A Look at How COVID has Changed the Future of Fundraising

December 2, 2020

Anyone involved with fundraising probably prepared a budget way back in January of 2020, and then was forced to rip it up by the end of the first quarter, when the entire globe was overwhelmed by the coronavirus.  Now that we’re at the end of 2020, and there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel, it’s time to start thinking again about plans for fundraising in 2021, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.  Here are some things to expect, and how you can revise your plans to adapt to life after coronavirus.

Review last year’s plans

If you haven’t actually ripped up your 2020 plans, take the time to review them, because there are bound to be some worthwhile elements included among them.  While coronavirus has definitely changed the landscape, there should be some useful elements in your 2020 plan that can be adapted for use in the coming year.  Pay special attention to those events or campaigns which you were forced to cancel because of coronavirus, as well as which revised campaigns turned out to be successful.  Are any of the events or fundraisers you scheduled for last year adaptable for use in the coming year?

Virtual events

Most fundraising organizations were undoubtedly forced to transform some of their campaigns and events into virtual activities.  Having done so already, it may be that you can make use of these virtual campaigns once again in 2021, to take advantage of any infrastructure you have already put in place.  If the virtual campaigns of 2020 were even moderately successful, you might be able to build on that success and make them even more fruitful in the coming year.

Create new programs

Since the events of 2020 forced all fundraising organizations to be much more creative and to think out-of-the-box, it’s likely that the same mindset can be adapted for use in the coming year and more creative types of fundraisers can be planned.  There are opportunities for you to arrange fundraiser campaigns which you’ve never done before, perhaps some which you have always wanted to try out.  For instance, you may want to consider staging a fundraising campaign centered around memorial bricks, such as those offered by Bricks R Us.  In these types of campaigns, donors receive a memorial brick with their name engraved on it, and these bricks would be used in a public building or a sidewalk to commemorate their contribution.

Digital fundraising

One of the ways that the coronavirus has impacted fundraising in general, is that it has forced many events to go online.  Digital fundraising involves bringing a community together to raise money online.  It has many of the same goals the traditional fundraising does, including reaching the right people at the right time, with the appropriate message.  Start thinking of ways that you can put digital fundraising to use in any campaigns you’re planning for 2021, so that you can take advantage of the vast reach of online platforms.

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