A recent study released by the accounting firm BKD, CPA & Advisors found that 70% of nonprofits experienced a decrease of net income in the last year. And 70% of nonprofit leaders believe it will take at least a year to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
For our nonprofit friends continuing to address increased community needs during this time, here are three tips to keep fundraising efforts going strong.
Continue your donor acquisition efforts
Your donors’ loyalty and support has not changed. It is important to remember that people believe in the greater good, even in times of uncertainty. They still have the desire to give when financially possible.
Stay connected with your supporters. At a time where people are more engaged online than ever before, beef up your digital marketing efforts. Facebook offers some helpful suggestions. The Google Grant Program also is a great option for nonprofit organizations. Qualified organizations receive $10,000 per month in Google Ads to promote missions and initiatives.
But do not stray away from “old school” tactics, even when working with tight budgets. Direct mail is still one of the most effective fundraising tools, despite the fast-paced digital world in which we live.
Explore creative ways to host events
Even with increased COVID vaccination efforts, events still will not look like they did in 2019. Leverage technology to fill holes if you are forced to cancel in-person fundraising events. Last December, I was glued to my tablet for almost two hours for “The Sopranos” virtual cast reunion fundraiser. Money was raised for a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that was founded after 9/11 to support FDNY firefighters and their families. It is an event I likely would have never attended in-person. The virtual component and involvement from several of my favorite TV stars had me sold. Hosting virtual events allows you to continue fundraising efforts and even reach new prospects.
If there is a way to safely host an event for smaller crowds, explore it. Outdoor events, such as golf outings, allow your guests to socially distance while helping to support your efforts.
Show your supporters some love
Now is a great time to increase meaningful engagements with your supporters. Consider wellness calls, video meetings or emails to your loyal volunteers and mid-to-high-level contributors. While aspects of your outreach may follow a script, ensure each is personalized to the recipient with specific questions about their lives and needs at this time. Thank you notes also are ideal. The smallest gestures can go a long way in building stronger connections. It is important to show that you care.
Companies and nonprofits alike have been affected by COVID-19 and are continually finding ways to adapt. Staying engaged with your supporters is crucial in the days, weeks, months and years to come.