The nonprofit sector has been impacted by COVID-19 in a variety of ways. From the transition to working from home to the increased community need for nonprofit assistance, it’s been a time of uncertainty and flux for many organizations.
One of the areas where this impact is most evident, however, is the changing landscape for fundraising during the coronavirus pandemic.
Over just a few weeks, all in-person fundraising activities had to pivot to new, socially distanced methods. Virtual fundraising software and a creative mind for problem-solving became key for organizations to fundraise effectively during the pandemic.
In this guide, you’ll explore fundraising during COVID-19. You’ll explore resources, thought leadership, tools, and service providers to help your organization navigate coronavirus fundraising.
Continue reading to explore the full guide or use the navigation below to jump to the section that interests you.
|Coronavirus Nonprofit FAQs||Jump to this section.|
|COVID-19 Updates for Nonprofits||Jump to this section.|
|Where do matching gifts and COVID-19 intersect?||Jump to this section.|
|Trusted Fundraising Tools & Service Providers||Jump to this section.|
Coronavirus Nonprofit FAQs
The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge for nonprofit fundraising. Not only are organizations attempting to raise funds during a time of economic hardship, but they’re also unable to speak in-person with donors when doing so. Let’s explore a few key questions nonprofits have had surrounding fundraising in the wake of COVID-19
How will the coronavirus pandemic impact fundraising?
When it comes to the pandemic’s impact on fundraising, there are two key facts to remember:
- The economic downturn triggered by the virus means that there will likely be a higher need for nonprofit services.
- That same economic downturn also means that supporters may have less to give.
These two factors put together can mean a difficult landscape for nonprofits trying to fundraise in the wake of COVID-19. That doesn’t mean organizations should abandon the effort entirely, but rather that they should adjust their course to new efforts.
For example, many nonprofits are supporting the idea of drawing on year-end giving right now. This means asking supporters who normally make gifts at the end of the year (around #GivingTuesday) to move those gifts up a few months to support organizations during this essential time.
What should nonprofits do to respond to coronavirus?
There are two key things to keep in mind concerning how nonprofits should respond to this crisis:
- Organizations should continue communicating with supporters and even soliciting gifts.
- Communications and gift solicitations need to look different than they may have looked in the past.
As we’ve learned from Averill Fundraising Solutions, it’s more important than ever before that nonprofits continue reaching out to supporters and soliciting gifts. After all, nonprofits fill an essential role in ensuring needs are met in communities— and during a time when more and more people are losing their jobs, losing access to resources, and overall in crisis, nonprofits are essential.
However, it’s also important to understand that those conversations, those gift solicitation conversations, may not result in a gift being made. There’s a decent chance your supporters could be hit hard by this crisis, and sometimes it’s best to just reach out and see how they’re doing!
Where can nonprofits learn more about the impact of COVID-19?
COVID-19 is affecting every single nonprofit organization right now, which means that it’s definitely a trending topic. Nonprofits looking to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 specifically pertaining to their operations can do so by simply turning to their peers and other thought leaders in the space.
For example, many nonprofit publications (such as NonprofitPro and Chronicle of Philanthropy) are writing content for organizations struggling to maintain momentum during this time. Further, many nonprofit software providers are sharing valuable tips and other information on the impacts of COVID and how technology can be used to overcome the challenge.
One great example of this is Bloomerang’s comprehensive COVID-19 resources page, where the donor database provider is compiling a list of blog posts, case studies, curated lists, and even helpful templates to help nonprofits make sense of this chaotic period.
Where do matching gift programs and COVID-19 intersect?
At Double the Donation, we are a nonprofit software provider. Our solutions focus on corporate matching gift programs— so of course, we’ve put some thought into how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts these giving programs.
There is some bright news to report: employers are increasing their matching gift programs to help support the nonprofit sector’s response to the crisis.
We’ve found that corporations are increasing their matching gift programs, whether increasing the ratio at which they match gifts (such as matching on a 2:1 ratio versus a 1:1 ratio) or increasing their maximum gift amount matched (such as matching up to $1,000 versus $750). This means that there’s potential for nonprofits to raise even more money through just one eligible gift.
We recommend that nonprofits study up on matching gift programs during this time, to make the most of these changes. If you’re aware of which employers are expanding their matching gift programs, you can contact supporters who you know work for those employers. By submitting a match request, a donor can increase their gift to your organization right now— without giving a single dollar more out of their own pocket.
One resource to start this research is this Double the Donation listing of companies expanding their matching gift programs. Let’s look at a few of the highlights:
The social media company is taking a unique approach to matching gifts, allowing retired employees, current employees, and the general public to partake. They’ve vowed to match up to $20 million in charitable donations made to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the CDC Foundation.
