Over the weekend, Neon One was proud to organize a NGO discussion at the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas. A few dozen nonprofit professionals took part in the discussion, which was lead by Rallybound’s Joe Magee and Charity Dynamics’ Donna Wilkins.
The discussion focused around how the attendee’s organizations cope with and innovate around fundraising gaps when governments reduce or remove funding for their programs, and/or create new urgent issues that require nonprofits to respond, such as the detention of immigrant children in 2018.
SXSW attracts participants from around the world, and our discussion was no exception, with attendees from Switzerland, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the UK. Many of the stories that participants relayed in the talk went beyond borders and pointed to strains between government priorities and many types of humanitarian and long term societal issues, including nuclear proliferation and climate change.
That said, many of the attendees gave excellent advice – both strategic and tactical – on how to counter government spending gaps. Some suggestions included leveraging giving days, where nonprofits can leverage an urgent short timeframe to bring donors into the fold, as well as matching gifts and campaigns.
Another point in the discussion focused on how different methods of incorporation can possibly lead to better revenue streams. Some of the organizations that attended said that they had considered becoming a B-corp, or even a for-profit organization in order to raise funds, and one nonprofit professional said that their organization receives most of its funding by doing market research for for-profit organizations.
By the end of the discussion, it was clear that many people came away with not only great new ideas in how to approach their fundraising and revenue streams, but also were rewarded with the knowledge that – regardless of size and international borders – nonprofits worldwide not only face similar challenges, but can also rely on each other for inspiration, support and shared knowledge.