Every dollar you save as a nonprofit is one more dollar you can put towards your cause. Arguably more than any other organization, nonprofits operate on an extremely tight budget, and cutting corners wherever possible is a fact of life.
Large-scale efforts like maintaining a lean staff and filing for all possible tax benefits are a huge part of keeping costs low. But what kinds of small changes can nonprofits make to save a few bucks here and there, without putting in a huge effort? We’ve got a few ideas, so read on!
1. Go paperless
It's a well-known fact that printer ink costs more per drop than champagne or human blood. So, given how many documents nonprofits handle every day, saving money on paper and ink is a no-brainer.
Adopting a digital eSignature solution is the easiest way to slash your spending on office supplies, with the added bonus of creating less waste (especially relevant if you're an environmental nonprofit). Software like Signeasy store all of your documentation in the cloud, making organization and signature collection a breeze. Plus, you’ll get to streamline your paperwork processing workflows so you can get more done – and raise more money – in a given workday.
2. Make your promotional materials reusable
Nonprofits typically host events that recur annually. Marketing these events can rack up large bills – and fast – if you're not careful. To avoid spending too much on promotional content, opt for assets like banners, stickers, and pamphlets that can be used year after year.
For example, you can create an information pamphlet or document that discusses the general details of an event, and enclose a smaller card with specific information like dates, times, and locations. Banners can also be kept very general – the same goes for hats, pins, buttons, and other event swag.
3. Don't pay full price for tech
Shiny new technology is enough to get your heart racing, but the associated price tags can be killer (not to mention they're predicted to remain expensive). If it's time to replace someone's desktop computer, or if one of your remote workers needs a company laptop, consider purchasing a refurbished machine.
A refurbished product is simply older stock that's been repaired and restored by either the manufacturer or an expert. They typically come with a warranty (albeit shorter than a new machine), and are a sustainable choice for the eco-conscious shopper. You can easily get a refurbished computer for up to half off the original price, making it an excellent option for cost-sensitive nonprofits!
4. Always get multiple quotes
Each time you outsource a contract, make sure to collect at least three different vendor quotes so you can make an informed and budget-friendly choice. It might take a little extra time to contact multiple companies for a project, but the associated savings will be well worth the investment!
5. Tap into free online resources
Not many things in life are free – but when it comes to software, the most pared-down version often is, so nonprofits should be taking advantage!
If services like MailChimp or Constant Contact for email marketing and Canva for all of your marketing design needs (from social media posts to print-ready business cards) aren't already saved in your bookmarks, now's the time. They’ll help you create simple, effective, and eye-catching marketing materials to promote your social pages and events, so you can bring in those fundraising dollars without spending a dime. You can also check out more email marketing service similar to Mailchimp and Constant Contact.
You don’t need to overhaul your entire budget if you’re looking to save a little money. Putting just one or two of these strategies into motion can help you make a small but important impact for your nonprofit!