In my last article, we spoke of assessing where you are eight weeks into the pandemic.  I hope you have been able to effect the changes you needed to remain viable and relevant. Remember, nothing will remain the same.  This crisis is unique in nature and in impact from any others in this century.  There is no blueprint for adaptation, except the one you and your board create for your organization.

Today, I would like to focus on one of two issues I believe to be of critical importance to all nonprofit boards, but particularly those who function with thin operating margins and reserves: investing more resources, not less, into fundraising.

In times like these, organizations tend to re-direct resources to mission delivery, which is expected.  However, re-directing fundraising resources can be a fatal error.

In a recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Laurence Pagnoni makes a strong argument for investing more resources into fundraising, citing his successful experience during the HIV/AIDS crisis, when re-directing resources to fundraising instead of care delivery was a difficult choice.  Two key issues are: one; knowing you must raise immediate emergency funds without losing sight of future needs. Two; share your total fundraising needs with donors and prospects. This is the time to ask for more than they have given before.

Results from a Better Business Bureau Donor Trust Report, conducted at the end of March, with 1000 U.S. adults, showed that:

  • 8% said they planned to give more this year than their average giving over the past three years.
  • 7% of millennials and 60.8% of Generation Z said they would give more this year.
  • More than half of donors polled said they planned to keep their annual giving consistent over the next year.

These results are extremely encouraging and should be woven into all your appeals.  Never be afraid to ask for a larger gift.  Your donors understand the circumstances and stand ready to respond.  Give them that opportunity.

These numbers and polling your own board members and donors should provide you with the ammunition you and your leadership need to continue to invest in your fundraising efforts.  Of course, you need to demonstrate efficiency and results to inspire confidence in your work.

Mirenda & Associates stands ready to assist you in any way to make the changes you need to be successful.  Call for a 30-minute free consultation to see how we can help.