There’s hardly an organization that wasn’t caught off-guard by COVID-19 and its aftereffects. Most scrambled quickly to adjust operations to enable work from home, divert resources, and respond to the urgent needs of their communities.
How many of us wish we had a crystal ball to have foreseen what was going to happen? What might we have done differently?
Surprises, by their nature, force reactive responses. Planning for the future, however, allows for proactive planning, and that’s the opportunity you have right now.
So are you ready for what’s next?
We can anticipate that there is a lot of hardship that lies ahead. As unemployment increases, more people will strive to meet their basic needs. Communities have and will continue to experience the deaths of important figures. And we’ll be reminded of the importance of access to health care.
The coming weeks and months will also reinforce the importance of the nonprofit community. Not only will we see greater reliance on social service organizations that lead the response to hunger, housing, and health in our communities, we will also see greater attention being paid to issues of equity and inclusion. Conversations about air quality and climate change will have greater weight, and new opportunities will emerge for us to rethink how we approach a diverse range of structures in our lives—from education to public spaces to support for the elderly.
Soon, more foundations will begin to solicit grant proposals and strategically invest in their communities.
Most importantly, we’re about to see enormous amounts of smaller dollar individual giving. Multiple studies have shown that less affluent individuals give more charitably per capita than more affluent individuals. Thus, paradoxically, as COVID-19 affects our economies and our communities, as salaries diminish and savings are depleted, each of us is MORE likely to donate to the causes we deem critical.
Soon, the narrative will shift from response to rebuilding, and as it does all of our community structures—from arts organizations to communities of faith to equity organizations to environmental causes—will call upon their supporters to answer the need.
The question is, are you prepared for that shift so your fundraising can be stronger than ever?
Does your organization have:
- Projects ready to launch that can attract funding right away?
- A clear case for support to share with donors?
- The communication strategy and tools to launch a fundraising campaign?
- Messages that speak to the needs of the moment and your ability to address what lies ahead?
- Ways to emotionally tell share story, including photography, video, and social media assets?
- An evocative website that’s optimized to support giving?
- Clarity about your brand so that you can remain focused on who you are and what’s most important?
Things may feel bleak, but right now is the time to plan for the future. You have the benefit of seeing what lies ahead. We’re here to help.
How will you act rather than react?
Need more convincing? Read Jennie’s post “Do You Have Your Priorities Straight?” Want to see examples of fundraising successful major donor campaigns we’ve helped our clients launch? Enjoy these inspiring campaigns.