Here we are, week 3 and it feels like things are changing every day. But the one consistent thing that we know is, we need to keep fundraising and keep connected with our donors.

Yesterday, we hosted a Free Webinar: Charitable Giving in a Pandemic. It was the first in our weekly series during the COVID-19 Crisis. As part of the webinar, we shared a Top Ten Things to Think About and Act On Now list. In case you missed the webinar, we’ve shared the list here.

  1. Don’t stop fundraising – do more (but differently). It doesn’t matter if you are on the front lines or completely unrelated to this crisis, you cannot stop fundraising or you will have increased challenges in the future.
  1. Define the real problem for your organization. Every organization will be different but it’s important to define how this crisis effects your organization and what your donors can do to help. Really understanding and being honest about what the challenges are for your organization and communicating those to donors is key.
  1. Build your honest case for support – and articulate it clearly. This is about who you are as an organization and what you are doing, and what you’re able to do with your donors and for your stakeholders. That honesty has never been more important than it is right now.
  1. Understand what you have to work with. We all have different mixes, different channel opportunities, different budgets and different donor bases. It’s important for you to have a really clear understanding of what you have to work with; internal resources, your key partners, and your donor groups.
  1. Think in steps – and write them down. The sheer number of things that we have to take into consideration, work on, and do during this crisis can be quite overwhelming. The number of emails and communications are staggering, so we want you to stay focussed by writing it down to keep you on track.
  1. Don’t forget recovery – keep one eye on the future. The best for-profit organizations always have an eye on the future, and we are no different. As non-profits and charities we have to be looking to the recovery period in order to plan now.
  1. Think people – your team, your donors, volunteers, stakeholders and beneficiaries. They are all critical to getting you through this crisis. We are in a people business and our actions and communications need to reflect that.
  1. Communicate honestly and regularly. Communication should NOT stop. If you have not reached out to your donors yet, in any way, please do it now! They want to hear from you. They need to hear from you, and they deserve to hear from you.
  1. Look for opportunities and silver linings – be creative. There is going to be some massive changes to the way in which we manage channels and the way in which we are diversifying revenue. Start thinking about where those opportunities might be now, especially as we are moving from immediate emergency communications into more contingency planning throughout this crisis.
  1. Do it together. We are seeing people connect, be nimble, share strategies, help each other and lean way in. Solving problems and creating new ways forward needs to be done with everyone at the table. Tap into the amazing people on your teams (including your key partners and colleagues) and do it together.

We hope these tips get you thinking and acting now. Our next webinar is Digital Strategies for Crisis Fundraising: The strength of virtual connections as we navigate our new norm. Join us Tuesday, April 7th at 2pm EST. Register here

And, here is a list of the free webinars we are hosting for the rest of April:

April 14:

  • A Pulse on Donor Behaviour During COVID-19: Actual US and Canadian donor survey results (from research being conducted right now) and what they mean for your fundraising.
  • Register Here

April 21:

  • Your Contingency Plan and the Importance of an Integrated Mix
  • Register Here

April 28:

  • What Makes an Amazing Donor Experience in Times of Crisis?
  • Register Here