By now, your nonprofit’s annual spring fundraising event is postponed, coffees with major donors are on hold, and board meetings are virtual until further notice. But the odds are, your nonprofit probably has at least some digital fundraising and marketing strategies that can withstand the Coronavirus pandemic.
So, no need to play victim, cry poverty, or sound desperate (even if you are) to your donors. It’s far better to understand that your donors are – not unlike your constituents – being hit financially at this time. Your donors will likely not be giving the same size donation as they might have been beforehand, at say, your annual spring event. However, mobile-giving, Peer-to-Peer fundraising, and online giving as a whole can and should carry on for nonprofits – with, of course, some adjustments.
Now, more than ever, nonprofits have the opportunity to engage their donors in the digital space to continue their noble work. In this article, I will share 5 ways nonprofits can fundraise amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Emphasize direct online mobile-donations on your nonprofit’s website.
In trying times, and especially when events are canceled or postponed, a genuine online request for additional help for your constituents during this outbreak will likely be well-received by donors. Send your donors the message that through thick and thin, your charity continues to do good. Social media, emails, and texting will be a critical means of communication to receive continued mobile-donations directly through your nonprofit’s website. Online donations should be your nonprofit’s fundraising lifeline to sustain contributions through the Coronavirus pandemic. Have your board, friends, supporters, and staff spread the word to promote your cause and accept donations within minutes. Here’s one platform that your nonprofit can use, among many: https://www.instaraise.com/yourorg/donate
2. Harness the power of Peer-to-Peer and Social Fundraising.
Quarantined and with limited things to do at home, your donors are more vocal than ever on social media right now. Why not ask them to be your nonprofit’s advocate? Many individuals are looking for ways to give back in this unprecedented time – make it easy for them!
Email and explain how the Coronavirus is impacting your nonprofit’s program and constituents. Explain how they can help you by simply sharing content that you create and supply them with. Include easy guidelines (https://bit.ly/2TPZ8kx) for them to create individual campaign pages to fundraise on behalf of your nonprofit (encourage them to aim for a specific purpose or goal for best results). Some top Peer-to-Peer platforms include Classy, Funraise, Network For Good, GoFundMe Charity, Givebutter, and www.CharityPlus.net (which also offers simple, turnkey solutions for silent auctions, raffles, and fund-a-need).
3. Maximize the impact of matching donations.
You could explore platforms like www.charidy.com or www.matchraise.com. Use your main sponsors, donors, backers to be the matchers to your campaign to make every dollar stretch. Encourage your matching donors, friends, family, co-workers and business associates to promote your nonprofit’s matching campaign. Even micro-donations make a real difference in a crisis and in matching campaigns.
4. Request in-kind donations (product or services).
You can review websites such as www.CharityBuzz.com or www.BiddingForGood.com to get some ideas on how charities monetize in-kind donations. These sites allow you to take advantage of a global audience otherwise out of reach.
Keeping in mind that everyone is hurting now, consider asking businesses in your area to donate internships, services, gift certificates, personal training sessions, art sessions, massages, and asking major CEOs or business leaders to offer their time or vacation homes. Remember, your major donors and local community leaders all have something of value to offer!
Your nonprofit may also wish to consider promoting AmazonSmile or similar platforms where a portion of your donor’s online shopping bill for in-demand household items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer goes to the charity of their choice.
5.Try something new in the digital fundraising space, like a Sweepstakes:
See the full piece I wrote on this here: https://holrmagazine.com/a-solution-for-charities-as-fundraisers-are-cancelled-due-to-coronavirus/!
And please remember: Do not panic, and your donors won’t either. Assure your donors your nonprofit has a plan of action during the Coronavirus pandemic. Keep the online fundraising strategies you already have in place, amp up donor engagement on social media with your messaging positive, creative and fun (people will be spending a lot more time online), and be willing to experiment with new digital fundraising platforms. After all, staying adaptable in trying times is what gives nonprofits the ability to keep doing what they’re best at, and is what will keep them afloat until things settle down again.