5 Inexpensive Ways Tech Can Grow Your Nonprofit
At Ascend NPO, we’ve done the research on how technology can help you scale and grow your nonprofit. Between marketing, automation, volunteer management, and additional revenue streams, here are 5 inexpensive ways to increase funding and spread your cause.
1) System Automation & Integration
Our team has met with dozens of nonprofit leaders over the past few years, all of whom were stretched thin with their time. They wanted to focus on raising money and spreading awareness of their cause, not get unnecessarily bogged down by their backend systems, administration, and processes. Fortunately, much of this work can automated by tools that can integrate with one another, often for free.
For instance, you're likely managing your email marketing, donation platform, grant tracking, and finances all in different tools or software.
Do these programs all communicate with one another?
Can you easily view your history with a donor or foundation?
Can you quickly pull reports that can help with your grant applications?
Do you have a high level overview of the health of your nonprofit?
Nonprofits can benefit immensely by using a CRM to bring all these tools together.
Our professional recommendation for a CRM is Salesforce NPSP, since it's one of the most robust platforms, integrates with a wide range of software, and is free for nonprofits (10 licenses). That's why our team is certified and experienced in full-scale Salesforce launches and customizations.
That said, there are several CRMs available that could help automate your organization. If you want to learn more about the tools available to you as a nonprofit, check out our discounted software for nonprofits list, which includes CRMs.
2) Free Digital Advertising
Yes, we really mean free. Google has an Ad Grant Program that offers up to $10,000 per month in ads on their search platform for qualifying nonprofits. Paid ads are an incredible way to reach donors and raise awareness for your cause, but it takes some work to get it up and running.
Ascend NPO can help you maximize your ads by doing keyword research and identifying your target audience. We'll walk you through how the whole process works, optimize for visibility, and provide support along the way. You don't want to leave $120,000 worth of free advertising for your cause to be left on the table, so reach out to our team so we can help.
Adding a branded merchandise store to your website is a low-cost (free with Ascend NPO) way to raise additional funds and spread awareness of your cause. This used to be a tedious process, where nonprofits had to open an online store, find a merchandise supplier, design products, manage inventory, fulfill orders, collect payments, and pay taxes. But that's not the case anymore.
Ascend NPO leverages the latest e-commerce technology to fully automate your online store. We'll do the store setup, website integration, product design, and even handle fulfillment and orders. All you need to do is select your preferred designs and collect a check each month. There's no upfront cost to you, no inventory, and no risk.
To learn more about our e-commerce service, click here.
4) Find & Manage Volunteers
Volunteers are a critical piece of any successful nonprofit. There is a massive pool of volunteers potentially willing to support your cause, and with technology it's never been easy to recruit and manage them.
One of the easiest ways to take your volunteer recruitment to the next level is with a platform like VolunteerMatch. Create your profile, post your volunteer opportunities, and gain access to thousands of willing volunteers. Ascend NPO is not affiliated with VolunteerMatch, but we believe in their platform and will help you get started.
You can start using VolunteerMatch for free to see how useful it is. The cost for unlocking premium services is $10 a month. Reach out to us today to get started sourcing great volunteers.
There are a lot of great tools available to nonprofits for managing volunteers and events. Our recommendation is Salesforce NPSP, which has a section specifically designed for volunteer management. The tool allows you to manage your volunteers, organize shifts for events, communicate through your website, and report on participation. Ascend NPO can work with you to customize it to your specific needs.
Check out our discounted software for nonprofits list to see some of the other volunteer management tools.
5) Improve Communication
One on the biggest challenges for nonprofits is clearly communicating your cause to potential donors and foundations. Between website content, marketing material, email marketing, and grant writing, there’s a lot to communicate and keep consistent.
Fortunately, there are great tools available to nonprofits that can tidy up communication. Our personal recommendation is Grammarly. They can help you with grammar (obviously), spelling, tone, clarity, and check to make sure you’re not plagiarizing anyone.
There's a lot of free and discounted technology available to nonprofits to help them scale, it can be overwhelming. At Ascend NPO, our goal is to simplify all of that and help you achieve your fundraising goals on a budget. Schedule a free consultation below to learn how we can get support your cause.