Learning How Nonprofits Can Survive COVID-19, Part 2
As we progress through this pandemic, it still feels like there are a lot of unknowns. However, there are some steps we can take based on our experience in other crises and what we know about human behavior.
That’s why I’m writing this three-part article, and why I created a crisis survival guide for nonprofits, outlining ten critical communication strategies that can help you weather the storm.
This is part two of the three-part series. Be sure to check out part one, here.
Key No. 5: Pick Up the Phone
People value personal connection, especially during a time of social distancing and quarantines. A mass email is easy, but it’s not really going to connect at a personal level, especially with your most important relationships.
Make a list of people that should get a personal phone call, and then assign the people on that list to various staff and leaders in your organization. The personal touch — even if it’s just to let them know they’re on your mind — will go a long way toward keeping your supporters engaged.
Key No. 6: Lead With Empathy
People are dealing with their own fears and concerns, and they want to know you care about them, too. Whether it’s a donor or a corporate partner, empathy creates connection. Before you tell them what you want them to know about your organization’s needs, start by relating to them as human beings and really listen to what they have to say.
Key No. 7: Don’t Make It About You
You’re probably scrambling to figure out how this crisis is going to impact your organization financially. Or maybe you’ve had to cancel a major fundraising event. Even though your financial need may be very real, resist the temptation to make it about you. Keep the focus on the people you serve or the problem you solve. Donors care a lot more about making a difference in the world than about keeping your organization afloat.
Stay tuned for part three of this article, coming soon. You can download the full version of the free guide at Leading Good.
Rod Arnold is the founder of Leading Good. As the former chief operating officer of charity: water, Rod helped lead the young organization through a period of tremendous growth. Now he helps other nonprofits grow by applying principles and strategies that are proven to work.