Ep 102 | Diversify Your Donations
The average millionare has seven different streams of income. This allows you to have more stability in your financials and feel more confident in your growth. Does your nonprift have multiple streams of income? I'm sharing some ideas for ways you can create more variety in your fundraising and feel less stress when it comes to reaching your fundraising goals.
In this episode you'll learn:
→ what different streams of income you could use.
→ ways to think about traditional fundraising.
→ providing services at a cost (even if it's well below market value).
→ how to take your area of expertise and turn it into a course.
→ why affiliate income can be impactful.
Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways:
[4:43] The traditional outlets for fundraising are important here. Work from the bottom up – so monthly donors all the way up to corporate sponsors and grants.
[14:21] What are the services you offer and how can you monetize them to help offset your expenses. Usually they won't cover everything but they can at least help support you with supplies. Have you thought outside the box at how you can create services to reach your audience and make money?
[18:48] Take your area of expertise and create a course around it. You can provide more value for a larger audience and earn money online from it in the meantime. It might be what you already do in person but you create an online version so people can access it no matter what the in-person situation looks like.
[19:15] Find ways to incorporate affiliate income. And in the nonprofit space this might look more like collaborations. How can you partner with companies that you already talk about and get a cut of the sales that you drive their way. This might look different depending on who you serve.
Go from just listening to taking action with our additional tools and resources!
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[INTRO] Hey everybody, Sami here, your host of the digital marketing therapy podcast. And today we're talking about multiple streams of income. And this is something that is often talked about in the for profit space as far as how you can diversify your income keep things more secure. But I don't know if it's talked about as much in the nonprofit space. And so that's what I want to talk about today. How can we diversify the donations that are coming into our organization, so that when things change, we don't feel that burned so much. And as we grow, it makes us look more sustainable so that we can get those bigger grants, get those bigger donors get those bigger corporate sponsors, all the things. So this is just going to be a very top level view of thinking about different ways to bring donations and income into your organization. And then, you know, as far as the marketing tactics and things to do that, we're not going to necessarily dive deep into that in this episode. But if there is a tactic that you're really interested in learning more about and how you might want to go about that, definitely hit us up at email@example.com. I'd be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding that, and any questions that you have around marketing, and in getting involved in the online space in order to achieve some of these goals that you're trying to reach in these multiple streams of income. But that's what we're going to talk about today. Because I would love for you to have more stability in your financials, and in your fundraising. So yeah, I mean, let's get into it, right.
But before we do, this episode is brought to you by our private Facebook community, where we talk all things nonprofit fundraising, whether it's online, offline, multi channel, whatever, we are here to support you and help you grow in your fundraising needs. You can find us at facebook.com/groups/thefirstclick, I hope you'll join us and other nonprofits that are going through some of the same challenges you are so that you can grow and learn from other people and participate in our website Wednesday, where I create critique a website, their homepage and donation page to help you get more conversions. Okay, so facebook.com/groups/thefirstclick, I hope to see you there. But for now, let's get into the episode.
[CANNED INTRODUCTION] You're listening to the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing, and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.
[BODY] So it's a well known fact that the average millionaire has about seven different streams of income, you can google this, you could look it up, it's out there, right. And I definitely think about this in my business as far as what are the different types of income streams that are coming in? How is that going to allow me to grow scale at staff and build my business. And I think for nonprofits, the same is true. Having multiple streams of income can really be helpful when it comes to building scaling and completing and solving and supporting the mission that you're out there doing. So we're going to talk about some of the basics that you're probably already doing. And reasons why maybe building from the bottom up can be helpful. And then also some maybe additional streams of income that you might not be thinking of that could potentially help support your cause and help you reach more people and generate more income.
So let's start with the more traditional things first. And I'm going to start from maybe lower ticket item up to a higher ticket item, just so we can start to have conversations and kind of process how this might all work. Now, I'm going to preface this by saying I am not a certified fundraising professional. I have worked in quite a few nonprofit spaces. So some of these things are going to be obvious for you. Some of them you might be able to school me on but I just want to kind of create a big picture and create kind of a thought process for how you might think about this a little bit differently. So at the very lowest level, you might have those one off donors. Those people that give to you one time maybe they're testing you out to see if you you know are putting your money where your mouth is. They might want to see how they're treated. You might just have some people that donate because.
