Fundraising Experts' Advice During the Coronavirus [Updated January 22, 2021]

Fundraising Experts Advice During Coronavirus

Last Updated: January 22, 2021 @ 7pm ET

We are in uncharted waters, friends. Just weeks ago, none of us expected to be fundraising or figuring out how to run our nonprofits from home. Fortunately, many experts have been working with nonprofits for decades and have a lot of wisdom and experience to share.

We wanted to highlight some of the best content that nonprofit experts and leaders are writing to help guide us through this time of uncertainty. Here’s some of the best, most relevant content for any nonprofit figuring out how to navigate fundraising and managing their organization during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll continue to update this resource as things develop, and more experts weigh in.

Guide to Fundraising During COVID-19

Fundraising For Nonprofits During the Coronavirus

Fundraising Perspectives from Italy

Sometimes it can help to put things in perspective from outside your fundraising universe, so it's great to read this article by Stefano sharing thoughts from hard-hit Italy. It touches on fundraising, but it also touches on the soul, and dealing with the challenges we're facing daily.

Inspiration and Resources for Fundraisers During the Covid-19 Crisis

Amy gets right to it, presenting the hard questions that fundraisers are asking themselves, and guiding you through a series of thoughts around each. The new "normal" isn't normal at all.

New Charitable Giving Incentives in CARES Act

Might there be at least a bit of a silver lining for non-profit organizations in the CARES Act, specifically around regulation changes to encourage more donors to give? Michael dives into the nuance of the new legislation and its impact on your organization.

Welcome to the Age of Authenticity

If ever there was a time to "be real" with your community of donors and supporters, this is it. Fraser provides guidance as to how to keep your communications appropriate for this unique time in the world.

#GivingTuesdayNow 'Day of Giving and Unity' Set for May 5

From the folks that bring you #GivingTuesday, there's going to be a #GivingTuesdayNow, focused on fundraising to support nonprofit organizations during the coronavirus. Mark your calendars for May 5, 2020, and get your online donation pages in shape for the campaign right away.

Cutting Through the Jargon: How the CARES Act Works for Nonprofits

There's hundreds of pages in the recently passed CARES Act in US Congress, but does anyone really know what's exactly included in it, and how it can help your non-profit organization? Learn the quick hits of this important coronavirus relief package by the US government.

Coronavirus fundraising. What we’ve learned so far

Mark provides an excellent dive into communication items that fundraisers should consider while reaching out to their donors during the coronavirus. Terms, quantity of communications, modes of communication, and the right appeals at the right time.

ode to zoom

Samantha reflects on the impact of remote work via the magic that is Zoom conferencing, video sharing, and more. Go beyond just the technology, and think about the "Zoom persona" that you have online, and how it might impact your relationship with others.

Emergency COVID-19 Funding for Nonprofits

Our friends at 501 Commons have collected great information from Washington Nonprofits and the Nonprofit Association of Oregon regarding ways the nonprofit community can leverage US government resources to ensure the stability of their organizations.

How To Tap Into The Power Of Virtual Volunteers

Just because many of your volunteers are staying home these days, that doesn't mean they don't want to help your organization. This post covers a number of great ideas for continuing to engage with your volunteer community, providing specific information about volunteer ideas to assist your team during the coronavirus.

4 Ways to Engage Major Donors During the COVID-19 Crisis

While the smaller donors will continue to be useful, this article focuses on the core ways your organization should consider reaching your largest donors. From communication strategies to top-line event planning, this is a useful high-level overview of what needs to be on your todo list.

Pivot Fundraising FAQs – Part II

Specific tactics for communicating with your sponsors for events, dealing with working alone in fundraising in a small organization, and staying focused as we get through this challenging time in the fundraising space together.

COVID-19 survival tips for arts organizations

The broad analysis of the impacts of coronavirus on fundraising in our sector is useful, but hearing specific guidance for organizations in particular verticals is really helpful and important. Jeff walks us through the short-term, mid-term, and long-term todos for arts organization fundraising success.

5 Stages of Grief: You, Fundraising, and Covid-19

Much of what we're all facing is about our feelings, and many of us are still trying to come to grips with the new world ahead of us. Amy takes us through the stages fundraisings might find themselves in during the next few weeks, and how to understand them.

Your donors don't care about your fundraising

A short, simple, to the point piece that reminds us that in the bigger picture, our fundraising efforts and our annual fundraising events are likely not the top priority of many donors.

