In principle, an NGO doesn’t run its shop to generate yearly or even quarterly surpluses. It doesn’t give a hoot about stock prices taking a plunge. However, NGOs must find ways to pay bills and ensure good financial standing.
Nonprofits must undertake measure to maintain a constant stream of revenue – whether, government, foundations, corporation, and donor funding, income generated from sales of merchandise/services, or funds made through partnerships and sponsorships.
That being said, NGOs have developed skills and approaches that for-profit businesses can use to improve their customer satisfaction, their long-term value, and to stand out in a sea of competition.
Here are some of these NGO best-practices that can be incredibly beneficial to for-profits.
Relationships are More Important to Nonprofits than Transactions
Most NGOs that sell products or services understand that selling individual tickets will not cut it. That is why they prefer membership or subscription based sales which often generate enough revenue to run the shop.
However, membership and subscription-based approaches require a specific focus on creating relationships. In other words, subscribers often focus on programs that they want to attend. Once they sign up, they can always trust the museum or performing arts institution to deliver value. This is a great take-home for for-profits. A focus on creating relationships rather than transactions creates more returning customer and builds more loyalty.
Understand your prospects and clients
Let’s face it; no one wants to help unless they feel connected to the cause. That’s exactly what nonprofits go for – the emotional drivers that may connect the prospect to their organization. They spend oodles of time trying to know their prospective and current customers, donors, and clients.
For businesses, knowing your clients or customer’s interests, goals, and emotional drivers is paramount. Through qualitative and quantitative research, both NGO and for-profits can find ways to deliver tailored and value-based messages to customers. This way, they can engage better and create more conversations.
Assemble a tight and more effective team
NGO often have to make do with a tight budget. They often boast a team of highly motivated and engaged of professionals who look beyond the paycheck. For-profits can also learn to create a fabulous working environment for employees. They can also encourage employees to be brand ambassadors.
Connect on a Deeper Level
NGOs have to connect on a personal level with customers, donors, and clients. Clients have to feel that they are part of a bigger cause. Businesses can also learn to connect with customers on a more personal level. The customer should be made to feel like part of the shared enterprise.