Teach for America is a non-profit organization that identifies outstanding leaders that are committed to expanding educational opportunities. The first step includes teaching for about two years in public schools that lack adequate resources to facilitate academic success. The leaders also work with educators, teachers, and community members in a bid to support and enhance the positive academic and personal growth of the learners. The influence of the members of the NPO includes shaping the lives and careers of the students. All these efforts require assistance and financial aid from donors and the public. Therefore, this paper discusses the fundraising plan that could best suit Teach for America.
Key Stakeholders Groups Necessary for the Fundraising Recommendations and Presentation
The key stakeholder groups in Teach for America are community and civic groups, policymakers, grassroots leaders, teachers at the organization, and parents, and teachers in schools. Such groups are significant players in enhancing reforms in schools. In the fundraising, all these groups are likely to be influenced by the amount of money generated. The teachers voluntarily teach under-resourced public schools for about two years after they join the organization. Importantly, they are under no payroll from the school. Their work is voluntary and wholly supported by the non-profit institution hence showing why they are relevant stakeholders. In addition to that, parents and teachers guide the students and encourage them to pursue their education with valor. Policymakers design legislation that all the volunteers and members of the organization should adhere to in their line of duty. All these stakeholder groups are likely to be involved in the fundraising recommendations and presentations.
Strengths, Weaknesses, and Challenges of Current Fundraising in Teach for America
One of the strengths of the fundraising in Teach for America is its mission statement. The mission of the institution is to enlist and mobilize as many people as possible that will input their skills in the movement towards equal education and excellence (Rouschman, n.d). In particular, the institution recruits students from prestigious colleges and targets graduates with the desire to become leaders in communities. The mission statement, as Campbell (1999) argued, is an essential tool that NPOs should use to attract donors. Teach for America's mission statement is enough to persuade the donors and grantmakers to invest in the institutions.
The two main weaknesses of the current fundraising are related to expertise and staffing practices. As already mentioned, the NPO recruits graduates from colleges. Such people are likely to join the organization but would later quit when they find a well-paying job. In effect, their voluntary work or activities are temporal. According to Sargeant (2001), core competencies among the recruits in matters concerning expertise and success areas coupled up with staffing practices are the main weaknesses facing fundraising events in non-profit institutions. The same flaws are evident in Teach for America.
One of the primary challenges facing the current fundraising event at Teach for America is the ability to find donors having in mind that other non-profit organizations in America serve the same purpose. Competition remains to be a daunting challenge affecting most fundraising events in non-profit organizations (Young, 2001). Some of the other NPOs posing the threat of competition for Teach for America are the Center for Education Reform, and The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). In a bid to fight the rivals and attract donors for the fundraising event, Teach for America should strengthen its mission statement and improve on its staffing practices to ensure that it gets the most qualified personnel to spearhead activities within the institution.
Suggested Fundraising Recommendations
The first critical recommendation for fundraising is the development of a strategy. According to Agozzino and Fleck (2016), each fundraising activity and initiative has a cost, and there exists a balance between fundraising revenue and expenses. Although the primary goal of the event is to raise money, most of the NPOs fail to focus on scalability and sustainability (Agozzino & Fleck, 2016). A strategy has a significant role to play in enhancing tried and true opportunities that foster long-term growth. In addition to that, the best approach integrates the most productive groups of donors and its effectiveness in attracting high impact donors, considering that competition is a significant issue for the Teach for America non-profit organization. Sayer (2004) proposed the need for a fundraising project to create new opportunities for donors while also ensuring that the opportunities will generate profit eventually.
Another essential constituent of a fundraising development strategy is the inclusion of plans for donor acquisitions and retention with the main emphasis placed on the recruitment of donors. According to Key (2001), most donors are hardly going to invest if an organization does not show its interest in recruiting more donors. As such, it is crucial to include the plans for donor acquisition in strategic projects. The final step of the strategy consists of finding the tools that will help the organization meets its fundraising goals. Mainly, this includes finding tools that will enhance accuracy and will enable a team to make strategic moves based on the existing data. Other critical recommendations include researching and having data-driven fundraising. Wein (1985) indicated that data-driven fundraising is a smart and effective means of attracting donors. With data-driven fundraising, the institution is likely to communicate accurate results on the number of under-resourced public schools in America that the organization wants to assist. In consequence, this would persuade the audience who would, in turn, donate bountiful sums of money to finance the project and activities of the NPO.
Strategy to Build Consensus Among Stakeholders as to the Key Elements Under Recommendations
Consensus building is a problem-solving approach that aims at settling complex disputes among multiple parties. In fundraising activities, consensus building is paramount among stakeholders to enhance project success (Howard, 2007). The first step to consensus building is to designate a coordinator for the fundraising project. Mainly, this means that one person has the mandate of controlling the entire strategy to avoid any forms of mix-ups. The second step is setting parameters, which entail outlining the goals that an organization hopes to achieve and researching past activities and determining what worked well and what did not work desirably (Wilhelm, 2003).
Thirdly, the NPO needs to select the fundraising techniques that it will employ to enhance clarity among stakeholders. If any forms of payment methods have been identified, the organization should ensure that they all work smoothly. Thus, the fourth step entails getting the systems in order. With all these strategies in place, any forms of disputes are likely to be regulated. In consequence, the consensus among the stakeholders will be maintained.
Fundraisings are essential activities, particularly in non-profit organizations such as Teach for America. With effective fundraising techniques, the institution would generate enough finances through donations and grants that will facilitate its objective of enhancing equality in education among all students. With the rising competition from others like non-profit organizations, a well-detailed and precise fundraising technique adhering to all the objectives and suggestions made in the paper are required.
Agozzino, A. & Fleck, R. K. (2016). Examining nonprofit strategy for fundraising on a social media platform: A content analysis of top 10 u.s. nonprofit power brands fundraising efforts on facebook. Public Relations Journal, 10(1), 1-33, https://prjournal.instituteforpr.org/wp-content/uploads/Fleck.pdf
Campbell, B. (1999). Who are my donors? Fund Raising Management, 30(7), 28-29, https://europepmc.org/article/med/10623104
Howard, A. W. (2007). How to Plan a Successful Fund-Raising Event. Chronicle of Philanthropy, 19(21), https://www.philanthropy.com/article/How-to-Plan-a-Successful/178729
Key, J. (2001). Enhancing fundraising success with custom data modelling. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 6(4), 335-346. doi: 10.1002/nvsm.159
Rouschman, C. (n.d). Teach for America | Learning to Give. Www.Learningtogive.Org. https://www.learningtogive.org/resources/teach-america
Sargeant, A. (2001). Using donor lifetime value to inform fundraising strategy. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 12(1), 25-38. doi: 10.1002/nml.12103
Sayer, K. (2004). Making the case for investment in fundraising. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 9(2), 159-162. doi: 10.1002/nvsm.243
Wein, J. R. (1985). Playing fund-raising football: The game plan is everything. Fund Raising Management, 16(10), 34-84, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10300467
Wilhelm, I. (2003). A Payment Plan for Charity. News and Analysis. https://www.philanthropy.com/article/A-Payment-Plan-for-Charity/189685
Young, D. R. (2001). Organizational identity in nonprofit organizations: strategic and structural implications. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 12(2), 139-157. doi: 10.1002/nml.12202
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