Fundraising in a crisis

Fundraising?! What, now?

Yes! Many of your donors want to help now and in the future. This is not the time to stop communicating with your donors and it is certainly a good time to be communicating about your organization’s program needs.

Evangeline Caros, a Vancouver-based fundraising coordinator, suggests keeping your donor messaging focused on how donations will impact this crisis. Include donors in the effort, i.e., fight with us, donate today to help now.  Caros also suggests making your case for support adaptable to wave 2 and 3 appeals. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by making a call for support seem like an exceptional one-time ask. Second and third-wave appeals will be great tools to update your donors and remind them of an ongoing need.

If you’re re-scheduling fundraising events, Caros suggests doing something that brings people together after all of this. They won’t need a big flashy show, they’ll have been spectators to their TV for months. Your event should facilitate connections and conversations, so make the event simple and gentle.

Vancouver fundraising guru Siobhan Aspinall confirms that it’s a tricky time for non-profits, but she points to lessons learned from the 2008 global recession. Check out her suggestions for what to start doing, what to ramp up, and what to avoid on her podcast How to Fundraise During a Pandemic.

Other resources:

Stop toilet paper hoarding. Start empowering your donors.

Fundraising in a crisis

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