At the Open Social Summit 2023, Balazs Horvath shared valuable insights on how NGOs could leverage community engagement and growth to enhance their fundraising efforts.
Breaking Silos: The Power of Engagement in NGO Collaboration and Fundraising Strategies
Horvath highlighted that NGOs, with their extensive databases, are sitting on a gold mine of potential donors and supporters. However, they often fall into the trap of working in silos, not fully utilizing engagement as the core of their work. He proposed a shift in perspective – to see engagement as a catalyst for driving growth and expanding the influence of the organization.
According to Horvath, NGOs need to break the silos, engage in frequent discussions among different teams – fundraising, communications, etc., and design collaborative campaigns. He suggested adopting a lead generation approach, which involves learning from fundraising strategies to build communities while focusing on engagement and utilizing it as a path to fulfilling organizational goals.
Engagement, in this context, is about motivating people to progressively get more involved with the organization. The challenge lies in synchronizing communication with various supporters who follow the NGO on different platforms. The solution is simple but profound – communication. It’s about ensuring all internal stakeholders talk to each other and stay on the same page about the organization’s goals and strategies. This engagement cycle sees donors not as the highest level of engagement, but instead focuses on making people feel involved and part of a tribe sharing common values. It’s about understanding where supporters are in their engagement journey and catering to their needs accordingly.
Building Community: Unlocking the Potential of Lead Generation and Sustainable Growth for NGOs
Horvath also touched upon the topic of how NGOs can find and attract people, especially when they don’t have a big name or extensive reach. He suggests a two-step program: Lead generation, followed by donor acquisition or volunteer recruitment. A non-financial task such as a petition, survey, or value exchange like a downloadable playbook could be an excellent first step in generating leads.
The benefits of community growth are manifold. It not only enhances fundraising, but also bolsters the organization’s branding, aids campaigns, and aids in recruiting volunteers. However, Horvath warns against viewing community building as a quick cash injection. Instead, he advises seeing it as a long-term game that requires constant testing, analysis, and optimization.
To conclude, Horvath emphasized the importance of breaking down silos and embracing cross-functional collaboration. A diverse and strong acquisition program can benefit fundraising, program delivery, and volunteer recruitment efforts. NGOs need to harness the power of their community, especially in these times of rapid digital advances.
Read more about the key insights from the Open Social Summit 2023.