It’s hard to get away from the ‘new abnormal’ in which we’re living. Which is why I’m writing a lot on Clairification about what to do during this extraordinary time. I also hosted a live Q & A on Zoom for Clairification School students last Friday. I’m doing it again today. Maybe next week too. Not enrolled yet? Now’s a great time to join in and connect with your peers!
Meanwhile, there are plenty of other folks out there, besides me, who have your back.
I’ve collected for you a slew of resources to help you mitigate the pain now and prepare for the day when things do get back to normal. Make sure you meet your urgent needs. But also use this opportunity to take a long view. Crisis has a way of forcing us to re-evaluate what’s important, and what’s not. Seize this opportunity to innovate, adapt and tweak what you’ve been doing so you’ll come out on the other side even stronger than you were before.
Also take some time to be grateful – and proud. You are making the world a better place. Your mission was important yesterday. It’s important today. It will be important tomorrow. You are on the front lines of enacting values other people truly care about. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be your supporters. So please keep the faith in your vision. I promise you, it is one that is shared.
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 Ask an Expert fundraising advice column on the Bloomerang blog! Ask your question here. See this month’s How Can We Convert Tickets into Donations When Events Get Canceled?
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Tips for Not-So-Normal Times
#GIVE FROM HOME DAY – April 21, 2020
Click-it: #GiveFromHomeDay [Download free fundraising/marketing resources]. #GiveFromHomeDay is a national fundraising drive timed to coincide with the likely arrival of stimulus checks, so donors can choose to easily invest a portion of their stimulus money directly into their communities. True Sense Marketing has put together a bunch of downloadable tools, templates and scripts you can use to create your own giving day campaign during these extraordinary times.
#GIVING TUESDAY NOW –May 5, 2020
Click-it: A Global Day of Unity [Download social media tips and strategies]. GivingTuesday.org is organizing an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. It’s more a rallying cry than a fundraising call to action, with suggestions you can share (e.g., (1) Support healthcare workers by donating supplies, advocating for them, and staying home; (2) Combat loneliness by reaching out to a neighbor, relative, seniors or, veterans, and (3) Join a local mutual aid network and come together to help neighbors in need).
Click-it: 3-Week Countdown to #GivingTuesdayNow. This blog article by Lawrence Pagnoni on Nonprofit Pro suggests ways to participate.
Click-it: How to Plan for #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5 [Register for free webinar, 4-27-2020]. Join Julia Campbell with CharityHowTo as she shows you how to plan and launch a simple, effective campaign by May 5th on a shoestring budget, with limited resources.
Click-it: To Ask or Not to Ask – Today’s Nonprofit Coronavirus Question. It’s not insensitive to ask right now. It’s totally appropriate. Just as always, people can decline. But don’t deny them the opportunity! This is my message in this article published on the Bloomerang blog. Finding some sort of balance should be at the heart of your asking strategy today. With empathy, and planning, it’s eminently doable!
Click-it: New Charitable Giving Incentives in CARES Act. Michael Rosen, M.L. Innovations, discusses new charitable giving incentives resulting from the CARES Act. The one I find most useful for nonprofits of all sizes is the new non-itemizer above-the-line deduction of up to $300 cash. Any taxpayer can take this, and it will reduce their taxable income for 2020. Why not let your donors know?
Boards and Leadership
Click-it: Nonprofit Board Members: Leadership Tips for Uncertain Times. Gail Perry, Fired Up Fundraising, explains why nonprofit boards and staff leaders must not “hunker in a bunker” right now. Calm. Plan. Overcommunicate. Support. Innovate. Position for tomorrow. Great advice!
Click-it: It’s Different This Time: Handling Nonprofit Staff Cuts under COVID-19. If you’re an E.D. or board member, this is an excellent – very sobering – article from Nonprofit Quarterly about the unprecedented magnitude of the problem in front of us.
Click-it: Tips for Communicating with Donors During Uncertain Times. Some relationship-building basics from Bo Crader via NPengage – adapted for today.
Click-it: Understanding the Videoconferencing Tools Available to Your Nonprofit. Moving to virtual meetings, but not sure you’ve found your best solution? TechSoup has done the research for you!
Click-it: Ways To Use Zoom Breakout Rooms To Increase Meeting Engagement. Beth Kanter covers how to use Zoom more effectively. Plus she provides some tips to manage your time on Zoom.
Click-it: How community foundations are stepping up in a time of crisis. Sometimes, all we need is a little inspiration and insight into what others are doing to kick-start our creative juices. 4aGoodCause shares examples from their community foundation clients that are doing some amazing things with relief funds during the coronavirus pandemic. They hope you’ll think: “Hey! We can do something like that, too.”
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Emergency Guide: Self-Love and Donor Love Strategies. It turns out when you take care of yourself it often extends naturally to taking care of others. Self-love and donor love strategies are not separate concepts. When you’re strong and centered you can help others feel the same. When you’re fired up and passionate, you can help others feel your passion. When you’re feeling grateful, you can help others feel grateful as well. Check out my latest article for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: 3 Ways We Can (and Must) Help Small Nonprofits Now. Overarching words of wisdom for our time, from fundraising guru and sage Joan Garry in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Click-it: A Guide to Remote Working for Nonprofits. How to make it work – both for today and the future — from the Wild Apricot blog.
