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Three things to lift your nonprofit mission in good (tax) times and bad

The New Year is upon us and, as always, change is the only constant.

New tax laws have been enacted for 2018 that – according to media reports and other sources – have the potential of discouraging individuals from making billions of dollars-worth of charitable gifts to the nonprofit sector. If that were to happen, it would truly have an Armageddon-like effect on sector and, more importantly, our communities.

But we don’t think it’s that simple. From years spent working, volunteering and giving alongside thousands of other nonprofit volunteers and donors, we believe that most donors at all socioeconomic levels give because they want to do good. They support missions that make a difference locally and around the world. They donate to help other people, animals and causes in need.

We believe that getting a tax write-off for your charitable giving is a nice perk, especially for those who give at the highest levels. But, for the core group of individual givers who are responsible for the majority of giving nationally, losing that perk will not discourage their generosity.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should take the support of your donors for granted. Not this year nor any year.

In good times and bad, we advise our clients to stick with the fundraising fundamentals. Change is the only constant and the best ways to “make hay while the sun is shining” will also help you “weather any storm.” As it turns out, there are no shortcuts to creating a community of dedicated donors and volunteers. There is no substitute for strategic vision and implementation.

Three things to lift your nonprofit mission during good times and bad:

  1. Focus on your relationships with donors. Cultivate donors at all levels with the goal of bringing them closer to your mission.
  2. Tell your story to everyone who will listen, in every way possible. Is your case for support up to date? Are you using social media to reach younger donors?
  3. Listen to your donors, your clients, your community. What do they need to get closer to your mission? How would they like to see their impact grow?

During this time of resolutions and fresh starts, take some time to renew your commitment to your mission. Review your current fundraising plan and look for opportunities to expand and strengthen your reach.

What will the new tax law mean for your mission? No one can say for sure. But if you stay committed to the fundamentals of fundraising and communicate regularly with stakeholders about your impacts and opportunities, we are confident you will have a great year.

Not sure how to get started? We can help.

Aly Sterling Philanthropy