How Nonprofits Can Utilize the New Federal Laws Dealing with COVID-19

Time to rollup our sleeves and get into the details of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), how it will affect non-profit organizations, and what you can do to be prepared for its introduction into law.

Communicating about Coronavirus and Your Events, Part 2

Kivi walks you through a second installment of examples and best practices from leaders communicating effectively about their nonprofit event cancellation, and how doing so can help you connect with your donors in an authentic way.

Principles of Fundraising: The Coronavirus and Philanthropy

The experts at CCS Fundraising offer their insight and lessons on how to fundraise in the midst of a crisis. Strong leadership, resilience, prudent adjustments to short-term financial goals, and other things help nonprofits persevere. In this blog, CCS offers general principles and specific guidelines for fundraising during the Coronavirus.

Experts Urge Charities to Communicate Their Needs Clearly to Their Donors

Fundraising and philanthropy experts weigh in on what to tell your donors and how honest to be with them about your current financial state. The next few weeks and months will be critical for nonprofits. Learn ways to stay in touch with donors and what to say.

WEBINAR: Secrets of successful virtual conferences (Tuesday, March 31 @ 10am PST)

Your nonprofit might not need to hold a virtual conference, but Wild Woman Fundraising wants to teach you how to host great virtual events! Learn how to do everything from promote your online event to attracting and offering value to sponsors. This webinar will even cover ways to follow up with “attendees” after your virtual event.

Essential Advice & Resources for Nonprofits - COVID-19/Coronavirus/Recession/Remote Work

This comprehensive roundup from Bloomerang brings together a wealth of nonprofit resources. It covers topics like funding, legislation, case studies, Facebook groups for nonprofits, letter templates, webinars, and other invaluable insights from across the nonprofit sector.

Emergency Grant Resource

This is a list of crisis grant opportunities for nonprofits. If your organization needs a financial boost to get through the next few weeks or months, Grants Plus wants to help you find the right financial resource to help you respond and recover from the Coronavirus crisis.

You’re Working At Home During The Pandemic. Here’s How To Do It (And Keep The Peace)

Are you still trying to figure out how to work from home, keep the children occupied, or share work space with a significant other? Here are some practical tips from an expert on how to make the jump successfully and stay productive.

Essential Tactics to Connect with Donors During the Coronavirus

No doubt, most of us are feeling stressed, unsure of what will happen next, and how we should respond. Here are some guidelines that will help you communicate with your donors and adjust your fundraising goals.

AFP Data Suggest Donors Will Support Nonprofits in Uncertain Times

While it's tough to make direct apples-to-apples comparisons between the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the new one currently brewing with COVID-19, the Association of Fundraising Professionals' analysis seems to point to continued fundraising support by donors as we go through this new financial downturn.

Virtual Meeting Check-Ins & Icebreakers During A Pandemic

In her second of a series of posts on the topic, Beth Kanter looks at ways you can more effectively run a virtual meeting. For this post, she's diving deep on keeping introductions short and sweet (especially the "sweet" side these days), without cutting it too short.

How to Cultivate Donors and Ask From a Distance

Sandy delivers some great guidance on communication skills, tactics, and technical strategies for keeping in touch with donors when you can't touch them in-person. The tips to making things "personal and professional" are fantastic.

Take Action NOW: Emergency Relief for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Alliance, the Independent Sector, and other associations are working fast to make sure the voice and needs of nonprofit professionals are being heard in the US Congress as deliberation moves quickly on the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act,” or better known as the CARES Act. Learn how you can make sure your voice is heard.

Are Virtual Events the Next Big P2P Trend?

Peer-to-peer fundraising was already gaining significant traction before the Coronavirus interrupted “life as we know it.” Now, most nonprofits are relying almost entirely on virtual fundraising strategies. This blog considers whether virtual events will become the next big peer-to-peer fundraising trend and how you can take advantage of this fundraising strategy.

WEBINAR: A New Normal with Cherian Koshy from The Nonprofit Academy

Donors and nonprofit leaders are getting motion sick watching the stock market and reading the predictions about how the Coronavirus will impact the global economy. This webinar provides insights and guidelines about how to navigate the crisis and what to consider as you plan.

Communicating Carefully with Donors During the Coronavirus

This blog post identifies the categories of donors you should prioritize contacting. The more proactive you are, the better off your nonprofit will be in the long run.

