According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States alone. In many cases, these organizations provide essential services to those in their immediate community, across the country, or around the globe. But, despite good intentions, nonprofits, just like for-profit businesses, must work hard to achieve success and keep its doors open. For nonprofit organizations to find success, they must focus on these three vital elements.

Smart Marketing 

Marketing is not only for companies looking to make a sale. In fact, smart marketing may be even more important for nonprofit organizations than for-profit companies. The reality is that it will be nearly impossible to find the donors and volunteers you need to run a successful nonprofit if people in your community don’t know about your organization. The good news is that smart marketing will not only give your organization the attention it needs, but it will help you create a targeted messaging campaign that targets those in the community that is most likely to partner with your nonprofit.


The news is full of stories of how some nonprofits misuse donations. Unfortunately, these stories have led donors to be leery about where they donate their time and resources. In addition, the internet provides the resources these savvy philanthropists need to research an organization before they donate. This combination makes it more important than ever before for nonprofits to be as transparent as possible. When possible share stories of how donations are being used or provide a budgetary listing of how your organizations spend its donations. The more transparent your organization can be, the more likely donors will be to support your efforts.

Effective Fundraising 

For-profit businesses aren’t the only ones that need to make money. After all, just because nonprofits don’t exist to make money doesn’t mean that they don’t need it. Even nonprofits have bills, such as rent, salaries, insurance, supplies, and more. For a nonprofit to remain successful, it must create an effective fundraising strategy. When thinking of fundraising ideas, try to think outside-the-box. Ideas, such as a fashion show, bowl-a-thon, dinner cruise, local celebrity dance-off, or a family mud run are fun and unique. By using a unique fundraiser rather than the usual 5K or selling popcorn is going to get more attention, and thus net more funding for your organization.

A recent study showed that 17 percent of all nonprofits fail within the first 10 years. Your organization doesn’t have to be part of this 17 percent. The important thing is to take steps now to make sure you have incorporated these three vital elements into your overall organizational plan.

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