Keep your donors close with a strong communication plan and personal calls to your top donors. Express calm concern and gratitude.
Now is an opportune time to be strategic and solution- oriented about the current climate and future. Hone best practice and expand operational capacity. Take stock, prioritize and execute.
Offer conference calls,
innovative event alternatives. Adopt volunteer efforts to a remote platform.
Invest in professional development remotely. Sharpen your team's toolbox so that you emerge at a higher level of performance.
In a crisis, most people want to help. Set up a special fund or specific funding opportunities to impact the crisis.
Be thoughtful. Invest in relationships with donors. Surprise donors with hand-written notes and creative value-added updates.
Block & Tackle
COVID-19 has dramatically changed the world in a matter of weeks. As fundraisers, we are by nature positive and resilient. Our priorities may have escalated or what was urgent last week may seem out of touch today. Here are the critical actions to implement during this period of social distancing. Commit to using this time to bring your donors closer even though you are apart. Be relevant, share your mission in ways that combat isolation and spread hope.
Circulate talking points which are transparent, sensitive to the environment, current and widely shared with all stakeholders. Stay on message.
The pace of change is evolving fast. Thoughtfully leverage technology to stay connected and talk with donors personally. One strengthens the other.
Individuals are naturally empathetic during a crisis. Social distancing positions donating as the best way to help. Make giving easy, impactful and offer gratitude.
Offer donors one poignant story of an individual. Convey that story boldly with conviction. Your words have the power to inspire.
During this period, be responsive and flexible with donors. Understanding should run deep and gratitude should be abundant.
The crisis will end. Reserve time now to envision your future state and path to success.
Be a Catalyst
Be the change you want to see in the world. This quote from Mahatma Gandhi reminds us that change begins with ourselves. As we embrace the new paradigm, we are discovering creative ways to connect and authentically engage donors. Fundraisers are catalysts. We serve as a powerful bridge between the nonprofits we represent and donors to harness the power of philanthropy for change.
Nonprofits do not retreat; they lean in.
Fundraisers and nonprofit leaders stay calm, get creative and carry on.
Philanthropists rise to challenge and will again.
Personal outreach to principal and major gift donors first. High level prospects in conversation, donor constituency, and community next.
Communicate with sensitivity. Convey genuine personal concern, explain steps nonprofit has taken and be honest about the situation.
Nonprofits that do best, during and after a crisis, don't stop asking after the first check in call. Don't overly apologize or anticipate, "no".
Capture new donors who want to help. Apply to foundations who have relaxed parameters and expanded grant opportunities. Explore federal and state opportunities.
Nonprofits that communicate, invest time in relationships, leverage technology and innovate, will discover opportunities, remain optimistic and true to their vision.
Top Nonprofit Questions
Who should we be communicating with?
What do we communicate?
When is it OK to begin asking?
Where is there an opportunity?
Why will some nonprofits recoup lost revenue?