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Is your nonprofit looking to add to your fundraising revenue with earned income?

A lot of nonprofits are thinking about this these days. And there’s lots of ways to go about it.

One nonprofit friend that I know looking to sell pinatas from her program participants.  I tried to explain to her that this may not be worth the money that it would cost to market the pinatas.

If this sort of retail isn’t the best thing for your nonprofit, what IS the best thing?

Check out my free webinar on August 6th if you’d like to explore different kinds of earned income for your nonprofit. We’ll go into detail on which earned income streams take the least up-front cost, which take the most investment, what sort of margins you can expect from different kinds of earned income streams for your nonprofit, and more.

Let’s say you’ve decided to explore selling trainings.

Recently I was talking with a nonprofit executive director. His nonprofit is looking to do better with their earned income streams. One of the things they’re thinking of doing is marketing their online trainings in a more successful way.

Right now, they have to act more like a business, even though they’re a nonprofit.

One of the things we talked about was market research.

What is market research and why should you do it?

Market research means you research whether or not people are willing to buy the thing your nonprofit is thinking of selling, whether it’s training or bed-bug free beds for homeless shelters.

Market research means talking with people, emailing people, calling people, and surveying people to find out if what you want to do is viable.

In a nutshell, it takes the risk out of making and marketing new training products for your nonprofit.

If you’re thinking of marketing your nonprofit trainings, first of all, look who is using them right now.

Ask your current users,

“What would you google to find this training?”

“What stands out about our training?”

“What need does this training fill for you?” and

“What words do you use to describe our training to others?”

Once you’ve asked 20 people this question, you have a pretty good idea how your training is different, the key words that tap into the need that your training fills, and what really makes it valuable for people.

If you haven’t created this training yet, then you need to ask 20 potential customers,

“What are some things that make it hard for you to do your job?”

“What would help you do your job better?”

Describe your training and ask, “Based on this description, do you think this training would help address <Issue 1>  and <Issue 2>?

“How much would you be willing to pay for a training like this?”

If 20 people tell you that they would be willing to pay a reasonable amount of money for your training, you may want to be even more certain, and interview 20 more people.

Now that you’ve done your market research, then you’re ready for the next step. What’s the next step? Stay tuned!

If you’re interested in exploring your earned income options, check out my free webinar on August 6th. I’d love to see you there! 

If you’d like to learn more about marketing your trainings for your nonprofit online, a lot of my advice is contained in WebinarHow.to. It’s a website I made to teach people how to market their webinars and online trainings.