Click-it: Financial Leadership in the Face of Impossible Choices. Budgeting in a time of uncertainty is challenging. This excellent resource from the Innovation in Nonprofit Finance blog provides a template and multiple strategies for your consideration.
Click-it: Let’s Stop Counting Out the Nonprofit Sector. Nell Edgington of Social Velocity shares a hopeful way of looking at how what we’re going through can make our sector stronger in the long run. And you will lead the way.
Click-it: Take This Personality Test to Help Cope With The COVID-19 Pandemic. This comes from the Agitator-DonorVoice blog. I had a lot of fun taking it with my husband; then discussing. Just had to share!
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).
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: COVID-19 + CARES Act = A Change in Your Vision for 2020 [View on-demand webinar]. Two Stelter experts, President Nathan Stelter and Senior Gift Planning Consultant, Lynn M. Gaumer, J.D., tackle two topics: the CARES Act and marketing during COVID-19. Learn (1) how the CARES Act impacts your donors and your organization, and (2) how to adjust your planned giving messaging in light of the pandemic and economic downturn.
Click-it: Being Effective with Planned Giving in This Crisis [Register for free webinar, 4-15-2020]. Join the Veritus Group experts to learn more about how changes made by the Coronavirus Stimulus Act means good news for you and your donors. They’ll include concrete strategies you can use right now with your active prospects.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Digital Transformation: Where are you stuck? [Register for free webinar, 4-16-2020 – and get in line for this 6-part series!]. Let’s face it. You probably could’ve done a more effective job with digital communications before COVID-19. Now, you simply must. Join the experts at Merkel for their take on how to dream up experiences in this new normal and, finally, how to test out what’s next.
Click-it: A Discussion about COVID-19 and Its Impact on Online Fundraising [Register for free webinar, 4-23-2020]. First, this page has tons of info to help you benchmark your strategies against similar nonprofits. Plus there are examples! Scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for this live session with Tim Kachuriak of NextAfter. You won’t want to miss it!
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
Click-it: Coronavirus Crisis Comms Triage Kit [Download open sourced, updated resources].
Click-it: COVID-19 Fundraising Success Stories [Listen/see videos and examples]. Bloomerang shares interviews with some of its clients about successful strategies they’ve employed to help them through this crisis.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Fundraising in a Pandemic and Economic Downturn: What Will Happen, How You Can Succeed [Download free whitepaper]. Steven Screen and Jim Shapiro at The Better Fundraising Co collaborated with Jeff Brooks to predict what will happen for your organization based on their experience from past disasters and economic downturns. And, don’t worry, they also prescribe what you must do in order to emerge from this crisis stronger than before.
Click-it: 3 Phases of the Coronavirus Crisis and How Your Fundraising will Improve and be Stronger as You Move into the Third Phase [Free on-demand video]. Steven Screen, The Better Fundraising Co., walks you through what happens to fundraising during a crisis. What has happened in the past and what we can expect to happen in this current coronavirus pandemic.
Other Articles: The Beat Goes On
Click-it: Advocacy for Nonprofits: Taking It a Step Further. Right now you may need supporters’ help to advocate for special loans or grants. At other times it will be to take a stand to create change that will be helpful to your cause and those you serve. Gerard Tonti of Salsa lays out everything you need to know in systematic fashion – with seven steps – on the Hands-On-Fundraising blog.
Click-it: Crowdfunding vs. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Vital Differences. If you’re not yet availing yourself of these online fundraising strategies, you’re leaving money on the table. Learn all you need to know from this article by OneCause. Plus you can download their Download their Peer-to-Peer Software Buyer’s Guide.
Click-it: Improving Donor Loyalty with a Winning Sustainer Program. I’ve been recommending to all my clients they add two programs to their mix of strategies to acquire and retain more donors: (1) P2P fundraising (see article above), and (2) a robust monthly sustainer program. This article by Erica Waasdorp in Nonprofit Pro explains how to accomplish the latter. It’s a smart, evergreen strategy that also happens to be particularly useful for the times we’re in now.
Click-it: Donor Research: The Key to Better Donor Relationships. If you’ve been putting off donor research, now might be just the time to move this to the front burner. Learn from the folks at Qgiv how to get to know folks so you can better match your asks to their interests.
Other Learning Opportunities
Online Marketing and Fundraising
Click-it: Mobile Marketing Tips for Every Generation [Register for free webinar, 4-15-2020]. So many folks open your messages on phones today that you’re missing a huge opportunity if you’re not truly optimized for this type of access. Look to Firespring to teach you what you need to know so you don’t lag behind, lose online visitors, donors and, ultimately, donations.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: The Top 10 Insider Tips for Reducing Overwhelm in Your Fundraising Role [Download free guide]. Development Consulting Solutions offers guidance to help you reduce stress and overwhelm – important at any time.
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!
- Should Your Nonprofit Legacy Program Be on Hold?
- No-Nonsense Strategies for Nonprofit Crisis Fundraising
- 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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