Selfish Giving Newsletter: Future-Proof Your Partnerships for New Normal

This latest newsletter from Selfish Giving is full of resources to help your nonprofit survive the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s got everything from book and blog post recommendations that will help guide your fundraising strategy to a little cause marketing help from the American Kennel Club!

Managing Through Tough Times

Nonprofits and fundraisers overcome tough challenges every single day. But, overcoming a global pandemic probably requires some new strategies. This blog provides some case studies that we can use to learn from and grow beyond these tough times.

Seasoned development professionals might remember what it was like to fundraise during the 2008 recession, the weeks and months after 9/11, and other times of social uncertainty. Here are some great blogs and resources from some fundraising experts who want to help everyone weather this storm.

How to Salvage Your Fundraising Event During the COVID-19 Crisis

Many nonprofits hold signature fundraising events in the spring, but the Coronavirus pandemic is significantly altering fundraising schedules and canceling events worldwide. This blog post has excellent content about how to minimize financial losses.

8 Work From Home Tips to Boost Nonprofit Fundraising Productivity

Learning to work from home might not be as easy as you might think. If it's a new experience for you, this blog post provides a handy guide for you to fundraise successfully from home for the next few weeks.

Do We Launch An Emergency Appeal?

Should your nonprofit launch an emergency appeal? If yes, then when? Seasoned fundraising experts weigh in on if, when, and how nonprofits should ask for money while the world is in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic.

How To Use Zoom Video Conferencing During Coronavirus Social Distancing

The Zoom app was the most downloaded business app in the US on iOS during the week of March 11. If you’re new to video conferencing, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed and intimidated. This blog will walk you through how to set up your Zoom account and practical tips on how to use this amazing tool with your nonprofit.

How Nonprofits And Foundations Can Use Scenario Planning To Prepare for Coronavirus

Nonprofits can play a unique role in creating resilient communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scenario planning can help your organization make clear, informed decisions and help you think about the future.

Show & Tell: Remote Work Tips for Collaboration and Generosity

While tools like Zoom are amazing at keeping people connected, technology can only go so far. It’s time to show compassion and practice generosity toward our donors and supporters. Here are some very practical tips on how to interact well with people and maintain productivity.

Coronavirus and Fundraising: What to Expect and How to Prepare

This blog comes from the experts at FiredUp Fundraising. As nervous donors watch the stock market and nonprofit leaders start feeling anxious. You’re probably trying to field questions from your board of directors, volunteers, and many other people. This blog will give you some guidance on what to say and when to say it, especially to your donors.

4 Ways To Protect Donation Levels During the Coronavirus

Almost everyone is feeling a lot of uncertainty and asking many questions as the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world. Nonprofits are trying to figure out how to respond and what this means for their work and their funding. Here's some quick strategies to help in your support of existing donors.

Love for Fundraisers In A Time of Coronavirus

Fundraising is challenging during a booming economy. It probably feels even more challenging now that we’re all facing the Coronavirus pandemic. Howard Lake has been fundraising for more than 30 years. He shares his wisdom on how to take care of yourself and your donors in this time of crisis.

This blog is actually very uplifting, hopeful, and encouraging to all development professionals who are surely feeling a whole host of emotions. Of course, it also has some very practical next steps that every nonprofit should consider taking to keep their fundraising moving forward.

Avoid the 3 Biggest Mistakes of Fundraising In A Recession

This recession is unlike any other we’ve seen or studied in history. It wasn’t caused by a social or political event. It began with a supply disruption and continues to cascade worldwide. So, we really don’t know what to expect from the stock markets. We do know what hasn’t worked for fundraisers in past recessions and economic downturns.

Marc Pitman says the best thing nonprofit fundraisers can do is "Keep calm, And pivot." We are all still doing incredibly important work, and nonprofits can survive turbulent economic times. Pitman’s blog is full of practical ways nonprofits should and should not respond to times of uncertainty. So, before you make any drastic decisions, take a deep breath, and have a quick read. His message is that fundraising will be challenging but certainly not impossible.

REAL TALK Fundraising LinkedIn Group

A day seems like a lifetime in the world driven by the continually moving Coronavirus. Nonprofits are scrambling to stay ahead of things. This LinkedIn group is for development professionals to collaborate and share what’s working for them and how their organization is responding to the current circumstances.

A rising tide floats all boats, and this collaborative group is a way nonprofit professionals can help each other float as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National MS Society Decision Tree

Are you trying to decide which events your organization should cancel, postpone, or significantly alter? The National MS Society generously released their “decision tree” that helps them evaluate whether to cancel or postpone events. It’s a very useful tool to help streamline and simplify the decision process.

