By Dawn M.S. Miller, CFRE, Vice President – Annual Fund
My kids are asking a lot of questions right now. When can they go back to school? See their friends? Go out to dinner again?
And the simple answer is…I don’t know.
Like you, I’ve never lived through a pandemic and certainly not experienced anything close to Covid-19. There’s no Pandemic 101 course I can easily access with a handy FAQ section outlining its impact on nonprofit fundraising. But I do know that this isn’t the first time that fundraising has been bumpy. And I also know we’ve survived other rough spots and learned a lot about ourselves and each other along the way. I would imagine we’re going to learn new fundraising lessons in the coming weeks as we journey through this pandemic.
So maybe that’s a bright spot…this pandemic may push us to think and work in new fundraising ways and with donors. It could usher in a new era of fundraising innovation. Now that’s exciting!
When I was a baby fundraiser, there was so much I didn’t know or understand about the nonprofit world. Then I learned. When this pandemic started, each nonprofit mission did not suddenly become obsolete. I know this is true. Your donors did not give up on your vital work overnight. I did not have to learn this either – it is true!
It’s ok not to know everything to do for your nonprofit right now. You’ll learn. I’ll learn. And we’ll be better together and strengthen the nonprofit sector. But we also can’t give up and let Covid-19 win while our nonprofits lose. This is non-negotiable.
At Let’s Build Hope, we might not have all the answers about fundraising in the day of Covid-19. But we know each nonprofit has a heart in the community and each mission matters. We know making quick decisions without considering the long-term impact can hurt nonprofits for years to come. We’ve learned that listening to our donors, Board, staff, and key stakeholders is critically important. We know we can’t let our personal unease influence others – especially when it comes to donors and their desire to give during this time. We know we have to stay the fundraising course and continue to raise money now, not months down the road. We know we have to be authentic and communicate with integrity. And we know we have to lean into the discomfort and know that this too shall pass.
We can still come together, even if we’re required to stay six feet apart. Sometime soon our kids will go back to school, and we’ll all go out to dinner again. Until then, let’s continue to learn together, work together, and continue to be a voice in our communities. As always, call us or send us an email if you need us – we’re here for you!
#LBH #LetsBuildHope #StayTheCourse #FundraisingHope #ComeTogetherWhileStayingApart