Nonprofits Must Be Ranked Essential is Jim Eskin’s take on charity & COVID-19. Debating what is and what isn’t “essential” work has become a hot topic. For several well-founded and compelling reasons, I’m proudly arguing that our nation’s non-profits deserve to be ranked high on any list of the “essentials.”
There is no part of the quality of life that they don’t improve and enrich. They exemplify the best spirit and values of our American character.
After conducting 100 workshops, training sessions and now webinars over the past two years, we’ve met and worked working with numerous board members, volunteers and staff from a wide cross-section of organizations. We’re inspired by the selfless devotion in their continuous unwavering commitment to improve the lot of others.
We live in a stressful time in which uncertainty is the new norm, and there’s so much more that we don’t know than we do know.
These are especially anxious times for America’s 1.5 million registered non-profit organizations. How will philanthropy respond to COVID-19, and how will non-profits hold up?
American donors contributed a vast and wondrous enterprise of $428 billion in 2018. People from all different socio-economic backgrounds, not just the wealthiest among us, support charitable missions near to their hearts.
Melissa Brown, Principal, Melissa S. Brown & Associates, one of the most respected philanthropy researchers in the country, recently shared her rich insights during one of our webinars. She emphasized there is a long road ahead, but philanthropic gifts are responding to the crisis in ways that didn’t happen as quickly or at such significant levels during the Great Recession of 2008.
There are several tangible signs that philanthropy is rising to the challenge of supporting the non-profit sector at this moment of profound need:
We’ve enjoyed hearing from several fundraising and communications experts in recent webinars. Their advice and counsel is that for non-profits, and fundraisers in particular, the key is keeping to the time-tested basic building blocks of sound resource development. Among the highlights:
Non-profits are all around us and improve the world through advances in education, healthcare, arts and culture, economic development, animal welfare, human services, seniors, children and other vital areas. They touch the lives at least of more than one in five Americans. They remind us that more is possible and that we can take matters into our own hands and overcome the gravest of situations — including COVID-19. On May 5, 2020, #Giving Tuesday Now, as a special day of unity, will give everyone an opportunity to come together and support communities and non-profits around the world. This will take a variety of effective forms, from advocating for an issue you’re passionate about, sharing a skill, helping a neighbor, or giving to important causes. Every act of kindness counts and makes a difference.
More than ever, we should look inside ourselves, and ask how we can share money, time and the networks of family and friends to empower non-profits to continue to play a robust leadership role in making the world a better place to live.
Nonprofits Must Be Ranked Essential was first posted at INSIDE CHARITY
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Jim Eskin’s leadership roles span more than 30 years in fundraising, public affairs and communications in the San Antonio area. During his career, he established records for gifts from individuals at three South Texas institutions of higher learning. He enjoys training non-profit boards on fundraising best practices and overcoming the fear of asking for gifts. His consulting practice Eskin Fundraising Training builds on the success of his fundraising workshops and provides the training, coaching and support services that non-profits need to compete for and secure private gifts. He has authored more than 100 guest columns that have appeared in daily newspapers and business journals across the country, and publishes Stratagems, a monthly e-newsletter exploring timely issues and trends in philanthropy. Sign up here for a free subscription. He is author of 10 Simple Fundraising Lessons, which was recently released and can be purchased here.