Most nonprofit organizations are noble efforts to bring about awareness for an important cause and help people who need it most. It may not take a village but it sure does take an effort from lots of people and even more volunteers and benefactors to make a difference. But it also takes thinking outside the box and learning from the things you’ve already done or even from others who are doing remarkable things.
For instance one nonprofit that raised money to provide drinks to supplement the diets of children in a poor region on the other side of the world partnered with a local company to make protein rich drinks. But somehow the drinks were not being distributed regularly to those who needed them or to others that could use them. The nonprofit realized that in order for their efforts to make a real difference there would need to be greater oversight.
And while those managing the nonprofit could not be there every day, they could structure the program to make sure it would operate more effectively. What they did is what many nonprofits are doing today, making sure that everyone involved is a stakeholder. It’s important to partner with both the community and a local nonprofit because both are invested in the project and have an interest to see it continue when initial funds have been exhausted.
Many nonprofits who work to bring food and supplies to some of the world’s poorest neighborhoods and villages utilize efforts from students on campuses across the U.S. In fact, most if not all nonprofits benefit from help from students. In turn, the students benefit from the experience and can even earn scholarships for their efforts.
In some cases, nonprofits have changed their model completely on campus. Instead of just recruiting volunteers, organizations are empowering students to come up with ideas to generate revenues to fund projects on their own. During the summer break, students can visit the projects in parts of the world they are helping to fund like a program to build composting latrines or an education program to teach computer skills to locals who then can pass on the knowledge to others. Grassroots organizations in those parts of the world where those projects need to be funded are partnering with nonprofit chapters on campuses all over country.
Organizations can become much more business savvy as well. For those students who travel to missions and projects across the globe, the nonprofit arms can take steps to help get travel and medical insurance which some already do, but they can also seek approval as a reseller of insurance and sell it directly to other students involved in charitable work around the globe.
Nonprofits can even generate overages in other areas like shops and online stores where it can sell jewelry, bags and other handmade items from local craftsman and artists and use the proceeds to help fund the nonprofit side of the organization.
Although fundraising is difficult to sustain with any nonprofit, innovative models that can inspire others to create their own sustainable small businesses under the umbrella of the organization whether on campuses or not, will definitely lead to greater opportunities to help fund a mission’s goals here and abroad.
The result in some cases have chapters earmarking a percentage of their earnings back to the umbrella organization which can go toward funding new chapters and new projects that will widen the footprint of the organization and allow for more participation and new ideas for growth.