Today on the blog we welcome Beth Bird and Kim Hunwardsen of Eide Bailly, to tell us about their organization’s Resourcefullness Award, and the ideas that sprang from it.
What do you get when you offer a $10,000 award for sustainable and creative revenue generation in the nonprofit industry? A flood of inspiring submissions!
Last year, Eide Bailly’s nonprofit services group did something different to encourage conversation and ingenuity around revenue generation – something our clients think about daily. We ended up with 99 submissions for the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award, three fantastic winners (video), and a host of creative and sustainable ideas to spark discussion. (Read this article on submission trends.)
Beyond celebrating the winning efforts, we wanted to use the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award as a springboard for sharing and collaboration.
The following highlights are from a January seminar that we held in Minneapolis to discuss the best ideas.
Susan Cornell-Wilkes and Brad Brown were judges for the Resourcefullness Award. In January, we asked about the nonprofit revenue generation trends they see gathering strength in the next five years.
- Crowd funding
- Nonprofits creating for-profit entities
- A focus on intergenerational wealth transfer
- Organizations will be and should be looking for opportunities to involve multiple generations of one family in its endeavors. This will go a long way to creating present buy-in donor stability in the future.
- Moving beyond “Corporate” involvement in campaigns
- Getting employees involved in the organization, rather than just accepting a corporate donation, will be the key to sustainability in funding from that organization and in growth of individual donors.
- Helping donors “experience” the difference their donations are making
- Donors, especially younger donors, are looking to “purchase an experience.” They do not just want to hear from nonprofits in letters and email, but rather experience the effects of an organization work.
The Resourcefullness Awards and our January speakers reminded us of two very important things:
- Organizations are getting more creative in their approach to revenue generation, but this does not mean an approach must be complex. Sometimes the simplest ideas create the best results.
- Well-placed and well-planned partnerships are some of the easiest and most fruitful ventures.
Give To The Max Day Strategies
We also heard from two organizations that employed creative Give to the Max strategies.
Erich Mische, executive director of Spare Key, described its media-grabbing, world-record setting 2012 strategy Pedal to the Max, which had volunteers on a pedal pub for 24 hours. The campaign helped Spare Key reach goals around having fun and grabbing attention while engaging donors, volunteers and partners. Mische said media coverage and social media played a huge role in broadening the reach of the organization’s message. And, Spare Key raised five times its original fundraising goal.
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery’s development and communications director, Joel Bergstrom, shared its 2013 Give to the Max campaign, which used video and social media to draw attention and generate support. A donation of video production helped the organization create a powerful video that then led to media coverage. The organization used a Facebook contest to draw in visitors and donors, and advocates lobbied hard on social media for donations to Crisis Nursery. As a result, followers of the organization have increased and their messages receive greater exposure.