Okay, let's just say for example, my kids used to go to a private school. grandparents donated on behalf of my kiddos. They don't go there anymore for geographical reasons, and, and COVID reasons. But they don't go there anymore. So my my grandparents won't give their right. So they're one time donors they've given. So there might be certain campaigns that you're running that are going to reach different people, they might timeout, they might just not give, again, who knows whatever, but you have your one time donors. Now they're probably the least reliable as far as your income goes. So you can definitely take a look at your overall scope and say, Okay, well, on average, our one time donors every year give us $10,000. So we could always kind of, you know, figure out roughly how much we're gonna bring in on that side.
But then what I would also challenge you to do is to figure out how you can turn those one off donors into what I would consider your next tier, which would be your monthly donors. So how can you nurture those one time donors into becoming monthly donors. And if you've been following me for a while, then you know that I love a monthly donor program. I think they're fantastic. I almost said fantabulous, maybe I should, I think they're fantastic. And they also provide a different layer of stability. Now, you might be thinking, if I'm going after a bunch of $5 $10 $20 donors a month, like that's not worth my time, but I'm going to challenge you on this because if you have $120 donations that are coming in every month, you kind of know that that money is coming in, right. So you know, you're gonna have $2,000 a month coming in, give or take maybe one or two from a retention standpoint. But to lose 120 dollar a month donor is not as big of a deal as putting all of your eggs into the basket of one $2,000 donation or $5,000 dollar donation or $10,000 donation that you spend a lot of time nurturing, growing, and then it goes nowhere, because they don't ever give again. So having that consistency of having that monthly piece, I think is critical and super important. And no matter what your organization does, I think having a monthly donor program is super impactful. I'm going to get off my high horse here. But I just want to say that whether people are giving $5, or $100, or $1,000, on a monthly basis, those donors are critical to the stability of your fundraising and your organization. And I'm going to get into another piece about why that is here in a minute. But I think that your monthly donor campaign is the next step up and a great way to take those one off donors and just say, hey, like you gave us $50 for our annual campaign, thank you so much, would you be willing to give us $10 a month moving forward so that we can and then give them a tangible result, right? So that we can spay and neuter 10 more dogs so that we can provide education for to use or so that we can provide, you know, watershed cleanup from three different places, whatever it is. But that's a great way to walk people up. And I think a great way to provide sustainability.
And a great way for you to have data to say to some of these other donors, hey, we bring in on our monthly donor program $10,000 a month that covers our operating expenses. So if you give us your donation, then it's going to go straight to programming, or it's gonna allow us to hire one additional researcher, or it's gonna allow us to build three more kennels that are safe for our dogs so that we can have, we can be a no kill shelter, right? It gives people that ability to then take that next step, which leads us into kind of the bigger one time gifts, or corporate gifts or grants. I really feel like with a lot of the larger donations they don't want to be giving to your operational expenses. So if you can cover that before you even go talk to them, and you can just have that message to them behave. We're going to use this money directly for programs, we're going to build another facility that's going to allow us to serve 30 more children in an after school program, we're going to be able to go into three more communities and build gardens for them to be able to sustain and grow the fruits and vegetables that they need for their community. We're gonna be able to build two more homes for families, you know, that needed. So what would that look like if you had those monthly donors coming in filling that space for you so that when you went out to these bigger gifts, grants, corporations, you could ask for those things.
And the thing about these additional streams of income, right is that then when you go to those, let's say we go to Corp x, and we say, Hey, we need $10,000, in order to complete this project, now you're using those funds to complete the project, because you already know you have other streams of income that are coming in to support your day to day operations. So then if that Corporation doesn't give to you again, then it's not as big of a hurt, right? Because they've they fulfill that mission, they've given you the money towards that specific project, you've been able to complete that project you can move on. And the other thing that it does is allows you to really match corporate gifts, or bigger one time donors with specific projects.
