Leveraging opportunities to build, connect, grow

A frequent challenge for nonprofit organizations is dealing with unexpected setbacks — the failed donor renewal, the sudden loss of a key department head, or the departure of a board member. But after two decades in the nonprofit sector, I’ve come to realize that there are just as many unexpected opportunities from which nonprofits can benefit. Successful nonprofit organizations learn how to leverage these moments to help meet organizational goals. At Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, this sense of opportunism is a core principle in our mission to address the region’s affordable housing needs. 

A few years ago, we began to discuss internally how we could strengthen our individual donor base. That’s when one of those unexpected opportunities arose.

At nearly the same time we began to develop strategies to increase individual giving, we learned about the launch of Georgia Gives Day — a statewide day of giving conducted by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. It was the jumpstart we needed. In three years, we have raised more than $31,000 and tripled our number of annual individual donors! Additionally, we were fortunate to be selected by SunTrust to receive matching funds for a portion of our donations. We still have room to grow, and are thankful for the Georgia Gives Day team for giving us an opportunity to do so.

As we strengthened our relationship with GCN in 2014, we were among 100 nonprofits invited to participate in another unexpected opportunity — the GCN/Family-to-Family Nonprofit Media Forum conducted by WSB-TV and affiliated Cox media organizations. It was an incredibly informative look inside the day-to-day operations of one of the nation’s top media organizations. Most helpful was the media strategy advice we received from leading professionals in television, radio, print and digital media. In 2015, we incorporated this advice and have been very successful in our media outreach — with coverage by WSB-TV, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Wall Street Journal, SaportaReport.com and more.

While not every opportunity yields such results, we are mindful of those that come with GCN membership and participation in Georgia Gives Day.

George Burgan is Director of Communications at Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership.

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