Don’t Stop Fundraising!
So much has been upended lately, it may seem like fundraising is the last thing you should be doing. You may even be feeling hesitant to call up and ask for pledges or outright donations.
While we want to be sensitive, even empathetic, to the needs of our partners, sponsors, donors and foundations, all of the experts agree:
Don’t Stop Fundraising!
Yes, I said it twice on purpose. As bleak as some things may seem, things are shifting, so we have to shift too.
If you feel like your great planning has been yanked out from under you, here are some ideas to get you back on track again, even if it’s a different track than you were expecting.
Better Late Than Never: Create A Business Continuity Plan
… In four steps from NonProfit Risk.org. I haven’t done this myself, but it looked like some good ideas, if only to snap yourself back into action.
Watch The Beginning of This Webinar Recorded Video…The Fundraising Must Go On
The host has some great talking points for calling up your sponsors and donors and finding out what their needs are, if and how they want to stay involved, etc. I thought it was a really inspired way to keep the communication open, without feeling like you are calling them to hit them up for money at a really awkward time.
You can obviously watch the whole thing if you are interested in hosting an online event, or leave that for later if it’s overwhelming!
Start Brainstorming: Move Your Fundraising 100% Online — Events Too!
I am the founder and former owner of Web Baby Shower (bet you didn’t know that, did you?!), so I actually have all kinds of experience and ideas for hosting a fabulous event online. This is my wheelhouse — lean on me!
You probably have an online donations page, and that’s a great start. Now it’s time to think of other ways to leverage online crowd funding platforms, online entertainment and content, and virtual meeting tools.
To get started, the video link above from Greater Giving goes into a lot of details … just watch as much as you need to get inspired. Don’t let the details overwhelm you. If you didn’t just cancel a big event, you probably won’t be ready for all the details they go into, but seeing them rock & roll into virutal action right after cancelling a bunch of fundraising events is really inspiring!
Swaim Strategies, who participates in the Greater Giving video, also published a COVID19 Fundraising Toolkit:
Even if you don’t want to or need to ask for money, it’s still a great time to provide people with content and things to do. Everyone is looking for distractions, so let’s brainstorm for how we can highlight the people your organization serves while adding some great content for people to read, watch or listen to!
- Nonprofit Oregon has a list of COVID19 resources, from coping with the actual virus to keeping your nonprofit afloat
- Sustainability to Survivability: 5 Nonprofit Finance Must-Do’s in the Time of COVID from Nonprofit Quarterly
Instrumentl.com COVID19 Grants Page
- Don’t worry, I’ve got an eye on this one; just wanted to make sure you know about it too
- Finally, SBA is making loans available with lower rates for nonprofits
I hope this has been useful. I welcome your feedback and questions.