So if you're an organization that has multiple things that you do, so maybe you are an after school program, and you have an arts program, and you have a sports program, and do you have a Oh, why am I blanking? Right now, let's say you have what whatever, let's just go with arts and sports. Let's see an arts and sports program. Follow along with me here, folks. You can then really target those larger donors, because you can say, Hey, I would love for you to help support us and building the soccer field for our sports program. And then when you're following up with them, you're following up specifically on Hey, you helped us build the sports program. Now we have 40 kids that are able to play in this Soccer League. And here's the feedback that we're getting. Then when that program is done, you can say, Okay, well, now we need to do this baseball program. And now we need to do whatever. And you can do the same with, let's say, the art side, hey, we need help on buying 50 instruments so that we can start this youth orchestra because we know that that's a need here, yada yada, yada, yada, yada. So you're not going after these bigger donors and corporate sponsors for operating expenses.
I think I've said this 15 times already, but you're going after these larger donors for something that you know, is aligned with their why their interest in why they want to give to an organization because you know, they have the funds to give. But we want to make sure that we're aligning that with something that is really impactful for them. And it's going to get them excited and get them on board. Okay, I think I've talked about this enough.
So let's talk about grants. So grants are always specific to usually I shouldn't say always, they're specific to a certain type of situation. And often when you look at grants that even larger donations, they want to know Okay, well what happens when this money runs out? How do you continue to sustain this program when funds run out. And so again, when we look at those one off the data with your one offs, and the data with your monthly donors, to be able to say, hey, our, our one time donor rate is increasing at 10% year over year, which is an increase of $5,000. And then beyond that, we convert about 10 more percent of that into our monthly donor program, and our monthly donor program is increasing by 10%, I think you get where I'm going right? You can show the data to say that once we're done with this grant money, or this foundation money that you're giving us, because we have these other foundational elements in place, we are going to be able to continue to sustain this program, we're going to be able to grow this program, we're going to have additional revenues to where we can expand and reach more people. It's gonna give you that wiggle room and that foundation to be able to give those grants a foolproof method and why you guys are a good investment on their behalf.
Okay, does that I hope that makes sense. Okay, so I've given you 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So one offs, monthly donors, bigger one time gifts from individuals, corporate sponsors, and grant funding, right. And those are kind of all intertwined into each other. And that's kind of the standard core way that nonprofits are fundraising.
Now, depending on how your organization exists, there's going to be other ways that you are bringing funds into your organization to offset your expenses. Now if you have a service that you offer, so if you're an after school program, right, it costs money for people now wouldn't be if I'm putting my kids in a Boys and Girls Club, for example, it doesn't cost me as much to put them in there as it would to put them in a private daycare, right? So I totally understand that the service fees are not covering the cost of what it takes to operate your organization but they are helping to offset some of that right? Plus there's just something about having skin in the game where if you offer it for free, they might not show up I mean, whatever you I don't need to tell you guys this you guys know all this. You know when you adopt an animal from a shelter, there are cost associated with that, does it cover the entire cost of the food and the spay and neutering and the time? And the space? No. But it does help to offset some of that correct. Alright. So yes, thinking about your services and what that brings to your business, that is another stream of income.
And I also want you to think about how you might be able to turn these what have been in person services into online services. And I know this might seem weird and different. And I know we're all in transition and starting to open up a little bit more. And so things are becoming better. But maybe your service is offering legal support to people that can't afford legal support. And maybe you do that for free. Maybe you do it for like a $10 fee. I don't know, whatever that is. But you could do that via zoom or via online space. Maybe you're somebody who like what if we go back to the pet training facility, so maybe you service and part of it is dog training, you could still offer an online service to be able to also add another stream of income.
So that goes into my next thing of online courses. So this is a big thing in the for profit space, creating online courses to teach. And I'm starting to see more nonprofits do this, and I love it so much. So it's taking the curriculum that you have that you are probably already giving away teaching and sharing, and putting it in a platform where you can expand into especially people outside of your local community.
