Strengthen Your Organization
A new nonprofit has a long list of organizational resources that they need to have in order to get their organization up and running. While it’s best to hire the experts when you can, we know that can be not exactly a budget-friendly option. This guide will give you access to lots of resources to help you strengthen your organization's structure and processes. While not an exhaustive list, this guide includes many of the items that will be needed for a solid footing to execute the big goals you set for yourself. Use the templates and examples provided below to be on your way to building a solid foundation for your organization.
How To Use This Guide
This guide includes a series of mini-toolkits that cover some of the most foundational aspects of your organization. Use the examples and templates provided in the toolkits to help you build out your internal processes and structures. Everything is free for you to use and make your own!
You’ve found your cause, planned your solution, and implemented your program. But how do you know if it worked? Measuring impact is one of the most overlooked tasks when building a social cause. The reason for this is easy to understand: social entrepreneurs can be overwhelmed with immediate needs, and much less with preparing for life after the solution. But consider the consequence – if you don’t take the time to define what success looks like, how do you know when you’ve achieved it?
Having organized data about the impact your cause has can not only help you evaluate the ways you’re spending time and money but also help you get funding and support. Every activity you do with your clientele is an opportunity to measure something. If you wait, you’ll miss out on great feedback that can better your organization and tangible ways to show your impact. You can’t go back in time to get that information later, so start now! Use our Impact Measurement Toolkit to build a system to measure the results of your cause. Not only will this give you hard numbers to report to potential funders, but it will ensure that you are always learning and constantly improving the work you do and the ways you serve your clients.
You'll learn how to build:
- Logic Models
- Outputs and Outcomes
- Evaluation Plans
This is so often an area where nonprofits operating on a low budget suffer the most. There are so many free resources out there on marketing for your cause but it can be difficult to know where to start. If marketing isn't your gift, this can be especially challenging. While ideally, you look to hire a professional to help you with your branding and marketing, we know that's not always possible when you're just getting started. But in the beginning, a little can go a long way to get your message out there in a way that is easily understandable and appealing. We’ve seen firsthand how a decent brand and communications plan can transform an organization’s presence and recognition. We’ve developed a Marketing Toolkit that will help you make use of some simple tools and tricks to make sure your organization has what it takes to get the word out there and portray your cause in a way that really reflects who you are.
You'll get examples and tips for:
- Mission, Vision, and Values
- Social Media and Outreach
- Communications and Marketing Plan
- Quick and easy branding tools
If you are wondering, why should I crowdfund? One of the greatest benefits of crowdfunding is that you can raise money while simultaneously raising awareness about your cause. A good marketing strategy goes hand in hand with a good crowdfunding campaign and allows you to share your cause with so many people. It is a great option when you’re just starting out and looking to build some momentum around your project and gain much-needed funding and support.
In 2010, Causeway started as a local crowdfunding platform to help Chattanoogans raise money and rally volunteers for their causes. In a little over five years, we helped raise half a million dollars on our platform. With lots of experience crowdfunding and helping causes build a strategy for their campaigns, we have pooled all our best resources and advice together in this Crowdfunding Toolkit. We'll be honest though, pulling off a successful campaign requires dedication. Use our toolkit to get the most out of your efforts.
You'll learn how to:
- Create your Team and Project Budget
- Set a Realistic Goal
- Build Your Prospects
- Craft a Compelling Story
- Make Your Marketing Plan
- Launch and Run Your Campaign
When we ask our causes what they need the most, the number one response is always money. Fundraising can be very time consuming and keeps you from doing the things that you really want to be doing – working with the people your organization serves. We always encourage the nonprofits we work with to think about ways they can earn money outside of just grants and donations. Is there a special skill set or talent that your organization has that can be sold as a product or service? We want to challenge you to think creatively about this. Having more than one funding stream will always help you to be more sustainable.
We’ve created a Funding Toolkit for small nonprofits that they can use to develop a plan and hopefully save you some time when your team organizes their fundraising and development strategy.
You’ll get free resources like:
- Budget Template
- Grant Template
- Development Plan Outline
- Sponsorship Packet Outline
- Acknowldgement Template
- Donor Database Tips
Having a solid system of processes and procedures in place means that when your organization grows, you’ll be prepared and ready to handle whatever comes your way. Greatly depending on your personality, we have seen that when it comes to operations, you either can't wait to tackle it, or you are cringing in fear. We have attempted to take out some of the guesswork and share as much as possible to help you create a structure that works. This toolkit is certainly not exhaustive, but we’ve included examples that should help your organization get on the right track and have lots of your bases covered. Use the Operations Toolkit for some additional resources to help you build out your processes and get a firm footing.
You’ll get examples and tips for:
- Writing a Strategic Plan
- HR Materials
- Board Development
- Policies and Procedures