Fundraising is a delicate activity in times of crisis. So, the need to receive financial support has never been more urgent for many organisations.
Your organization may face a critical situation and you need to let the stakeholders know about it.
Strengthen the revenue before cutting expenses.
Remember an important axiom: Focus first on bolstering your revenue streams when under financial stress. You then look to cut expenses after that. Protecting and creating your revenue sources is certainly possible-even in this setting.
But the type of fundraising that you need to do right now isn't as usual. If you send them out now, your regular messages and appeals will sound tone deaf.
It's time for a new toned fundraising strategy, and a new message.
One that keeps your doors open, leverages your opportunities and engages your donors. Here's our proposed 3- The Crisis Response Fundraising Action Plan:
1. Go to Your Key Major Donors and Staunch Supporters with Capacity
Create a short list of your most powerful finance partners. Such men are the real partners to you. They believe profoundly in you and the work you do. They are committed to your work, and have shown that commitment over and over again. They will probably want to know what's going on, and how they can help.
Here is how to get to them:
a) Reach out cautiously and with compassion. You have a relation to them. You would like to ask how THEY were doing.
b) Then consider their relationship and how much you appreciate the relationship.
c) Request permission: "I wanted to share with you what things are like. Want to know the details?
d) Let's be transparent. Share your status in the most honest way you can.
e) Ask for the help you need, really. Frankly, tell them what it takes to get through this. You might ask, "Would you be interested in helping with this thing?
You cannot see these donors in person, of course, but you can definitely set up a video call, a phone call or connect by email. When you do email, it is crucial that the communications are made very individual. One by one- write them in person. Let them know what's going on, and ask if they'd like a discussion about help.
2. Search for Emergency Funding –
Many foundations pull together with corporate supporters to establish Rapid Response Funds to help needy non-profits. They want their local non-profits to stay healthy – and survive.
It’s critical that you meet your local community foundation right now – and any other long-term funders of the foundation. Now, they might have resources to share. Mind all those donors who have DAF's. Donor Advised Funds constitute proof of recession. They should come close to the top of your list.
3. Emergency plan for smaller gifts.
It's time to develop new approaches that will cater to your smaller donors. If you cancel a fundraising event in the spring, then let's draft a proposal to make up the money.
You will employ a variety of techniques here:
· To replace some of the revenue from your cancelled gala, you can create a virtual or "non-event"
· Plan a mega giving day when things calm down later this year.
· Mount a fundraising campaign that is very urgent, compelling and emotional on a specific issue. You tell your donors: "You 're continuing the work you care so much about.
Note that this appeal is not for you, or your organization. It is about the job. Its impact It is the way you put it. You aren't looking for a gift as much as giving a note. Still more than ever the people you serve need services.
Your donor may want someone to take action and support. So, you 're making it about the "help" and not the gift. And you are "inviting" donors to donate, as your research goes on – pandemic or not
BOTTOM LINE: Don't let crisis fundraising shrink.
There's a right way and a wrong way to seek contributions right now. Now's the time to be out. We 're here to help you. Good luck.