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.
Explore our guide to companies expanding their matching gift programs.
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.
360MatchPro by Double the Donation is the leading matching gifts automation software on the market for large nonprofits looking to increase their matching gift revenue.
With it, you’re able to automatically search the match eligibility of donations made to your organization. When a match-eligible donation is identified, you can use automated messaging to drive the match to completion!
These are the top features of 360MatchPro:
- Embeddable matching gift widget. When you embed 360MatchPro’s widget to your existing donation forms, you can capture match information at the time of donation and automatically search eligibility.
- Engagement automation. Create email templates and automatically send them to match-eligible donors. Further, segment your donor base to ensure automated emails about matching gifts only go to the exact donors they should.
- Match tracking. Track the matching gift requests submitted by your donors and follow-up with any needed information to ensure matches are completed.
DonorSearch provides the leading prospect research database to help your organization discover potential major supporters.
DonorSearch focuses on two key major gift indicators: wealth (or capacity) indicators and philanthropic (or affinity) indicators. Using these, you can discover those most able and interested in making gifts to your organization during this time!
Explore the top features of DonorSearch:
- Advanced search tools. Use DonorSearch’s tools to build giving profiles on your donors, find grant giving organizations, or even find new donors to solicit.
- Data analytics tools. Obtain a greater understanding of your donor data with geographic mapping, specialized interest reporting, and over 12 customizable reports that get to the heart of your donors’ capacity and affinity to give.
- Fully customizable usage. Create customizable layouts for your overall account and any sub-accounts, ensuring you can view prospect data in the exact manner that’s most helpful to you.
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.
OneCause offers a full host of virtual fundraising software, equipping organizations with the tools they need to collect donations online and host fully virtual fundraising events.
Specializing in online auctions, the platform also has peer-to-peer, text-to-give, and general online giving solutions to meet a nonprofit’s needs. For organizations at risk of cancelling necessary in-person fundraising events due to social distancing requirements, OneCause’s platform allows them to pivot these events rather than forgoing the gifts they would have raised.
Key features of the OneCause platform include:
- Mobile bidding and auction software. Transform your in-person charity auction to a fully digital version, complete with an online auction website, an exciting bidding experience, and convenient checkout.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising software. Pivot you walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon, or other fundraising event to digital means with OneCause’s peer-to-peer software.
- Online giving software. Nonprofits can create, customize, and personalize an unlimited number of online giving pages.
Soapbox Engage’s full range of virtual fundraising solutions are heralded for their Salesforce integration.
With solutions for online donations, virtual fundraising events, and even advocacy, each of Soapbox Engage’s apps send data directly into the Salesforce platform. For larger organizations relying heavily on digital fundraising during this time, Soapbox Engage’s integrations prevent inefficient data transfers during busy times.
Key features of Soapbox Engage’s platform include:
- Salesforce integration. Ensure all data generated from a donation transaction seamlessly flows into your organization’s Salesforce CRM, for actionable insights down the line.
- Flexible payment processing. Your organization is able to choose between a variety of payment processing platforms. Further, you’re not charged a per-transaction fee— so if your digital fundraising grows in popularity, your organization won’t lose funds because of it.
- Fully-branded. Create online donation pages that are fully branded to your organization, whether by customizing Soapbox Engage’s standard templates or replicating your existing web design elements.
Donately is often celebrated for its easy-to-use and visually attractive solutions.
Their platform includes stand-alone donation pages, embeddable donation forms, peer-to-peer fundraising pages, and even an effective donor portal. This means that your organization can seamlessly incorporate online fundraising into your strategy in the manner that best suits your current website design and fundraising goals.
Key features of Donately’s online fundraising software:
- Custom donation forms. Create donation forms containing the exact fields your organization requires— and no more. Ensure supporters are encouraged, not deterred, from giving with a user-friendly donation process.
- Expansive integrations library. With ready-built integrations with a variety of nonprofit tools, including CRM software, accounting and analytics software, and payment processing software, your organization can view Donately-collected data in the systems you’re familiar with.
- Text messaging engagement. Share your online donation opportunities by texting donors en masse. Collect donations, share upcoming peer-to-peer campaigns, and share news and updates easier than before.
Qgiv’s virtual fundraising platform encompasses a wide range of nonprofit fundraising, including online donations, text fundraising, and peer-to-peer fundraising.
Whether you’re taking an in-person event virtual, or simply trying to accept donations online to encourage social distancing, Qgiv has an effective fundraising solution for you. With no long-term contracts and completely unlimited functionality, Qgiv allows your organization to create the exact online donation experience you require.
A few key features of Qgiv’s online donation platform are:
- Customizable donation forms. With access to their easy-to-use form builder, your organization can create the exact donation forms of your dreams. Further, you can customize receipts and utilize Givi, the platform’s donor-facing giving app.
- GiftAssist. Donors can contribute even more to your organization by participating in GiveAssist. With this, the donor covers any processing fees allowing your organization to retain more of their initial gift.
- Interactive user dashboard. With Qgiv’s user dashboard and reporting features, your organization can learn valuable information about donors including how they prefer to give and the total contributions raised. You can even monitor real-time donation activity!
Snowball’s fundraising software is specifically designed to make virtual fundraising easier than ever. Covering events fundraising and general online donations, Snowball’s solution is sure to meet your organization’s virtual needs.
Further, the platform’s built-in CRM ensures you can track staff, volunteer, and supporter information easily in one place. This all-in-one solution is perfect for organizations just starting with online fundraising!
