Beyond Life on the Raiser’s Edge

Ironically, the iconic nonprofit fundraisers’ tool Raiser’s Edge is made by a company that trades publicly on the NASDAQ under the ticker BLKB, for Blackbaud. The company, not surprisingly, has multiple lines of business and revenue.

We think Blackbaud’s model is a great and instructive roadmap for nonprofits; multiple, sustainable lines of fundraising (other than program) revenue. Here’s what this might look like graphically applied to a nonprofit fundraising model:

Funding Timeline

Funding models that look like the above may be less familiar to nonprofit management teams with traditional nonprofit backgrounds. Boards may not have the time to work with management and fundraising teams to carefully structure multi-channel funding models. Working with well-known tools like Raiser’s Edge to reach a certain market segment may have a certain understandable comfort. All of these dynamics are perfectly natural. And they all conspire to create a certain degree of risk.

Against the backdrop of today’s volatile funding environment, it is hard to argue with the wisdom of thinking outside solely software box to consider inclusion of a strategic approach that includes multiple, sustainable sources of revenue to support ongoing mission delivery.