The following is a guest post from Kindful, a fundraising and donor management software that will help you understand your donors like never before.
At Kindful, we recently surveyed our database to find out how the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is affecting nonprofits and their ability to fundraise through events. Of the 702 nonprofit professionals who took the survey, 87.6% of respondents shared that they had planned to host an event in the next 3-4 months. Of the 615 professionals who had planned to host an event, 68.1% had already canceled or were planning to cancel the event.
With social distancing recommendations and stay-at-home measures being implemented in several cities and states, nonprofit organizations are having to rethink their fundraising and event strategies. With things changing so rapidly, many nonprofits are scrambling to figure out how to adjust their plans in order to make up revenue that they were counting on from those events.
Here’s what we recommend for nonprofits that are looking to shift their strategy in light of the coronavirus outbreak:
First, review your original fundraising plan. Here are some questions to consider:
When you set out to create your 2020 fundraising plan, there’s no way you could have predicted this global pandemic. That said, our current situation doesn’t mean you have to completely do away with everything you had planned.
This is the time to shift your thinking from in-person events to virtual fundraising opportunities like peer-to-peer fundraising. Look at your events, review the different types of virtual fundraisers, and adapt your plan to include those if you can.
Another important thing to do is to have a back-up plan for events you have planned for later this year. No one knows how this situation will continue to evolve so it’s smart to have a plan for if you have to cancel those events too.
One of the best things you can do in times like these is to be flexible. That flexibility will allow you to change course if you see something is particularly successful. It’ll also show you what isn’t resonating with your audience at this time.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when reviewing your fundraising and communication efforts:
By paying attention to these things in the present, you’re setting yourself up for a better chance of success in the future.
One of the most important things you can do in times like these is to listen to your supporters. See what messages are resonating with them. See what is compelling them to donate. See if a certain message is falling flat or causing them to unsubscribe. Study the marketing trends that other nonprofits are employing at this time.
Here are a few ways you can find out what your donors are thinking:
We already mentioned the importance of looking ahead to the rest of your events this year, but now we want to encourage you to think more broadly about the sustainability of your fundraising plan.
Here are some questions to ask:
If you’re worried about how this crisis will affect your fundraising goals, we want to leave you with one note of hope. We compared the week of March 15 to an average week in 2020 and found that online gifts made through Kindful’s online fundraising tools are up by 163.74%. Total gifts given during that time increased by 152.64%.
As you can see, people are still being generous with their funds. All you have to do is rethink your strategy and see how you can invite them to support your mission in a new way this year.