By Beth Krumm, MEd, Senior Consultant
Everywhere we turn these days, we are getting bombarded with messages about what we can’t or shouldn’t do during this Covid-19 pandemic. It is no wonder we are hearing from clients asking about what they CAN do about fundraising during this time. It is natural to want to pull back on fundraising activities, but we here at Let’s Build Hope believe that through all this, there is reason to, well, HOPE.
The mission of your organization hasn’t changed. The clients you serve still have the same needs as they did before this crisis. Your donors still care about your organization and want to know what you are doing and how they can support your work.
It’s important not to make assumptions about what your donors will or will not do in this situation. The best way to find that out? Ask them!
Now is the time for more communication with your board and donors, not less. Reach out to them to see how they are doing/feeling. Ask how their family or business is doing. Share good news with them about a program that they’ve supported. Communicate the impact the crisis is having on your organization and how it’s affecting those you serve (you may be surprised at the number of donors who will step up with a gift in support). Make sure they know that you appreciate them in good times and in difficult times. If you can’t meet with them personally, pick up the phone or send them a handwritten note.
Many of you have had to make the difficult decision to cancel fundraising events. Instead of trying to find a date to reschedule later in the year, consider a virtual gala or a 24-hour fundraising event. “Social distancing” doesn’t mean that we should stop being social. Get creative. Consider asking would-be guests to join your giving club that will help sustain the organization year-round.
You should also be talking to your board about any event that you’re considering postponing or cancelling. Keep them apprised of your plans and ask their advice. Give them alternative solutions (instead of “We’re cancelling the gala,” try asking “We’re thinking of holding a virtual gala and here’s how it would work. What do you think?”)
For those of you whose fiscal year ends June 30th, have you started on next year’s annual plan? If not, now is a good time to really dig in, review and revise your case statement, and develop strategies to achieve your annual goals.
Last, but certainly not least, take care of yourself. Take a break from watching or listening to the news, take a walk around the block, do some yoga, make sure you’re eating well and getting plenty of sleep. Be kind to those around you. Stay calm and stay the course.
And if you need advice on the plan for your organization? Call us at Let’s Build Hope or send us an email – as always, we’re here for you!