Many activities are beginning to resume, but can your nonprofit? Can you begin delivering your mission and serving your clients as you did before? Of course, the answer depends partly on how the pandemic evolves over the next four-to-six months. More importantly, it also depends on how you weather the financial vortex in which you found yourself back in March and April. Have you been able to reboot your fundraising to meet the “new abnormal”? Or have you tried the same “tried and true” methods that worked pre-pandemic? If the latter, you need to abandon those and adopt the new techniques that are exciting donors.
Perhaps you think no one will want to give during this time. However, in a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, John Glier, of Grenzebach Glier and Associates, points out that after the three recessions over the past 30 years, giving rebounded to new highs within three years. “Given what we know about past recessions, we expect to see extraordinary giving persist in the coming years, and perhaps even months, and a robust surge to even higher philanthropic levels”.
Can you ensure you are part of the “robust surge”? Here are several specific suggestions that will help:
- Communicate, communicate. Don’t stop talking to big donors because of this crisis. Sounds simple, but many of us are hesitant to talk to donors during this sensitive time. Even if you don’t solicit them, ask how they and their families are doing, and share what your nonprofit is doing to combat the crisis.
- Discover the most effective, virtual ways to communicate with them. You are going to have to use these techniques for the foreseeable future, so get them right, and get comfortable with them.
- Lesson: One donor related how some nonprofits called and acknowledged her difficult situation, and one invited her to their virtual gala as their guest. Others never contacted her. Her reaction: The organizations I did not hear from, I won’t be giving to in the future. The one that invited me to their gala, I will be a donor to them for life.”
- Be genuine and transparent—let donors know the challenges you are facing and what you are doing to meet them, both from a financial and programmatic perspective. Ask them if you can discuss a gift. Let them know specifically how and where you need their help. You could ask them to switch a capital campaign pledge to operating support. for example.
The bottom line, both figuratively and literally is: You need to get out of your comfort zone and get creative to not only survive, but to flourish. Call Mirenda & Associates for your free 30-minute consultation and let us assist you in finding your new comfort zone.