The Future Of Fundraising: Crowdfunding For Nonprofits

What could your nonprofit organization do with $7,000? 

If you are searching for an innovative way to bring in more funds for your nonprofit, crowdfunding may be exactly what you are looking for. This popular, new method of fundraising in which an online platform is used to raise money through the collective efforts of friends, family, supporters, and other investors is becoming widely used by nonprofits around the world. And it’s no surprise when you consider that the average successful crowdfunding campaign raises $7,000 and 78% of successful campaigns actually exceed their goals.

But is crowdfunding right for your charity? And if it is, how do you get started with your own campaign?

While the idea of crowdfunding is relatively simple, it takes careful research, planning, and preparation to devise a compelling campaign that is likely to meet its goal. Plus, with close to 200 different platforms based out of the United States alone, it can be challenging to decide which one is best suited to meet the needs of your nonprofit. That is where Acendia’s Quintessential Crowdfunding Guide for Nonprofits comes in.

The comprehensive infographic below walks you through the ins and outs of crowdfunding and details everything you need to know to create an effective and successful campaign. Can’t decide which site to use? It outlines ten of the top platforms nonprofits are using today. Need help crafting a campaign tailored to your target audience? This guide has 8 easy tips that will have you ready to start fundraising in no time.

Whether this is your first time to try crowdfunding or you’re just looking for a way to enhance your current efforts, use this helpful infographic (pictured below) to make your next campaign a success.

Acendia Crowdfunding Infographic

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Boost your Bookkeeping

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For many business owners, bookkeeping is the bane of the job. However, it doesn’t have to be such a time-consuming and headache-inducing task. Here are just a few ways you keep track of your finances more simply and efficiently.

 

Speed Up with Software

 

If you’re still doing financial calculations manually with a pen and calculator, it could be time to upgrade to the digital age. Accountancy software can automatically calculate tax and expenses make it easy to keep records and file your tax return.

You may also benefit from downloading a W2 template generator and invoice template generator (some programs will automatically calculate tax for you, whilst also giving your employees and clients a detailed receipt for their own benefit).

 

Organize On the Go

 

Rather than leaving all your bookkeeping to the end of the week or even the end of the month, try to keep records as you go. Nowadays, many accountancy programs can be used in conjunction with apps allowing you to do your bookkeeping on your phone from any location.

This can benefit business owners that are rarely in the office – if you’re out shopping for office supplies or filling up the gas tank on your company car you can make a note of this expense there and then.

 

Hire An Accountant

For some companies with large numbers of transactions, it could be worth hiring the help of an accountant. They can organize your books for you and ensure that everything is accurately calculated. You’ll want an accountant you can trust as you’ll be giving them access to sensitive financial information.

Make sure an accountant has a good reputation by reading reviews and testimonials. Chartered accountants can offer extra security as they have been thoroughly vetted. There are also virtual accountants who can operate entirely online.

 

Multiply Your Accounts

 

If you don’t already have a separate business bank account, it could be worth opening one. This will make calculating expenses easier as you will be able to separate personal spending from business spending. You could even set up multiple accounts for different aspects of your business – just make sure to always pay with the right account.  

 

Consolidate Your Expenses

Keeping track of multiple suppliers and clients can get confusing. Consider ways of consolidating these costs so that they’re easier to keep track of. If you’ve currently taken out multiple insurance schemes, consider taking out a general business insurance package instead that covers all these schemes. If you’ve got multiple debts, you could even consider taking out a consolidation loan to pay them all off.

When it comes to software subscriptions, you may be able to opt for general business software that can handle multiple tasks rather than having to keep track of lots of different program subscriptions. Try to have as many bills coming out on the same day, as this will also help you to keep track of them.

Making a Difference and Running a Business: A Simple Guide

If you have been dreaming about having a job caring for people or supporting vulnerable individuals, you should be looking out for opportunities that fulfill your personal mission and help the community. You might be a caring and compassionate person, and build your business around what you really care about. The below guide will tell you how to find a business opportunity that will make you content, happy, and feeling like you have a purpose in life.

Do What You Love Doing

If you already have a passion in life, you can turn it into a business. You might already volunteer at your local community center giving people free advice. You could do the same as a business, and provide confidential and affordable legal advice for the community.

This type of business can be profitable and very rewarding. You will feel like you are making a difference while earning a living. You already know a lot of things about the service you are about to provide, so it will be easier to get started than with something new.  

Look Out for Social Enterprise Projects

You might want to set up a social enterprise, instead of a profitable business. You will still be able to make a profit, but your business will be focused around one social issue and provide solutions for people who face the same difficulties. When starting a social enterprise, you can get government funding and investment from large organizations.

Engage with Your Community

To find out which services are in demand in your area, engage with the public. Go to local meetings, and find out more about the issues people in your neighborhood are facing. If elderly people are facing challenges in your city, you can start a senior care franchise to make their life easier. Engage with industry leaders and researchers who can give you more insight about the area you are about to get started in.

“ACM – Alliance for Community Media 2013” by FS1 – Community TV Salzburg is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Set Up Your Own Charity

You can run a profitable business, and create a charity on the site, so you can give back to the community. Creating a charity can be beneficial for building a strong corporate culture, and bring your workers together. It will also help you create a great working environment and define a corporate vision and mission.

