Fundraising during a crisis is a different sort of animal, and if you try to dispense the same message as normal, it’s likely to fall on deaf ears. At the same time however, it’s very possible that your nonprofit organization is facing its own financial crisis, and you need to find an effective way of conveying that information to your stakeholders. While you’re doing this, you should also try everything possible to increase your revenue streams before actually cutting your expenses. Here are some effective steps you can take to maintain a successful fundraising campaign even during a time of crisis.
Consult with your best donors
During a crisis period, you should look to those individuals who have supported you the best in the past, because they are probably your true partners, and the ones most interested in your survival. Approach them in a compassionate way, and inquire how they are coping with the crisis, and let them know how much you value their support.
Share any information with them that will help them to understand the problems you’re faced with currently, and give them an honest assessment of what it will take to help you overcome the crisis situation. It’s generally best if you can meet with these individuals face-to-face, but even if you can’t, make sure to contact them via email, phone call, or video conference.
Seek out emergency funding
Many of the foundations in your area will generally pull together in times of crisis and team up with corporate supporters so that Rapid Response Funds can be generated to help nonprofit organizations that really need it. These individuals are well aware of the contributions made to their community by nonprofits, and for that reason they do their best to keep nonprofits operational and thriving.
Reach out to these organizations and inquire about any resources which they might be able to share with you. You should also look into the possibility of Donor Advised Funds, which your organization might be entitled to, and which are being made available in your area.
Plan for smaller donations
This is also a great time to make an extra appeal to smaller contributors. Remind all these individuals that the appeal is not about your organization, but about the great work which is being carried out by your nonprofit and by similar organizations committed to the cause. Find a way to convey your message without making it seem like you’re asking for a gift, but you are simply reminding past donors that your organization needs help.
In times of crisis, the people who are served by your fundraising efforts are in greater need of help than ever before, and that’s why you have to redouble your efforts to secure the needed funds. In some cases, your donors may want to opt for volunteering their own services rather than any cash contribution.
You should always be willing to accept this kind of donation as well, since the individuals served by your organization will be just as happy with that kind of contribution. Remind all of your smaller donors that regardless of the present crisis which may be in effect, the need is still there, and that means your work must go on, perhaps even with double the effort and motivation to help those in need.