And so like the dog training thing is great. So it could be you take your course, and you say, Okay, these are the steps that we take people through one on one when they adopt a dog so that they can have a potty train pet, or if they have a food, aggressed pet, whatever it is, and you create simple videos, and you put them online and you sell them out as an option to say, Okay, if you have adopted a pet, and you need support in bringing that pet home, and how to introduce them to your babies, and how to introduce them to other pets in your home, and how to make sure that they're potty trained XYZ, all the things could be a simple thing that you can charge for people because they're looking and they're saying, Oh my gosh, we brought this pet home, we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. And now we're struggling. So things like that are things that can be sold to your audience, it could be recycling tips, like how to turn your house into a zero waste home, how to, you know, retrofit your lights, whatever it might be, like DIY projects that you can do to make your house more environmentally friendly.
I know for me, if I was going to take a course like that, I'd rather take it from a nonprofit where I no part of those dollars are also going back to a more global or more, you know, intentional way of supporting and the environment. So figuring out your online, your services that you do in person, and charging for those and figuring out how to then turn them into a digital option, or an online option so that you can reach more people, and also monetize and make more money. I think that's great.
The last thing that I must say, which is something that's more common in the for profit space is affiliate income. And you might want to think about this. more so with your corporate sponsors. And there's different ways to kind of work through this. But affiliate income is basically I talk about your products and services, if people buy from you because of what we said, then we get a cut. And I know there's different legalities and how money gets transferred, and all of that and the nonprofit space. So definitely don't take this and run with it without consulting your legal team. But I do feel like for certain people, we are already talking about a lot of other goods and services within our organization to our customers or our the people that we're providing services to. And so by having, you know, having an affiliate link for that, it might be a good way to generate some additional income. So always with integrity, always without authenticity, always with things that you use.
So let's go back to the pet example. Let's say that you offer. Maybe you don't offer Dog Training Services, but you partner with a company who does and so let's say it's Dog Training Services, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so you say okay, well, we will always recommend you for dog training because we appreciate and understand that you guys do a good job, we know that you do a great job. So if anybody comes to you and says, Hey, we were referred by dog adoption agency, blah, blah, blah. Then that company will then give you $20 or certain things percentage of of that customer fee maybe you have a company you work with that provides all dog collars and pet treats and pet food and all of the things right so if somebody comes in and purchases those things from you when they adopt their dog you know maybe they give you a cut like a percentage of that back so it's again always without authenticity always with a genuine feel of like we would use these products right so it could be if it's an after school program it could be school supplies that you recommend it could be you know additional tutors that you recommend or partners that you have on the educational space you know if you're a theater or a museum or somebody it could be partnerships with other museums and it could be you know hey we're all going to come together and collaborate on a community pass and so if you buy this past from us then you can also go visit these other x locations and you know you guys all share in those profits so different ways to think about quote unquote affiliate income but definitely something that can be a value i'm a huge fan of collaboration and working together it helps bring awareness to everybody and it can help generate money for everybody and that's a win win win
So I gave you 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 different streams of income so you should be on your way to being a millionaire right so one off donations that you can hopefully convert into bigger donors or just have data around how much of that is what your income is but your monthly donors which i believe are your bread and butter your larger one time donors which you can definitely go after more often because you know exactly what they want to give to and you can give them specifics as opposed to operational funds your corporate sponsors grant funds your service based opportunities and charging for that in the in person and online space creating a course or a paid curriculum something that you can charge for to grow grow and expand your reach into a more worldwide or at least us based space and then affiliate income partnering with other businesses to help share the word about both of you and generate funds for both of you so I hope that this was helpful.
I would love for you to email me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or join us in our private facebook community all geared towards nonprofit fundraisers at facebook.com/groups/thefirstclick and please please please make sure you subscribe wherever you listen to you don't miss out on a single episode and i would so love if you would leave us a review on apple podcast so that we can get in front of more nonprofit audiences and help you guys increase your impact on your communities i so appreciate all the work that you're doing and i'm here for you so I'll see you in the next one.