Americans’ Perceptions About Nonprofit Fundraising and Overhead
What if you could spend less time fundraising and more time fulfilling the mission of your non-profit? According to a recent survey by Grey Matter Research & Consulting titled “The Donor Mindset Study“, most Americans think that the charities that they donate to spend less than 19% on overhead. In reality, they are spending close to 28%, most of which goes directly into fundraising.
When you’re a non-profit organization, it’s a given that you rely heavily on donations and fundraising efforts. Applying for grants is always a daunting task and it takes months, even years, to compete for the right awards. Not only that, but you have to find a way to pay the people doing the research for those awards in order to get you paid yourself. It’s not a fun catch-22, but you love what you do, so you do it anyway.
The general public have some strange ideas about where their donations go. They can be pretty skeptical when it comes to their end-of-year tax write-offs to your organization, so you have to be as organized as possible in order to retain monthly contributions. According to the same study above, “when asked about how much their favorite charity spends on overhead, nearly two thirds of donors lacked the confidence that their answer was reasonably accurate.” Of those who did answer, seven out of ten were off by about 50%.
It seems that nobody quite understands the breakdown of nonprofit spending. Even though donors’ interpretations of your numbers might not be true, they affect the amount you are able to receive, your ability to communicate with donors, and your ability to fundraise. This means less money for your operational costs. On the flip side, this also means that there are new opportunities for nonprofits to meet donors’ expectations about efficiency, which could increase fundraising appeal.
We think we can help.
Reducing Non-Profit Overhead
Imagine that instead of paying $1 million to reach a goal of $3 million dollars, you only had to spend $750,000. You could then boost your goal to $3,750,000 and use that money on your mission, overhead, and even more fundraising efforts.
Our team uses several techniques to identify gaps in funding percentages that you can put directly back into your organizational costs. This includes a forensic breakdown of your operational expenses, a deep dive into the things you actually need and don’t need, and alternatives to expenses you might be paying too much for without realizing it.
Running a non-profit is challenging if cutting costs means cutting resources. It’s especially challenging when cutting resources mean cutting into your mission. If you haven’t tried hiring an expense reduction specialist to help with this, now is the time to explore your options.