Don’t Stop Nonprofit Fundraising
This Is No Time to Slow Down or Stop Nonprofit Fundraising
Every crisis creates opportunity. That’s why I believe nonprofit fundraising “asks” should absolutely continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A key challenge to any nonprofit’s success — during a crisis or not — is its ability to recognize how much its success rests within itself. Where are you going? Do you communicate that you are still open and that you are still fundraising?
Here are some basic tenets that are more important than ever:
- Don’t worry about the competition. Nonprofits that collaborate with other nonprofits will rule the day
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with something new
- Run toward, not away, from new fundraising ideas
- Involve youth. Involve seniors. Include every possible demographic in your fundraising efforts, because the old adage is true: the more, the merrier.
How to fight strong headwinds when fundraising:
I encourage you to enhance communication with target audiences, whether through mailed or emailed newsletters, social media engagement or special letters like updates from the “Director’s Desk.” Keep donors informed while also making it easy to donate online or by mail.
Think outside the box. Perhaps a conservation nonprofit organization could share video scavenger hunts through nature that the whole family will appreciate? I have also seen some clients redirect their focus to fundraising for operating funds instead of capital or planned gifts.
A few other fundraising ideas our clients have been using effectively:
- Develop peer-to-peer videos
- Conduct online auctions
- Hold virtual events via Zoom or One Cause
- Use a matching gift to challenge others to give via email
- Encourage donors to sign up for monthly giving
- Sell novelties appropriate to your cause. Here are a few examples:
- One client is selling prints of historically significant barns and already promoting these and other holiday items in its gift shop.
- This same client encourages patrons to purchase gift-memberships for family and friends.
- Another client renewed a beer label with a local brewer and enjoys a share of the sales.
- A client that serves youth even developed personalized Ping-Pong paddles and Ping-Pong balls.