Event Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Charity Dynamics created a ten-point plan to help nonprofits communicate with donors and investors about upcoming events, decisions your board of directors makes, and other critical information. In uncertain times, clear communication is of the utmost importance.

WEBINAR COVID-19 What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know

The Venable LLP law firm hosted a webinar that addressed the legal issues nonprofits should consider during the Coronavirus pandemic (and similar crises). They generously published the webinar recording and handouts for all nonprofits to access.

Sponsorship During Times of Crisis: Cancelled Events, Postponing and Refunds

Chris Baylis is a sponsorship expert who created a guide for nonprofits to communicate with sponsors for upcoming events that will be canceled, postponed, or significantly altered. It’s essential to keep the lines of communication open and make sure everyone is on the same page throughout the process.

How to Have a Successful Virtual Fundraising Event

LaunchCode is a nonprofit offering free education and job placement services in service of their mission to build a skilled workforce by providing pathways to driven people seeking careers in technology.

Guide to Fundraising During COVID-19

Communicating With Donors During the Coronavirus

In addition to fundraising, it’s critical to communicate with your current donors during this time of uncertainty. Not only is this good donor care, but your donors also want to know that your organization is ok. They care about your cause! Here are some great resources on how to take care of your donors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Communicating About Coronavirus And Your Events

Events and gatherings all over the world are being canceled and postponed. This Nonprofit Times blog outlines some of the events being canceled and how different nonprofit industries are responding to the latest developments.

While most organizations can’t avoid canceling or postponing their upcoming gatherings, how you do it matters. This resource provides some guidance about how other nonprofits are managing their upcoming events.

WEBINAR: Free Nonprofit Webinar: Coronavirus and What You Need to Know About Postponing and Cancelling Events

This free webinar will focus on how nonprofits should handle canceling and postponing nonprofit events. It’s not quite as easy as just telling everyone your event is postponed. Experts in the nonprofit world are working hard to equip you to make decisions about each event, how to handle ticket and sponsorship refunds, staying in touch with attendees and sponsors, and other nuts and bolts details of how to cancel an event.

4 Ways To Protect Donation Levels During the Coronavirus

Even small actions go a long way when caring for your donors during this season of upheaval. This is the time to go the extra mile to show your donors that you care for them individually. This blog post provides some practical ways to adjust your donor care as we navigate the Coronavirus. Some nonprofits might even be able to expand their potential donor list if they take the right steps!

WEBINAR: Maintain Momentum For Your Fundraising Events Amidst COVID-19

March 19 at 1pm EST. This free webinar will equip your organization to use technology to bring your donors and constituents together during this time of social distancing. Attend and get some new and creative ways to fundraise without face-to-face interaction.

COVID-19: What Nonprofits Should Do Right Now

None of us have experience navigating a pandemic. We aren’t entirely sure what to expect from week to week. What we do know is that there are some practical ways your nonprofit can begin preparing for some of the potential financial difficulties. Here’s a useful, rational resource to help you make some financial decisions in the next few days and weeks.

WEBINAR: Fundraising During Uncertain Times

Unlike a recession, we had no warning signs or time to prepare for financial hardship. There are many unanswered questions, but some questions we can address. How to stay in touch with donors, ways to conduct major gifts fundraising without face-to-face interaction, and how to restructure your fundraising calendar, are all questions that experts can help us answer! Tune in to one of these weekly, one-hour webinars for some excellent content to help your organization fundraise during times of crisis.

10 Things Fundraisers Can Do from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many nonprofits realize that an ask at this moment of uncertainty is probably not a good way to care for donors or use your resources. Here are some alternative ideas of what fundraisers can accomplish from home.

Nonprofit Communications During the Coronavirus Pandemic

This LinkedIn article has some helpful guidelines about how to communicate honestly and practically during a time of uncertainty. Whether you need to communicate with staff, donors, constituents, or all the above, this is a helpful guideline.

Soapbox Engage is committed to providing the best, most up-to-date resources and content to help nonprofits navigate and survive the Coronavirus and all the ramifications. We know you have loads of questions, concerns, and fears. We’re here to equip your organization to continue fundraising, communicating with your donors, and serving your constituents well. Stay tuned for more resources, tips, ideas, and fundraising hacks from nonprofit experts around the world.

Guide to Fundraising During COVID-19