COVID-19 will impact your life and your cause. This is a fact. Across the world. Don’t panic. Lots of people have your back – including me.
Your job is to have your constituents’ back. These folks include staff, beneficiaries, board, volunteers, and donors. If you’re unsure what to do, you’re not alone. This is new.
I’m writing a lot on Clairification about what to do during this ‘new abnormal,’ and will also be hosting a live Q & A on Zoom for Clairification School students next Friday. Not enrolled yet? Now’s a great time to join in and connect with your peers!
This is not the ‘new normal.’ If you think that way, you’ll be apt to give up.
This is the ‘new abnormal.’
If you recognize that, you can plan to mitigate the pain now and prepare for the day when things do get back to normal. Take a long view. Remember, there was a worldwide flu pandemic in 1918-19. It was BAD. But the world did not end. And life as you’ve known it certainly did not end.
Be grateful – and proud. Nonprofit workers have always been on the front lines of righting wrongs, finding needs and filling them and doing their darnedest to assure people (and animals and the planet itself) live the best lives possible. Keep on keeping on as best you can. Your job is creating a more compassionate, livable world – one person, one animal, one place, one principle at a time.
What you do matters. A lot.
It is my privilege and pleasure to help you do with as much joy, optimism and effectiveness as possible,
P.S. Don’t forget to bookmark my fundraising advice column on the Bloomerang blog! Ask your question here – and bookmark the Ask an Expert page!
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Inspiration, Advice and Actionable Tips – for YOU and Your Organization — for Not-So-Normal Times
Click-it: Coping in a Pandemic: Essential Nonprofit Philanthropic Strategies. I wrote this article for the Bloomerang blog to give you a lens through which to frame everything you do right now. Remember, this is absolutely not the time to stop building donor relationships. You and your donors are in this together. Treat them like family.
Click-it: Tips for fundraising in times of uncertainty. 4aGoodCause offers up concrete short-term and long-term ideas for fundraising in a crisis.
Click-it: A Letter from Our President. Just have to share this inspirational message from the President of the Field Foundation of Illinois. She suggests using this time for innovation. Don’t simply try to replicate business-as-usual using virtual platforms. Think outside the box. Ask others what they need from you. Continue to share resources. Continue to connect.
Click-it: Tensions at home this week? Need a bit of advice on how to keep things from boiling over? Take it from life and work coach Tara Mohr, who writes here about a conversation she had with her husband (I swear she was in my living room, because my hubby and I had the exact same conversation the previous evening!). She advises a new version of “Stop, drop and roll” for these times. Check it out. I think you’ll find it useful – professionally and personally.
Click-it: From soft lighting to the Golden Gate Bridge: Your complete guide to video conference filters. Want to put a little pop into your work-from-home online meetings? Here’s a practical article on Fast Company showing you how to do this with Zoom.
Click-it: COVID-19 survival tips for arts organizations. Jeff Brooks, Future Fundraising Now, offers spot-on, practical tips for organization that may not at first blush seem ‘essential.’ If you’re such an organization, don’t sell your mission short. Your supporters believe you’re needed!
Click-it: True Leadership in the Time of Corona. I love this article from Nonprofits are Messy. Joan Garry is a true and wise leader, and her wisdom is much-needed and appreciated right now.
NOTE: You’ll find more of my own ‘what to do in this crisis’ articles on Clairification (just scroll to the bottom of the Click-it).
Click-it: Keys to Fundraising During a Crisis [Register for free webinar, 3-30-2020]. Direct Marketers Fundraisers Association hosts a panel of seasoned industry experts – Steve Abrahamson, National Audubon Society, Larry May, Infogroup, and Madeline Stanionis, M+R – answering your questions from their experience navigating other pivotal moments (9/11, Anthrax scare, multiple recessions, and more.)
Click-it: Secrets of Successful Virtual Conferences [Register for free webinar, 3-31-2020]. As your nonprofit looks to deal with this challenging time, so you don’t lose revenue or engagement with your supporters, join Mazarine Treyz, Wildwoman Fundraising, for a behind-the-scenes look at running your event this year online.
Click-it: Nonprofit + Campaign Strategies for COVID-19 [Register for free webinars, 3-31 and 4-1-2020]. NGP VAN + EveryAction will be hosting a series of four webinars over two days covering fundraising, digital, advocacy, and political fundraising. Join them to hear real world examples of how others are handling COVID-19 — or share the steps your organization is taking with your peers.
Click-it: The Fundraising Growth Strategies Summit [Register for free day-long event, 4-1-2020]. Brooke Richie-Babbage has put together a program featuring video interviews with fundraising experts, foundations, corporations and nonprofit leaders (I’ll be one of them). Get concrete, step-by-step strategies and advice to help you get noticed by funders, build powerful relationships with foundations and corporations, secure in-kind donations and build a donor base.
Click-it: Cut Costs and Get Creative in Crisis Mode with Nonprofit Appeals [Register for free webinar, 4-2-2020]. Fundraising, as we know it, has shifted in these uncertain times. But that doesn’t mean you should stop asking for support. Join Firespring to learn ways to cut costs and get creative with your print appeals.
Click-it: Coronavirus and Nonprofit Grants: Tactics and Strategies to Help You Adapt [Register for free webinar, 4-3-2020]. Everything is different now, including what grantmakers are prioritizing and best practices for communicating with these funders. CharityHowTo hosts veteran grants professional Diane Leonard, GPC to help you figure out strategic approaches.
