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Do You Have a Reliable Earned Revenue Stream?

Many nonprofits are looking for new and innovative ways to raise needed revenue. With individual giving down 10% last year, this is the perfect time to think about adding or up-leveling your earned revenue offerings.

Key findings from Giving USA 2023: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2022 report:

• Total giving decreased in 2022, a relatively rare occurrence usually seen during years with difficult or unusual economic conditions. Giving was influenced by stock market volatility and economic uncertainty. Total giving declined 3.4% in current dollars – down 10.5% after adjusting for inflation – from a revised total of $516.65 billion in 2021.

• The 2022 results follow the two best years on record for charitable giving, including 2021 when giving surpassed $500 billion for the first time. During the height of the pandemic, we witnessed unprecedented generosity during a time of great need. Fast forward to today, while there was an overall decline in giving in 2022, it is important to note that this follows record-high giving numbers in 2020 and 2021.

Here are 4 earned revenue ideas nonprofits can easily incorporate (with examples!!):

  1. Selling t-shirts/swag This is a low-cost, easy way to build your brand and increase revenue. Once you print the items, volunteers can help with the fulfillment too. When I was at Girlstart, we started The Empowerment Campaign, which gives $100 donors a cute "This Tee Empowers a Girl" shirt. The first month we raised $3,000! The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) just launched an online store that was created by their Youth Advisory Board with mugs, sweatshirts, stickers, t-shirts, and more!

  2. Licensing or selling curriculum For a nonprofit that is always creating new programs, camps, and curricula, selling or licensing old materials is a win-win! Oftentimes smaller community organizations or schools are desperate for engaging materials with very little time to create their own. VentureLab has done an amazing job of packing up its curriculum by grade level and topic!

  3. Educator Trainings Training educators across the world is so much easier thanks to virtual platforms like Zoom. In-person and virtual trainings are helpful for teachers, informal educators, and community members to gain new skills and techniques, and also learn effective ways to reach your target audiences in your unique way. Educators of America offers a Project Based Learning workshop for teachers and schools (in person and virtual) that can be tailored to the needs of educators and school communities.

  4. Consulting services Seasoned nonprofits can help smaller nonprofits outside their service area by offering expert advice and consulting. Through lessons learned, sharing what worked and what didn't work, or marketing recommendations, nonprofits can provide a much-needed service that can be worth thousands of dollars. Seaside Sustainability offers consulting that works closely with school administrators, students, and community partners, to provide guidance on how to implement sustainable practices through different comprehensive services.

Earned revenue is like the icing on the cake- it shouldn't take the place of individual, foundation, or corporate support, but it can help diversify your revenue, increase sustainability, and make everything a little sweeter! If you want to add an earned revenue program to your services/menu, I'd love to help! Book a FREE 30-minute discovery call today.


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