring/retention reports help you review past fundraising activity and determine your future goals to grow.
Let the Colorado Gives 365 team at Community First Foundation help your organization build capacity and grow!
Q: Do you have any advice for ways to better amplify the national mission that we execute at a local level?
Leverage national impact stats to grab attention, reaffirm issues, and the community needs your nonprofit addresses, but keep the bulk of the content specific to your local area of impact. Consider email list segmentation based on location for more tailored location-based messaging.
Q: How can I learn more about building endowments? Community First Foundation specializes in supporting nonprofit endowments! Learn More Here
Q: How do I increase monthly giving? Create a monthly giving program with growth goals. Start with your current donor base. Segment and evaluate your monthly giving donors and consider asking for an increased monthly gift for 2023. Make a plan to engage “one-time” donors to communicate the value of a monthly gift and ask them to set one up. Make a plan to present the monthly giving option to new donors. Measure your success and adjust as you learn.
Q:What do you mean when you say your page should be “evergreen”? “Evergreen” content is relevant for a long time and communicates your mission, vision, values. For this reason, we suggest your ColoradoGives.org organization page has evergreen content. “Timely” content is time-sensitive and specific, such as content on a specific fundraiser page.
Q: How is a strategic plan different from the Theory of Change? Theory of Change is great for getting your team aligned on goals and anticipated outcomes in order to play for growth. A strategic plan takes it a step further to define the actions taken to achieve said goals you have aligned on. Learn More About Theory of Change
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