5 Things Nonprofits Can Do During COVID-19 is Maxie Carpenter’s take on our current state of affairs. The COVID-19 pandemic is making it hard for so many of us to find our footing and figure out what we should do next—for ourselves, our families, our communities and the missions we care about. In a continued effort to bring resources to the nonprofit sector, here are 5 key things nonprofits should be doing right now to stay afloat—or at least take steps forward.
1. Talk to you donors: 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! Most every donor has in their heart a desire to help and do good. Sometimes this desire is especially strong during times like the this. Finding some sort of balance should be at the heart of your asking strategy. Be sensitive to how your donor may be feeling. Some are facing economic collapse and may be too afraid to act right now. Others have seen a diminishing of their stock and bond portfolios but will still be fine. Talk to your donors about how they’re doing. Listen with sensitivity and empathy. Show you care about them as people, not just donors. Let them know you’ve no idea how this pandemic may be affecting them personally and professionally. At least offer to help and a listening ear should they need you in the future. Then… share with them the situation for your organization and those who rely on your programs and services. Ask donors for their permission to invite them to be a hero. Ask if it would be possible for them to support you today with a special gift. Tell them you’re still working to meet your funding goals. Can they contribute? Some will say no. Others will say yes. Still others will say not right now but come back to me later and I’ll definitely make a gift.
2. Don’t Stop Fundraising: Launch emergency email appeals and online campaigns to stay in conversation with your donor base. Stay relevant, speak to the context of what’s happening and give your donors the opportunity to participate in your work right now. I’m including a link that’s good at providing instruction on how to manage an online event of this nature. You’d be surprised how easy it is VISIT HERE
3. Take care of yourself: Use this time to learn, breathe and take care of each other, both the ED & Staff and the Board of Directors. Your organization is going to feel the impact of this for a long time, so you must prepare for a long path ahead. Empathy’s in short supply right now, so waiting around isn’t an option. Take care of yourself and you’ll be better equipped to show up for others.
4. Get organized and look ahead: This is an opportunity to take care of all the projects you haven’t had time to really examine. Look ahead at your fundraising and strategic plan and adjust them to accommodate for this crisis. Clean up your donor database, think about future outreach campaigns and events, and tackle lingering to-do’s. I’ve been broadcasting on my YouTube Channel consistently for the last month about the amazing opportunity we’ve been given to reflect and re-examine everything, both personally and professionally. There’s no segment of your organization that shouldn’t be under scrutiny right now.
5. Keep delivering on your mission: Whether you’re on the front lines of this pandemic or an organization that’s furloughed all staff, this crisis is affecting your work and the people you serve. Share stories about how you’re continuing to deliver on your mission or how you had to shift to accommodate new plans. Collaborate with your network to source their ideas and initiatives relevant to how they’re trying to do the same thing you are, which is to survive.
Truth be told, this isn’t about getting COVID-19 behind us. It’s about learning everything we can and taking that knowledge to move beyond it.
5 Things Nonprofits Can Do During COVID-19 was first posted at INSIDE CHARITY
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5 Things Nonprofits Can Do During COVID-19 was written by Maxie Carpenter, Senior Counselor at Development Systems International