Posted by Lisa Thompson


Change is inevitable. Regardless of your political affiliation or ideologies, every time a new administration moves into the White House, it can be a time full of uncertainty and questions. How will the new administration influence your nonprofit, if at all? Will your funding be affected? How can you be ready to adapt and respond to shifts in the new political landscape?

Every national, state and local election has the potential to impact communities and the nonprofits that serve them. To best prepare for what’s ahead, there are some things you can do to be proactive, protect your nonprofit’s interests and be ready to roll with any changes in store.

At Firespring, we are committed to doing everything we can to help you succeed, no matter the political landscape. In particular, we’re especially skilled at creating websites geared specifically for the nonprofit sector and helping organizations create an online presence that allows them to engage with their supporters and constituents better than ever.

  1. Embrace—and tell—your stories.

    Even when the political landscape changes, your mission does not. While it’s easy to start looking around and get distracted by headlines, news stories and the president’s latest tweet, the fact is, you still have a mission to accomplish and a cause to support. Now’s a great time to refocus on your goals at hand, and look for stories that clearly articulate what your organization is doing to impact your community. In fact, compelling impact stories may be more valuable than ever. Changing lives and improving the world—these things were important yesterday and they’ll still be important tomorrow, regardless of who’s sitting in the Oval Office.

  2. Focus on advocacy.

    Depending on your cause, it may be a good idea to develop and maintain strong relationships with state and federal legislators. Establishing open channels of communication can pay off when budget initiatives are considered. The government sector has a vested interest in the nonprofit sector; you can provide services outside the expertise of the government. Be proactive in helping legislators understand the need for the services you provide and how your organization betters your community. The best place to start: Locate important phone numbers now and get them in your contacts list so you’re prepared to call the appropriate people if and when a challenge arises.

  3. Increase collaboration and partnerships.

    Are there are other nonprofits or even for-profits in your area that provide similar services or work toward common goals? Instead of viewing other organizations as competitors, see them as allies. The “we’re all in this together” approach can serve you well going forward. How can you partner with others to bring positive change, engage donors and increase your impact? At the end of the day, building strong partnerships and alliances will ensure that your programs are supported by a range of stakeholders and constituents who can use their collective energy to fight for resources and public support. In other words, there is strength in numbers.

  4. Diversify your funding.

    About 80% of charitable giving in the U.S. comes from individuals, 15% from foundations and 5% from corporations. What does your funding mix look like? If you are heavily funded by the government, now might be a good time to look at ways to diversify and strengthen other areas of fundraising. Whether you lose government support or not, it’s important to be sure that your revenue stream isn’t all coming from the same source.

  5. Optimize data collection and reporting.

    If you aren’t already committed to being a data-driven organization, now is the time to start. It’s always important to have current and accurate information about your programs, constituents and resources, but with a monumental government shift, this is particularly crucial. Whether this means implementing more robust case management and data collection software or optimizing your existing system, it’s important to take the steps you need in order to have accurate numbers, data and facts about your organization and how it operates. Simply put, you need to know what it takes for your programs to run successfully and what efforts should be prioritized if you need to cut back.

  6. Make yourself visible.

    Are you active on social media? Do you blog consistently? Update your website regularly? Have you established thought leadership in your area? Are you actively looking for ways to get the word out about your organization? These things are important for your organization, no matter what the political climate is. Share your vision and mission and why it’s important even more than you did last year. Talk about what you do that the government does not, or can’t. What happens to the people you serve if you can’t provide your services? Write about why your approach is unique, effective and necessary for your community. All of these things are positives—regardless of who’s president or what Congress is doing, actively communicating about your mission will serve you well now and into the future.

At Firespring, we are committed to doing everything we can to help you succeed, no matter the political landscape. In particular, we’re especially skilled at creating websites geared specifically for the nonprofit sector and helping organizations create an online presence that allows them to engage with their supporters and constituents better than ever.

Another important part of developing the culture you want is creating a website that reflects the values, beliefs and priorities of your organization. We’ve been helping nonprofits build the perfect website for their organization for a decade—let us help yours. Request a free demo at firespring.org/trial or by calling 877.447.8941.


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