How are nonprofits impacted with the new restrictions?
Every non-profit that holds galas, programmatic events, graduation events, etc. is going to be negatively impacted.
What can a nonprofit do to continue to raise money?
Every organization has to weigh options and come up with a plan that is custom fit to their situation. Some organizations can afford to postpone the event for six months; others cannot. If postponing isn’t an option, one way would be to use an old school phone-a-thon.
Organizations have been moving away from big galas for years now. Some have created a “non-event” event – appealing to supporter’s who have event-going fatigue. They create a campaign, have live/silent auction items, a fund-a-need, etc.
Key things to remember
The key thing to remember is that your supporters want your organization to succeed. A voice call (even if you have to leave a message) to share what is going on at your organization; how this pandemic is impacting the clients you serve, is likely a connection they have been yearning for. In all my years of stewarding supporters, I have never had someone say they didn’t want to talk to me.
Other possible ways to replace events
At Valtas client Washington Autism Alliance, the team is moving to a full-blown virtual conference. There is a learning curve to adapt to online tools, but we are committed to delivering the best quality content. Families who normally have a difficult time securing childcare can attend these important informational events if they are held virtually. The team is looking forward to offering events more frequently if we can produce them virtually.
In unchartered territory
Be creative, be clever, and also, be real. Supporters give their time and money to your organization because they believe in what you do. If you need additional help right now – ask. People like to be able to help. Recent community engagement efforts at the Seattle Foundation and the newly launched All In Seattle are proof positive that donors care deeply about the sustainability of the nonprofit sector in our community.
When we are on the other side of this, all sectors are going to have discovered new ways of working – new ways of holding meetings, offering conferences, fundraising events, etc. I also believe that our community is going to come together to help each other in ways we haven’t focused on in many years.
About the Author:
She is skilled at motivating others toward success, strategic and financial planning, development strategy, and collaborative leadership.
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