In this episode of the Strategic Nonprofit Podcast, host Trista McIver sits down with Arbazz Nizami, an award-winning higher education marketer, social entrepreneur, and doctoral student, to discuss the importance of reinvesting in a sustainable nonprofit organization.
Reinvesting In A Sustainable Nonprofit Organization
It’s widely known that most nonprofits are struggling to source cash at the moment. For this reason, Arbazz advises that nonprofits in this situation often don’t even last ten years due to the lack of resources available to them.
Furthermore, because nonprofits are structured in a different way than an independent for-profit business you have to think very deeply about what you would do if you were to get a donation.
Arbazz states that he initially knew that he needed to invest his organization’s fundraising well from the beginning. Therefore, instead of spending $1000 immediately on perishable, temporary supplies or resources, you should invest it into your longevity as a nonprofit so that you can help a lot more people overall.
What is a nonprofit organization?
A nonprofit organization (NPO), commonly also known as a not-for-profit organization or nonprofit institution, is a formal group dedicated to improving a specific cause or issue. Therefore types of nonprofit organizations* can include:
- Social, recreational, or hobby groups(bridge clubs, curling clubs, and golf clubs)
- Certain amateur sports organizations(hockey associations, baseball leagues, and soccer leagues)
- Certain festival organizations(parades and seasonal celebrations)
What’s the difference between a non-profit organization and a registered charity?
The most notable difference between an NPO and a registered charity is that the latter has registered charitable status and can issue tax-deductible receipts for donations. Furthermore, while they both operate on a non-profit basis, a non-profit organization is a broader term for an organization that focuses on social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure, sport, recreation, or any other purpose except for profit, in contrast to a charity which is a specific subset of the overarching non-profit sector. Therefore charities’ focus is to help people, places, animals and certain causes—for example, Salvation Army, SPCA, Red Cross.
What to avoid when starting a nonprofit organization
Arbazz advises that many nonprofits spend too much time focusing and tweaking their bylaws. While bylaws are essential, many nonprofits get stuck trying to formulate this very crafty mission. However, they don’t spend every year refining it, which means that their strategic planning gets lost.
Critically, however, to define yourself as a nonprofit organization, you need to know and structure precisely whom you help, where they are and what they need – only then can you determine your funding streams.
The importance of marketing & innovative digital fundraising
Marketing as a whole is essential for nonprofits. Many people feel too humbled or have too much humility around their organization because they don’t want to show off what they’re doing. Essentially, they want to keep it to themselves, which is a reasonably noble trait. However, while Arbazz says this is a positive trait to have as an individual, it doesn’t exactly translate to an organizational perspective. Therefore, organizations need to be thinking beyond themselves to show what they’re doing to others and inspire them—ultimately leading and inspiring them to take action and to solidify their part in helping your cause.
Timing is very important for digital fundraising, especially anticipating when and how. For instance, if you’re a Muslim Fridays is a big day to donate, likewise are Sundays for many Christians. However, of course due to the pandemic many are not attending in-person services,
More about Arbazz Nizami
Arbazz specializes in online fundraising, digital strategy, big data and humanitarian action, and increasing access to higher education through enrollment marketing. As the Founding President of the Sahaba Initiative, Arbazz has provided over 500,000 meals and over $450,000 to low-income families. Furthermore, he was named on the California 30 Under 30 list for his role as a game-changer and influencer among Millennials, creating social change among diverse communities.
More about the Sahaba Initiative
Sahaba Initiative’s philosophy is to empower and sustain families in the American diaspora with programs that address mental health issues, poverty, hunger while also creating a narrative and culture of service.
The Strategic Nonprofit Podcast
In our monthly Strategic Nonprofit Podcast episodes, hosted by Tom Abbott and Trista McIver, we discuss everything Nonprofit.
From board governance, strategic planning, recruitment and retention of staff and volunteers, increasing membership, fundraising, advocacy issues, conflict of interest guidelines, board-staff relations, how to take effective minutes, how to run productive meetings, board appraisals, staff appraisals and software to help run your NPO.
Join us and limitlessly listen to success stories from Executive Directors, Chief Staff Officers and Board Members from Organizations across North America.
AMC NPO Solutions is the leading governance and strategic planning provider to NPOs across Canada since 1987.