You may not traditionally see the parallels between compliance requirements and funding sources, but what if we could identify compliance reporting as a way to fuel funding? Read along to learn how.
Victims and survivors of violence, abuse and crime depend on your nonprofit for life-changing services, but who do you depend on? Your funders.
For victim and survivor service nonprofits, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) are likely two of the funding sources you depend on most. But what happens if the funding you depend on decreases or disappears? This question is a consistent stressor in the back of the minds of nonprofit executives and is the reason we see an increasing focus on victim and survivor service organizations seeking to diversify their funding sources.
But aiming to diversify your funding sources can feel like a catch-22. You’re already spending a lot of time and effort keeping up with compliance and reporting demands for your formula grants, and it may feel like you don’t have the time or the tools to do much more than you’re already doing. On the other hand, to attract and secure funding from a more diverse set of sources, including private foundations and individual donors, you’ll need to be able to allocate time and resources to this effort.
Can we rethink this catch-22? What if, instead, we could see compliance as a way to fuel fundraising?
Let’s start with the end goal in mind: gain more diversified funding from a wider variety of sources, outside of formula grants that could slip away without warning. What do victim and survivor service nonprofits need to possess or do to secure a wider variety of funds?
Interestingly, this is the same question we asked funders in our 2018 research study. Far and away, the consideration that is most important for funders making funding decisions is impact. In our study, 98% of funders stated impact as a key decision factor when looking to make funding decisions – ahead of all other tested factors, including mission (49%), organization leaders (29%) or history (22%).
So, if impact is what matters most to funders, how should victim and survivor service nonprofits demonstrate the impact they are having? Again, the answer from the hundreds of funders we surveyed was loud and clear: outcomes. In our study, 67% of funders say that outcomes are the best indicator of impact, winning against other key performance indicators like consistency to the mission (16%), outputs (4%) and financials (2%).
What funders want – and what they consider important to make funding decisions – is for nonprofits to communicate compelling impact stories that are backed by outcomes data proof points.
We then ask: How can victim and survivor service nonprofits turn HUD and VOCA compliance into a fundraising asset?
The answer is two-fold yet stems from a common solution. The game-changer here is having a data management solution built to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of victim and survivor service organizations’ compliance and reporting. With an intuitive technology system with centralized data in place, nonprofits can realize two key data-centric wins. The first win is time savings and the second win is an expanded ability to derive richer, more meaningful insights about the impact you’re having on the people you support.
Your organization can make compliance less tedious and time-consuming by implementing a comprehensive solution that keeps your data secure, accessible and centrally organized. This same software includes built-in workflows designed for specific ways victim and survivor service nonprofits need to report.
With a data solution in place that is designed to help you better understand your impact by offering new ways to measure and analyze individual and program-level outcomes, you can surface meaningful insights that will translate into powerful impact stories. And that’s your key to securing more diversified funding.
When you can report to HUD and VOCA more efficiently and effectively, you can turn your saved time and your compliance data into a springboard for building richer insights about the life-changing impact your organization provides. And that’s a win for your nonprofit and the people who depend on your services every day.
If you want to see how we can help you break the compliance-fundraising catch-22, connect with our team today to see Apricot for Violence Survivors (AVS) by Social Solutions in action.
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