Is this the right time? Many of our clients are wondering if they should go through with scheduled spring appeals during a pandemic.
Some are concerned that asking now may be perceived as insensitive. After all, we are all sacrificing and struggling to adjust to this new reality.
Others have asked, “If the current economic uncertainty will negatively impact the returns, why not wait?” If you are struggling with this, we have some thoughts about timing.Many of our clients are wondering if they should go forward with spring appeals. Is this the right time? #charitablegiving #majorgifts #philanthropy Click To Tweet
This is a time for honesty
Let’s be honest, we need our donors right now.
If we don’t need them during this unprecedented time, we probably never needed them. The definition of stewardship is “The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” Part of being a great steward is being honest.
If you need help to meet your mission now, ask for it. If you weren’t planning a spring appeal, maybe it’s an opportunity to share how your creativity or contingency planning is paying off. Don’t spin it: be genuine. We owe that to our community of believers.
This is a time for leadership
Many of you are the sole development professional in your organization and your colleagues are looking to you for direction and hope through this difficult time. They need leadership now more than ever. As professional fundraisers, we have modeled that donors should not be treated like checkbooks.
That philanthropy is about relationships. That giving should meet the needs of the donor, as well as the organization. There will never be a better time to practice what we teach with grace and skill.
This is a time to let donors make decisions for themselves
From eating at our favorite restaurant, to gathering with friends, our lives have been disrupted and our choices have been limited by the current pandemic. We need more choices, not fewer, during this time.
If we don’t ask our donors, we make the decision for them. Out of respect for them, and the joy that giving brings all of us, let’s not make the decision for them. Give donors the opportunity to spread joy and practice gratitude during this difficult time.
This is a time for social distancing, not disregard
Isolation leads to loneliness and there is something very powerful about being part of a community that shares a vision, believes in something important, and supports it together. To that end, use this time to connect.
Pick up the phone. Write that handwritten note you have been putting off. Thank people. Then thank them again.
Provide updates. Share your concerns, share your creative plans. Ask how they and their family are faring during this difficult time. Host a coffee chat via web.
We need community now more than ever and so do our donors.
I am a trusted nonprofit consultant with 21 years of experience serving mission-driven institutions. At Rose City Philanthropy we specialize in strategic, people-centered fundraising solutions. We love walking teams through feasibility studies, strategic planning, and capital campaign development. We bring a data-informed approach that is rooted in best practice and honors the unique culture and values of the organizations with whom we work.