If you are struggling to find funds for your non-profit, if you are frustrated with social media and can’t find the right channels to expand your partnerships, if you don’t know where to begin your prospecting, then read on as well as give a listen to Andrey Gidaspov, connector of people and ideas, fundraiser and published author fundraising for nonprofits, practical advice from real experience on Tamara Leigh’s TREND ON with Heidi Feemster here.
The challenge for nonprofits is to be continuously cultivating sources for funding when, of necessity, they must focus on their mission and do the actual work of what it is they do. Often, limited staff and team of volunteers are in the trenches, and may be spread too thin, or when it comes to asking for money, some organizations may shy away from the task because it can be uncomfortable.
However, Andrey teaches how making personal connections is not only possible, but it’s also vital to access funding from the main sources: Foundations, Individual Donors, Corporate/Small Businesses, Volunteers. Andrey’s social media platform of choice for the purpose of building meaningful financial relationships to contribute to nonprofits is LinkedIn — it is the most business-based social media site out there. (Click here for interesting facts about LinkedIn.)
Andrey’s tips include (but are not limited to):
1.) Use LinkedIn for effective prospecting, networking and gaining direct access to potential contributors.
Profile. Tweak your Linkedin profile for SEO results. Make sure keywords for your organization are plentiful.
Experience. Also include keywords within your LinkedIn profile experience fields with consistency.
Expert. Establishing yourself as an “Expert” on LinkedIn (& all your social media sites) is crucial to achieving the “know, trust, like” requirement for most people to buy into your organization or what you’re selling. Posting content of value (Wayne Breitbarths suggests a 6/3/1 Rule), joining groups, and building connections. Andrey suggests upgrading to a paid LinkedIn account that allows in-mail contact with a wider number of potential connections might be a worthwhile investment.
Eyes-peeled. LinkedIn offers an opportunity to learn from your competitors, keep up with your industry trends, and engage in content you or your competitors have posted to get in front of another like-minded audience..
Be Visible. Make sure your nonprofit or business is visible and engaging on LinkedIn. Engage with the communities the social platform affords on a regular basis. If your efforts are willy-nilly, so will your results
2.) A key secret of true networking: Create a laser-sharp “elevator pitch” and a genuine connection with your counterpart. Your nonprofit can create “blue oceans” by engaging small business owners and corporate partners to support your cause.
- Fine-tune your nonprofits message into an engaging “elevator pitch” so if a carpe diem opportunity presents itself — you organization’s message & mission is delivered precisely and with punch. Andrey suggests having several “pitches” scripted so that you can tailor the right message for the person or context.
3.) GIVE. By offering something first, nonprofits can build relationships and create connections that yield results, often long-term and with recurring funding.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The success of a business or corporation today relies on a positive presence and influence – whether it’s local, national, or global and most companies already have partner causes that align with their products or objectives. CSR provides tremendous opportunity for a non-profit to get involved.
Get to know staff responsible for CSR projects at your target companies. Find them on LinkedIn, meet them at conferences and trade shows, and introduce your project to them. This will add extra touch points to your non-profit, and brings you closer to reaching your goal.
Volunteers are valuable resources too – it’s another form of important contribution to your efforts that saves limited funds for allocation in other areas. For example, tapping a local tech company for a few skilled volunteers to help your nonprofit with your computer needs is a great way to get brand ambassadors within a business.
4.) In conjunction with your “elevator pitch”, in today’s social marketplace, it’s necessary for your nonprofit to have a “story”. It’s an expanded version of your purpose in a way that people — after all, it’s people who write the checks — and people will act to be part of an experience. It’s why coffee drinkers stand inline instead of brewing a pot at home. It’s why lots of folks who’ve never broke a sweat wear apparel with the famous check. Create your nonprofit’s story that inspires and captures your desired audience.
If you want more info or have a question for Andrey Gidaspov, you can find him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreygidaspov; as well as on his website and blog at: www.gidaspov.com; and on twitter: @AndreyGidaspov