“Generic charity” by Sascha Pohflepp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Donate a Percentage of Your Business Profits

If you decide to have a profit-oriented business, you can still give back to the community. Create a pricing and business model that automatically allocates a percentage of your profits to different charities. Let your colleagues and customers choose which organizations you support each year, and you can do some good, while earning a living and providing employment for people.

Having a personal mission and building a business can go hand in hand. You can choose a profession that you feel strongly about and give back to the community at the same time. Look out for social issues and problems you can build a strong business model around, or set up a social enterprise to create a better future for your community.

Rising In The Ranks As An Author

If you’re a writer, you’re probably keen to get your name out there and start to make your work known. If you’ve been writing for quite some time, you might have perfected your craft, but that is only half the battle.

The truth is that you also need to think about the business side of writing if you want to succeed. This is something a lot of perfectly talented writers completely forget about, and it can be frustrating to see. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the aspects of the business side of things to consider in order to rise in the ranks as an author.

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Build An Online Presence

These days, you can’t get very far at all without building up some kind of an online presence. This, in itself, can be very difficult to do, but is almost likely to be one of the most powerful, and is definitely worth your time. You should at least be on social media, and use it daily in interaction with people who might become your readers, as well as any existing fans you might have.

You also want to make sure that you have built a website – get a developer if you don’t know what you’re doing – and that you have thought a little about how to draw as many people in to that site as possible. You’ll find that getting an SEO specialist agency on board will help here, as will keeping the website plain and simple.

 

Networking

You can only achieve a certain amount behind the computer screen. As an author, you are probably used to spending a lot of time in seclusion and isolation, but to some degree, you need to put that aside if you want to succeed in your career.

You need to get out there and start speaking to the right people. This means other writers, editors, publishers, and pretty much anyone in the publishing or writing business who you think might help. Rising in the ranks means being aware of who is up in the ranks, and getting close to them in a way which will benefit you personally and professionally.

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Building Your Portfolio

No matter what, aim to never stop writing, as this is ultimately what you are selling. If you spend too much time on the rest and not enough on actually sitting down to write, it might mean that you end up without anything to give people to look at.

Aim to build your portfolio as well as you can, as this is one of the most vital acts of all in being a writer. Spend whatever time you can on this, and you will find that it makes an enormous difference in how successful you become. You will then have something that you can be proud of to give to potential publishers and even other writers for the sake of criticism.

The Benefits Of Streamlining Business Efficiency

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Businesses only work so long as they get better. The developmental cycle is never finished in a business worth its salt. It constantly has to refine, update, and optimize its ability to meet the changing demand of the times. Becoming adaptive to change is often the most important priority you can have for your business, but that’s something which is nice to think about and harder to implement.

Think about a large ship like the Titanic. Heading towards the iceberg was inevitable because after the problem had been identified, turning a ship of that weight and freight was something which needed time. The bulk of the craft prevented a quick turn.

Businesses function in the same way. There are many structural foundations that make a business work, and for this reason, they can become complex and stuffy over time. We all know how frustrating it is when governments can’t react to issues, thanks to bureaucracy and red tape, so why should our businesses be the same?

It’s important to understand exactly how you can keep your business adaptable. In short, it’s all about streamlining your business efficiency.

 

IT Suites

 

There are good forms of efficiency and there are bad forms of efficiency. Meeting higher sales goals and targets is considered a promising result, but if you have to force your employees to work overtime, it’s certainly not worth the added cost.

Efficiency is something which should be considered from a ratio perspective. Is the cost of achievement worthwhile? When it comes to your IT solutions, luckily there is plenty of wiggle room here.

Giving your employees the best IT equipment and app tools to complete their job is wonderful, but if they have to grapple with multiple levels of software and the compatibility between them all, the cost of installing these wonderful tools can provide hollow efficiency. Sometimes, the cost outweighs the benefits.

When it comes to applying an IT suite, it’s important to centralize everything in one location. This way, you have support, access, installation ease and complete ease of comprehension by every employee who uses the toolkit.

Finding a vast and spanning IT suite that can take care of your office, payroll, cloud storage, and encryption needs such as those offered online here can help you streamline your entire IT process, effectively making the bedrock of whole departments more streamlined. It’s not often you get that potential, so it’s important to make the most of it as a discerning business leader.

 

Live “In The Present”

 

While many businesses thrive on scheduled payment dates and general dates of relevance, it’s important to (as much as you can,) become a firm which is well versed in the present. That means clearing out business debts as soon as you can. It means staying on schedule. It means hiring skillful employees now, and when you have that valuable employee base, working towards taking on apprentices and interns. It means tightening your supply chain and building strong relationships with suppliers that you continually maintain.

Always think about what is good for your firm today, because that will compound, and over time will help you eschew the fat of the past while applying the most updated methods. It keeps you reactive, adaptable, and worthwhile. It helps you develop your small firm and run things with a small, flexible crew.

With these tips, you can be sure that your business efficiency will be as streamlined as can be.