The Covid-19 virus has upended every facet of our lives. For those of us in the nonprofit community, that has meant closing our facilities and offices, disrupting our delivery of services, and ceasing our communications with donors—Wait a minute! While those first two are true, the third is decidedly not. If your nonprofit organization hopes to survive during this crisis and beyond, you must communicate, strategically with your supporters! In this article, we’ve compiled the main questions you, your executive director, and your board members are likely to ask at this time to offer guidance on how to answer them. At the end of the article, we’ve provided a useful checklist to make sure your communications to donors and supporters are ticking all the boxes.
It has been an unprecedented few weeks. The impact of Covid-19 has taken many of us by surprise—with a serious ripple effect for nonprofits with plans for in-person conferences and trainings. As you contemplate the scary scenario of transitioning quickly to an online venue, you may be experiencing your own version of Nightmare on Elm Street (for those who miss the reference, the victims… Read more »
Those of us who work at nonprofits are drawn to a particular mission and a desire to do good and give back. Most of us have navigated our careers thoughtfully and intentionally and have worked hard (perhaps even tirelessly). Yet often, despite our good intentions and hard work, we find ourselves replicating the practices that created the inequity we committed to disrupt in the… Read more »
Early in my 30-plus year career in the philanthropic arena, I was looking for a major gifts officer for a reproductive health clinic in Los Angeles. Of the many résumés I received, one was from a candidate with ten years of solid experience—but for eight of those ten years, he worked for religious charities that opposed the values held by my organization. Within the… Read more »
Many of the principles of fundraising I learned early on really are true: listen to prospective donors to connect them to your cause; build relationships to move supporters to the next level of giving; and thank donors more often than you ask for money. These do result in better fundraising outcomes. But based on my recent experience, I’m wondering if the scarcity-based approach of holding your funding sources under lock and key could use an upgrade.
Having spent nearly twenty years in the nonprofit sector, I can tell you without a doubt that the field is totally undercapitalized. We all know this! People are underpaid, many facilities were “updated” in the 1970s, and in order to review the financials, you need a bottle of Pepto! There are a couple of key reasons for this undercapitalization: We don’t charge what we… Read more »
As someone who began her career as a fund raiser and migrated to become a funder as head of a large corporate foundation, I have a somewhat unique vantage point on the struggle many nonprofits endure when engaging funders and major donors to support their cause. In speaking with executive and development officers who are charged with fundraising, I find it most helpful to… Read more »