Nonprofit Fundraising: Tips for Surviving COVID-19
Most nonprofits know that the spring and summer seasons are the most popular times to hold fundraising events. But not this year. COVID-19 has canceled many, if not all, of those charitable initiatives. The coronavirus has negatively impacted all types of businesses and organizations in so many ways, but it’s especially true for nonprofits. The pandemic is a one-two punch for them because the demand for services has increased, yet quarantines and sheltering-in-place protocols have all but extinguished the fundraising initiatives that bring in the most donations. So how do nonprofits navigate this “new normal?” Here are some ideas:
Situation: Our nonprofit had to cancel our big fundraising event due to the coronavirus. Future events are likely to be canceled due to quarantines and social distancing restrictions. What can we do?
Now is the time to be creative. Consider moving your event online. While it won’t be the same as a physical, face-to-face event, a well-run virtual gathering can still be successful. Virtual events also have the benefits of being less expensive while having a broader reach. Try a virtual online auction through Facebook Live or experiment with a flash fundraiser. Share your online events and fundraising highlights on all social media channels with lots of photo and video updates. Quickly respond to comments and messages. Now is the time to strengthen your relationships with existing supporters and nurture others that have potential.
Situation: What other things can my nonprofit do during these unprecedented times to help with fundraising efforts?
Build more awareness for your organization through additional efforts in public relations and communications. Do more with digital and snail mail. Depending on your nonprofit’s mission, there could be tie-ins to the pandemic that can help enhance its messaging. Capitalize on those opportunities to increase the understanding and appreciation of your mission. That alone can inspire your audience to act. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open and get the word out in new, more effective ways.
Situation: My nonprofit doesn’t have the budget for additional public relations, mail, and digital communications. Are there other, less costly things I can do to fundraise?
Yes; try conducting “wellness calls” to your mid-to-high-level donors. Be genuine though. Pick up the phone and let them know you’re thinking about them. Ask how they’re doing. Make sure they understand how much you appreciate them. Also, take the time to reflect the same appreciation for your staff and volunteers. While their contributions aren’t financial, their efforts help keep the organization going during these challenging times.
A point of note — to perform any of these fundraising initiatives successfully — you’ll need accurate financials to see who your top donors are. Run reports to identify other potential people that may have higher funding potential. If your accounting system doesn’t have these capabilities, our expert team at Qbix can help. Nonprofit accounting is our specialty. We’ve worked with hundreds of nonprofits to help them not only survive but thrive during challenging times. Fundraising, grant reporting, bookkeeping, Form-990 preparation — you name it, we’ve done it. COVID-19 and its effects aren’t going away anytime soon. Coping with its impacts is going to be a long-term initiative.
Let’s team up now and work through it together. Contact us today.
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