Friday, February 3, 2012

Better Than a T-shirt: Can You Earn Funds With Any of These Ideas?

On my last trip to to London, I experienced the following income generating ideas in practice. Read further to learn about current trends and opportunities that your nonprofit can copy or enhance to increase your income and fundraising.

1. Start With Planned Giving. When I arrived in the National Gallery’s lecture hall, a slide on the screen did not confirm the lecture’s name or offer a welcome. Instead, it invited participants to remember the Gallery in their will.

2. Not Always Free. While good for everyone, since it creates excitement and return visits, a special exhibit with a fee can provide revenue even if you regularly offer free admission. While the British Museum is normally free, a recent special exhibit cost twelve pounds.

3. Use Peer Pressure. Around London, all free sites had clear donation boxes labeled with a suggested donation. All contained money including bills and coins.

4. Press Buttons. If you offer an audio guide include a number and an invitation to listen to a message about your capital campaign or how people can help with a challenge. “For more about what is involved in keeping up the grounds at our garden, press 100. For more about how you can help press 101.”

5. Double Duty Tickets. If you print tickets for your events, consider doing what Westminster Abbey does—use their back to further your mission. The tickets included an invitation to return for a worship service with a list of service times.

6. Take Care of Your Donors Always. Much of London was under construction as it readies for the Olympics. The Globe Theatre was no exception. As part of their construction, one of the many donor walls was covered. However, the donor’s names were still visible. The Globe added a faux wall that included mock bricks with names.

7. Fee Plus Donations. Several sites asked for admission plus a donation of 2 pounds. At Kew Gardens the donation was one fee option at the gate.

8. From Visitor to More. Many sites offered attendees an opportunity for a return visit on the same ticket within one year. While few international visitors will take advantage of this, it creates goodwill among local clientele and offers you a chance to meet patrons with strong interest in your site. If you adapt this idea, remember to capture their contact information on the first return visit.

For more income ideas, see Scroll down to the money and fundraising ideas section.