Click-it: Online Fundraising During a Crisis: What to do Now (and in the Future) [Register for free webinar, 4-9-2020]. Join Ronald Pruitt of 4aGoodCause to learn actionable steps a small-to-midsize nonprofit can take to raise money online during (and after) the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. You’ll get lots of examples from which to borrow!
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
Click-it: Addressing Today’s Marketing Challenges [Listen to brief video with answers to key questions]. How do you stay top of mind with messaging appropriate for the time we’re in? In the legacy giving field, this is very much an issue. Nathan Stelter, President of the Stelter Company, suggests you put yourself in your donors’ shoes. Don’t stop communicating, but be sensitive with your language and the images you use. Particularly when it comes to legacy giving.
Click-it: Tools and Strategies for Virtual Fundraising Events [Watch free on-demand webinar]. Qgiv offers this timely info on virtual event ideas (including silent auctions and P2P fundraising), tips for making these events fun and interactive, and real life examples from their clients.
Click-it: COVID-19 and Your Cause – How not to make it worse [Download free on-demand webinar]. Sean Triner, Moceanic, joins Bloomerang for this inspiring session dedicated to helping you come through 2020 stronger, not weaker.
Click-it: Crisis Response for Nonprofits [Watch live Facebook conversation]. Gail Perry and Kathryn Gamble, Fired Up Fundraising, talk about how to stay calm, be authentic and lead those who rely on you through these uncertain times. They also cover donor-centered ways to talk with donors. Keep telling your stories – which likely are more compelling now than ever!
Click-it: Lessons from Motivate Monday | How Nonprofits Can Navigate COVID-19 [Listen to on-demand conversation] Want a little help navigating fundraising – and monitoring your own and your community’s well-being — during this COVID-19 age? Check out this conversation between Pamela Grow and Beth Kanter. Each of them also have curated lists of COVID-19 resources on their websites.
Click-it: COVID-19 Employer Toolkit [Download compendium of free resources]. The folks at Unemployment and Workforce Solutions have put together this collection of guides, checklists and communication templates exclusively for nonprofits. Plus, you can access an on-demand webinar that discusses the latest COVID-19 HR guidance and best practices.
Click-it: Complete Mobile Strategy Guide [Free Download]. Mobile Cause shares how mobile messaging and text-to-donate can transform your communications like never before. Here are just a few of the ways these tools can help keep donors informed and your organization moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Did you know 95% of texts are opened within 3 minutes?
Other Articles: The Beat Goes On
Culture of Philanthropy
Click-it: What’s it Like to Breathe the Air in Your Nonprofit? In this article I wrote for the Bloomerang blog, read about how a culture of philanthropy guides all customer-centered daily decisions and actions. And that holds true for normal and not-so-normal times. You need to look at everyone – staff, volunteers, donors and clients – through the lens of love.
Donor Retention and Loyalty
Click-it: Donor Thank You Down and Dirty. ‘Thank you’ may be the most important element of your entire fundraising strategy. Learn easy ways to get it right in this post I wrote for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: How to Run a Quick Supporter Experience Audit. Want to know how to make your donor’s experience one that will inspire them to stick with you? Begin by finding out what it’s like to actually be one of your donors! Check out this post from Mark Philips on the Queer Ideas blog.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Leadership tensions in fundraising. Leadership never mattered more than it does now. Nor has it ever been for the faint of heart. This article from The Fundraising Coach explores the tensions leaders must navigate to be successful.
FREE AUDIO-VISUAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
The more you learn, the more you grow.
Finding webinars you’d like to attend that overlap? Note that for many of these webinars you can obtain a copy of the recording if you’re unable to join live – as long as you register!
Major and Legacy Gifts
FREE 16-WEEK PLANNED GIVING COURSE!
Click-it: Plain English Planned Giving [Register for 8-module course, beginning 4-1-2020]. This is a HUGE opportunity. Lynda Sands pretty much wrote the book – and much of the legislation – on planned giving. I’ve had the opportunity to work with her over many years, and can attest to these facts: (1) she really knows her subject, (2) she’s a terrific teacher, and (3) she’s creative and inspiring. Each class is short, so this is totally manageable for you. Just 15 minutes or so each day, with time for Q & A. If you miss a session, there will be a recorded recap. This is her amazing gift to the nonprofit community during these stressful times. You’d be nuts to miss out!
Click-it: Key Findings from the 2020 Major Gift Benchmark Study [Register for free webinar, 4-8-2020]. Join Market Smart and Donor Search for this reveal of key findings, trends and best practices in major gift fundraising.
Online Marketing and Fundraising
Click-it: Digital Transformation: Where are you stuck? [Register for free webinar, 4-16-2020]. Join Deepak Narisety, Experience Platforms Lead with Merkle, as he presents a framework for analyzing strengths and weakness of technology that will aid in pushing forth change. And… we all need some change right now, right?
Did You Miss My Recent Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog. I think you’ll find these fairly practical. Hope so!
- Anatomy of a Coronavirus Nonprofit Email + Thank You
- Coronavirus Fundraising: Steal these Ideas!
- How long… will this be going on?
REMINDER for Clairification School students: Don’t forget to log in to your “My Clairification/Subscriber Dashboard/Monthly Tips” to grab your exclusive, timely tips for each month! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
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