1. Host a Digital Forum With a Subject Matter Expert
Every organization is affected by this global health crisis. Whatever your mission is, whether it is related to health care or not, it will be affected in some way. So how can you continue to advance your mission? As a nonprofit organization, you most likely have access to subject matter experts in your mission space.
Organize a virtual “fire-side-chat” with a subject matter expert in your space to discuss COVID-19 and its impact on your mission and those similar to you. This will keep your donors engaged and provide a sense of direction that gives them confidence in the future of your organization in the aftermath of this crisis. If you’d like, you can also incorporate a fundraising ask during this event.
Write an Opinion Piece on COVID-19’s Impact on Your Community and Mission
Do you see your inbox pilling up with COVID-19 announcements? Well, there’s a reason: Communication is key, and email is an easy way to communicate with donors. If you haven’t done so already, write something that discusses COVID-19’s impact on your mission, your programs, your donors, etc. Share this article with your donors and prospective donors to open the door to further conversations.
2. Build a Call List and Start Reaching Out
Repeat this again. Communication is key during times of crisis. Don’t sit on the sidelines; there is no time to be passive. Lean into this and call your donors. Build out a list of your top funders, establish talking points in advance of these conversations and work down your list one by one. In moments of uncertainty, communication and community are crucial — use this time to grow both with strategized outreach.
3. Digital Marketing
At the moment, just about everyone is sitting at home, plugged into their computers, phones and televisions. If you’re looking to reach more people, think about doubling down on digital marketing efforts. Social media ads, Google ads, SEO — you name it. Everyone, including you, reading this article is online. Concentrate effort into reaching your target audience during this time to keep them engaged and informed. Take advantage of this truly unique and unprecedented digital marketing opportunity, and become a thought leader in this space.
4. Reschedule or Repurpose Your Event
If you can, don’t cancel your event — instead, reschedule it or repurpose it. If it can be postponed, you can transfer tickets/table buyers to the future event instead of giving or issuing a refund. You’ll have to take some losses for cancelling the date, but you’ll be able to keep the revenue and maintain the ability to continue building the event — a far better alternative to canceling the event entirely. It also gives you the opportunity for more touchpoints with donors and potential supporters. If you have the opportunity to turn it into a digital event, consider livestreaming your event.
5. Creating a Specific Fundraising Effort Around Your Impact on COVID-19
If your mission has a direct impact on the current situation, this is the time when your organization’s mission is of the utmost importance. Create a campaign around your programs or services that are directly dealing with this crisis. Since donors most likely aren’t going to be sponsoring events or other programs, repurpose your fundraising effort into asks to support your programs and services that are combating this health crisis.
COVID-19 is affecting everyone and everything, nonprofits included. Take time to communicate and, if you have the opportunity, fundraise around it.
As vice president of Orr Group, CJ Orr is responsible for a portfolio of work that includes operations, business development and partner relationship management.
On the operations side, CJ is responsible for setting and driving achievement of Orr Group’s financial targets and overseeing office real estate and management. Additionally, CJ leads and supports the efforts of Orr Group’s sales and marketing team to identify and cultivate new business opportunities and build relationships with nonprofit partners, ensuring that the services offered are best aligned with our partners’ needs.
CJ has a broad background in fundraising and development, strategic planning, campaigns, and event management. He has led strategic initiatives and fundraising for several large galas and campaigns. As a project and relationship manager, he executes on the development of strategies and tactics to ensure highly memorable events and campaigns that meet or exceed fundraising targets.
As senior associate director of marketing and communications, Katie is responsible for all aspects of Orr Group’s marketing and communication strategy. In this role, she manages and oversees branding, communications, social media, and website development. In addition to leading the firm’s MarComm efforts, Katie supports Orr Group’s business development efforts and is responsible for proposal generation and contract execution.
Katie also has experience working with a variety of our partners around fundraising, development and strategic planning, and event management.