This smart tech giant has increased its matching gift donations to a 2.1 ratio. This increase in matched gifts is specifically applicable to COVID-19 responses on the local, national, and global scale.
This food corporation has increased both its match ratio and match limit. They’re now matching gifts on a 2:1 ratio and at a maximum initial gift of $1,500 rather than the original $1,000. This means that a General Mills employee can make a 4x larger impact than before the pandemic.
COVID-19 Updates for Nonprofits
For nonprofits trying to make sense of the COVID-19 pandemic, many leaders in the fundraising space have provided insight on best practices during this time.
Explore three of these thought leaders below:
OneCause is a company that provides charity auction software solutions to nonprofit organizations. They’ve long provided digital fundraising options in the form of online charity auction software, peer-to-peer fundraising tools, and even online giving solutions.
They’ve taken a deep dive into virtual fundraising— something that many nonprofits are facing now with the cancellation of crucial fundraising events. Focusing on mobile bidding and peer-to-peer software, OneCause believes that nonprofits can continue fundraising just as successfully as they would have through in-person events.
Bloomerang provides powerful donor management software to nonprofits looking to improve their operations. In the wake of COVID-19, they’ve pivoted to providing the most comprehensive coronavirus content to nonprofits possible, ensuring that organizations like yours have all of the information they need to continue fundraising successfully.
Bloomerang has curated a page of resources for nonprofits dealing with the effects of COVID-19. The page includes information about:
- Coronavirus recovery funds.
- Legislation to help nonprofits and small businesses, including the CARES Act.
- Case studies examining successful fundraising during this time.
- Nonprofit support grounds.
- Curated lists of nonprofit resources.
- COVID-19 fundraising templates.
And much more!
Soapbox Engage is a leading nonprofit software provider, specializing in Salesforce-integrated solutions for fundraising, events, and advocacy. In the wake of COVID-19, the software developer has turned its focus to curating response resources.
Soapbox Engage’s resources page focuses on two aspects of nonprofit operations: fundraising during the coronavirus and communicating with supporters during a crisis.
With links out to 50+ resources, you can access thought leadership on virtual fundraising, emergency grant funding, crisis fundraising best practices, communications from a distance, and much more.
Trusted Fundraising Tools and Service Providers
During this time, many nonprofits are pivoting to digital methods for fundraising and donor stewardship. While some organizations are familiar with these technologies, others are stepping into fully new waters due to COVID-19’s demands.
We’ve curated a list of trusted digital fundraising tools and service providers to help organizations make the transition. We’re going to explore the following tools:
Whether your organization is refreshing its digital strategy or building your tech stack from the ground up, these tools and expertise of these providers can help your nonprofit weather the coronavirus crisis.
Let’s explore further.
One of the COVID-19 pandemic’s unfortunate impacts is that it’s caused an economic downturn. While donations are as necessary as ever before, many donors have a diminished giving capacity.
This means that doing your research prior to (and throughout) the giving process is key.
Whether completing prospect research before soliciting gifts or discovering matching gifts during the giving cycle, research is essential for effective fundraising during the coronavirus pandemic.
Virtual Fundraising Software
Once upon a time, nonprofit organizations had a variety of methods for collecting donations from supporters.
Whether a fundraising event equipped with point-of-sale devices, a one-on-one meeting with a major donor that ends with a signed check, or even a collection box at their headquarters— these giving methods are no longer accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We know that nonprofits need to fundraise, and the public need for nonprofit intervention is higher than recent memory. This is when virtual fundraising software comes into play, an essential tool allowing organizations to continue raising gifts during this time.
Donor Management Tools
One of the biggest challenges for nonprofits right now is maintaining connections with donors. Cultivating relationships with current and prospective supporters is particularly difficult if you’re unable to speak with them face-to-face, which has long been heralded as one of the most effective ways to build connections between donors and your organization.
This is where donor management tools come into play. Let’s explore a few top providers and how their solutions can help your organization with donor management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the course of just a few weeks, many nonprofits’ carefully laid plans for 2020 were moot. Major fundraising campaigns, in-person events, and even stewardship activities had to be quickly transformed or canceled.
If your organization has struggled with this mass overhaul, understand that you’re not alone. Further, there are experts in nonprofit strategy specifically positioned to help you navigate the crisis.
Aly Sterling Philanthropy
Averill Fundraising Solutions
Fundraising during COVID-19 has been a challenge for many nonprofits. Thankfully, there has been an outpouring of valuable guidance around the topic.
With these trusted tools and service providers, as well as the thought leadership they provide, you’ll be off to a great start when it comes to navigating COVID-19 fundraising.
For more information, explore the below additional resources: