conference-1886023_640Some of the best ideas come out of brainstorming sessions. If you are one of the many nonprofits who struggle with a tight budget yet are seeking creative marketing ideas to extend that budget as far and as wide as possible, then holding regular brainstorming sessions may just help your business.

Brainstorming allows you to let your imagination run wild, free of limitation and constraint. If it is your intention to hold a brainstorming event, then it is worth asking individuals to do a bit of mental preparation before they come. This will help reduce any anxiety and get the conversation off to a good start. Starting a session off without giving your team prior warning tends to defeat the purpose in some ways.

Before the session gets carried away, make sure you have someone prepared to act as a leader and someone else to write down the ideas brought forward. These tasks give the session a sense of organisation, regardless of the ideas discussed.

As people come forward with their thoughts, encourage other team members to add to them. This allows each suggestion a moment to bloom before moving on to the next. At the end of the session, you can choose the ones which are likely to be the most beneficial for your current set of circumstances. It is important that you don’t let ideas such as budgetary constraints hamper the ideas being put forward. There are always cost-effective solutions out there – focus on the free flow of creative ideas first.

Brainstorming sessions allow the team to explore an issue or a series of issues in a different format to say a business meeting. They tend to have more energy and bring a larger volume of suggestions. It is an excellent way to discuss through and formulate strategies which may or may not work for your nonprofit.

If you are open to new and untested ideas then brainstorming is a great way to do that. It lets the team know that you value their suggestions and are willing to listen to what they have to say. If you are time limited, then it might be necessary to set time limits on ideas and follow up discussion. Any stand-out ideas can then be assessed at a later meeting.

With these simple guidelines, we hope that your meeting will flow with much success. If you come across some stumbling blocks or the conversation dries up, it may be worth having a break to give everyone a chance to gather their thoughts.

The trick is to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to speak and that all ideas are given equal weighting. We wish you the best of luck in your up and coming brainstorming session and look forward to hearing about the ideas you produce.