Even as we move through another work week in our “new normal,” it’s ok if you feel like things still really aren’t normal at all. When we are not quite sure what the future holds, it can be difficult to adjust and feel comfortable even when we establish a daily work routine. Kennari Consulting knows that this is even more true for all the organizations out there that work to improve lives and uplift communities; your concern for the people you serve is an added stressor in all of this. That is why it is important to stay connected to the people who love your mission as much as you do. Speaking about your work and how you plan to continue your impact will not only help you feel more grounded – it will help your supporters understand what you need.
There are many ways you can continue your fundraising efforts during these uncertain times, and the more you do now, the easier (and faster) you will be able to move forward once we truly do return to some level of normalcy.
1.) Keep your meetings on the calendar. Staying connected with your Board and committee members is essential for your organization’s progress. Continue the routines – take minutes, create agendas, develop action plans. This will help people realize that work can still get done right now. Even if you are in the middle of a campaign, continue holding meetings with your volunteers, if only to update them about the organization’s response to the pandemic. These are dedicated stakeholders who are invested in your organization and they will want to help find ways to keep moving forward.
2.) Set up one-on-one virtual coffee dates with your stakeholders. Mirroring what you might typically do with your supporters, albeit via technology, will help you both feel a little more connected. Start by making sure they are safe and listen to their story about how they are impacted by COVID-19. Many people now know someone who is dealing with the very real issues of the pandemic and they may want to share their feelings. Provide updates on what you are doing to keep your employees and program participants safe and ask their opinion about fundraising efforts. It’s important to acknowledge the difficult circumstances we are all in and make sure your language reflects the sensitivity of each person’s individual situations. However, it really is ok to still talk about fundraising. Share how you’re delivering on your mission in a unique way – maybe through technology or by adapting in other ways. You’re being creative and, in many ways, inspiring, to support those you serve – share those stories with your donors.
3.) Start getting more specific with what your organization needs and how your donors can help. If you are through your initial touchpoints and conversations with your supporters, it’s time to reach back out again and provide clear information. If you are meeting increased direct needs of the community because of this crisis (food delivery/distribution, health care, senior living, etc.) share how different levels of giving will support specific needs and goals. If it costs you $100 to provide 10 freezer meals to a senior, share it. If it costs $5,000 to buy needed protective gear for medical personnel, tell your donors. When donors know what their gift can do, they will be more motivated to give and support your efforts.
4.) Remember the importance of grant funding right now. New opportunities for grant funding to respond to this crisis, or provide emergency relief, are coming out every day from government and local resources. It might be difficult to stay on top of what is being released, as well as assess whether your organization is eligible or a good fit. We have compiled a summary of a few of the most relevant options for nonprofits here: COVID-19 Nonprofit Financial Resources. Kennari Consulting is happy to share what we’re learning on eligibility, whether you need us to write the grant or not. You simply need to reach out.
While we all want to feel “normal” right now, it will take some work to get there. Continuing to advance your mission and connecting with supporters will help you and your stakeholders. The work you are doing now is more important than ever. Your communities need you. There may be difficult times ahead, but you can do this. Keep calm and keep moving!