In this time of uncertainty, we suggest taking time to look to the future and to begin planning for what will come next. We know that things will change, and past crises have taught us that some nonprofit organizations and institutions will recover more swiftly than others. We share what we have learned about how to position your nonprofit for recovery.
Now is the time to assess where you are and take advantage of those things that you do well and make the necessary adjustments to maintain momentum as you move forward. Engage your board, staff, and volunteers. Use video technology – and the phone – to bridge social distances and strategize. The following are a few things your team can focus on for immediate and mid-term fundraising:
- Stay in touch with your donors and funders. Let them know how your organization and the people you serve are impacted. Share your assessment of how needs have changed and ask for their help. This is critical especially when serving those who serve those in greatest need. People cannot help you if they do not know what you need.
- Review your case for support. What do you need now? How is the pandemic impacting the people you serve? Which of your services, programs, or advocacy are critical? Which can be put on hold until we know what the near future – and beyond – looks like? How is the COVID-19 affecting the funds you need to operate today? What is your assessment for change in the coming year and associated costs? Make the changes you need so you can communicate with your donors and funders.
- Engage your board. Bring together board members to review fundraising plans and become actively involved in reaching out to current and past donors to thank them for their support and update them on how your organization is operating during this pandemic.
- Review your strategic plan. Based on what you know today, what changes, if any, do you need to make to your organization’s mission, vision, and programs? Discuss and revise your plan accordingly.
- Fundraise. You have to continue fundraising. Take stock of your current situation and the needs of those you serve. Define your needs and clearly communicate them. Be specific. Create fundraising appeals, proposals, virtual events, and respond to emergency funding opportunities.
- Build your fundraising capacity. Bring your team together to identify your strengths, look at your challenges, and define what you need now – and what will you need over the next 18 months. Redefine your game plan and stay in the game.
Here’s our bottom line: Don’t panic – now is the time to be proactive, not defensive. Assess your situation and communicate clearly. Work virtually with your board, staff, volunteers, funders, and consultants to find your way forward.
Copyright 2020 – Mel and Pearl Shaw
Let us help you find your way through this unknown time. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.