Growing Nonprofit Revenue: How to Bring In More Dollars

Maintaining, and hopefully, growing Nonprofit revenue ranks among the top concerns of not-for-profit organizations.

Nonprofit revenue comes from several sources:




Membership dues and fees


Investment returns

Sales of goods or services

Here are some factors to consider in the efforts at increasing Nonprofit revenues in the areas of donations, events and sponsorships.


Two strategies for growing Nonprofit revenue from donations are to expand the donor base and increase the average giving amount per donor. 

Adding donors, like for-profit customer acquisition efforts, involves:

Raising awareness

Clearly communicating the organization’s value proposition

Making a convincing case that the organization can deliver on the value proposition

In the case of Nonprofits, the value proposition is the mission. Potential donors receive the message and make the donation (buying) decision in the same way a consumer decides to buy a product or service. If potential donors clearly understand the organization’s mission, believe in it and in the ability of the organization to fulfill the mission, they will be motivated to give.

Increasing the average giving amount focuses attention on existing donors. Keeping donors engaged via ongoing communication becomes a top priority for the organization. The communications should remind donors that:

The mission continues to be relevant

The Nonprofit is successfully fulfilling the mission

The Donor’s contributions are appreciated

The greater the engagement of Donors, the more likely requests to increase average giving amounts will be accepted.

In the effort to increase donations, two other Stakeholder groups merit consideration. 

Volunteers and the Board of Directors represent some of the Nonprofit’s strongest advocates. Not only do these Stakeholders tend to donate at above-average levels, but they also have the motivation and means to expand the Donor base through their own networks. Peer-to-Peer fundraising is an example of how organizations can tap into the energy and enthusiasm of these dedicated supporters.


Nonprofit revenue also flows from events. Whether the event’s purpose is educational, social or purely to raise money, the goal is to bring in dollars more than are spent to stage the event. 

To be successful in growing Nonprofit revenue, events need to be more carefully planned and executed. 

Realistic event scope-

The scope of the event will determine how much money can be raised. However, the scope must be matched to the resources of the organization. Planning an event that can not be produced efficiently will probably not raise the target amount of money because of high costs.

Cultivate Sponsors – Sponsors not only boost Nonprofit revenue by underwriting event costs but also lend credibility. A strong Sponsor brand adds value to the event in the minds of potential attendees. Cultivating positive Sponsor relationships can yield long-term revenue benefits both from events and overall sponsorship for the organization.

Aggressively promote the event – Getting the message out to members and those outside the organization is crucial in achieving attendance goals. Recruit exciting Stakeholders to reach out to their networks.

Efficient Execution – Event attendees must have a quality experience to motivate them to attend future events, encourage others to attend events and generally convey a positive image of the organization to the community.

Comprehensive follow-up – Gathering feedback from attendees provides input for future events. Increasing event quality over time builds the organization’s brand which results in even greater revenue-generating opportunities.

Organizations focused on growing Nonprofit revenue are more likely to reach their objectives by focusing on improvements in donor, sponsor and event management.

Scroll to Top