Let’s explore a few top features of Snowball:
- Unlimited fundraising campaigns. With Snowball, your organization is empowered to create unlimited fundraising campaigns from pledge fundraising, peer-to-peer fundraising, general online donation collection, and even text-to-give!
- Text-to-give capabilities. Text a link to your online donation form directly to donors’ cell phones. Then, they can easily give to your organization using that link. Learn more through this guide.
- Virtual fundraising events. Create the infrastructure to hold virtual fundraising events ensuring your cornerstone fundraising initiatives go on almost as planned.
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.
Bloomerang’s donor management software was created to increase donor retention and revenue alike.
During a time when people are more isolated than ever before in recent memory, Bloommerang’s platform stands out for its many features allowing your organization to discover and contact current and potential donors successfully. From monitoring social media engagement to managing email marketing campaigns, you have all the tools you need to communicate with supporters and improve retention.
Bloomerang’s donor management software has the following features:
- Email marketing campaigns. You’re able to create, schedule, and collect analytics from email marketing campaigns all within the one platform.
- Donor engagement meter. Understand the engagement of each of your donors, drawing information from their past interactions with your organization.
- Social media listening. Identify potential donors and monitor the interactions between current donors and your organization on social media.
The donor management software offered by Salsa Labs was designed to help nonprofits build stronger relationships with their donors and fundraise more effectively.
It stands out for its rich donor profiles, through which you can track the cultivation and relationship-building with key supporters. Further, it has built-in integrations with top matching gif and prospect research software providers!
Salsa’s donor management system has the following stand-out features:
- Intuitive donor profiles. Have unprecedented understanding of your donors by tracking contact information, relationships, demographics, donor interests and even social media information.
- Custom reporting. Create reports representing the exact information you need to fundraise more effectively, and schedule them to be delivered on a regular basis.
- Double the Donation and DonorSearch integrations. With these integrations, you can discover prospective major givers and matching gift opportunities!
Charity Engine’s donor management software is an all-in-one solution.
The software manages donor information as well as handles all aspects of a fundraising campaign. From valuable donor insights to the creation of multichannel marketing campaigns, Charity Engine can handle the process.
Bonus! Check out Charity Engine’s ranking of nonprofit CRM software here.
Explore the top features of Charity Engine:
- Donor user center. Give your supporters the ability to control their own account settings using Charity Engine’s external user center.
- Automated and personalized communications. Send mass acknowledgement letters or custom campaigns, for an efficient and personalized approach.
- Multichannel marketing campaigns. You’re able to create and track marketing campaigns across all formats, whether email, direct mail, digital ads, or even TV!
Explore Charity Engine’s donor management software!
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
Aly Sterling Philanthropy is a fundraising consulting firm specializing in holistic solutions and strategic planning for the long-term.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundraising consultants at Aly Sterling Philanthropy can help your organization create a plan to weather the storm. Even more, they can help your organization build a strategy to come out on the other side of the crisis stronger than ever before!
Explore the top features of Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s consulting services:
- Strategic planning. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an uncertain landscape for many. The ASP Team can help your organization respond to the crisis and build a strategy for thriving in this environment and long after.
- Crisis communications and relationship building. Maintain connections with your key supporters with the help of Aly Sterling Philanthropy.
- Fundraising planning. Form a deeper understanding of your key supporters and use that to raise more gifts for your organization.
Grants Plus is a fundraising consultant focusing in one area of nonprofit funding— grants.
This consulting firm can help your organization discover funders, build grant strategies, and even write proposals. After working with this team, you’ll have a long-term strategy for grant fundraising to benefit your organization for years to come. As many funders are changing their grantmaking requirements and eligibility in light of COVID-19, Grants Plus can help your organization navigate the new waters.
These are the key features of Grants Plus’s consulting services:
- Identification of grant opportunities. Grants Plus will work with your organization to identify private, corporate, and government opportunities that you may qualify for.
- Grant proposal writing. Ensure you’re adhering to all guidelines outlined by the funder with the help of Grants Plus’s proposal management services.
- Grant application review. The team will review any grant applications written by your nonprofit to make sure you have the best chance of success.
Averill Fundraising Solutions
Averill Fundraising Solutions offers strategic planning, campaign planning and annual fund direction, and even leadership training services.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve focused on helping nonprofits maintain their fundraising and donor cultivation efforts with creative solutions. With Averill Fundraising Solutions’ help, your organization can continue its efforts despite the uncertain fundraising landscape.
Explore the top features of Averill Fundraising Solutions’ consulting services:
- Campaign direction. How do you continue your major fundraising campaigns during a crisis? The team at Averill can help your team create a strategic plan for fundraising going forward.
- Major gift cultivation. Averill Fundraising Solutions can help you continue building relationships with key supporters throughout times of uncertainty.
- Leadership learning. If your top leaders are struggling to lead during the crisis, Averill Fundraising Solutions can help.
DNL OmniMedia is the premier nonprofit technology consulting firm.
This consulting firm can help your organization make the pivot to virtual fundraising means in response to COVID-19. Whether building out your tech stack, handling the implementation of new software, or even training your team members to make the most of the tools– Team DNL can create and implement a comprehensive digital strategy for coronavirus fundraising.
These are the key services provided by DNL OmniMedia:
- Selection and implementation of nonprofit software. This team can help you choose software solutions to meet your coronavirus fundraising needs and implement the solutions into your overall strategy.
- Nonprofit staff training. If you’re implementing new software to fundraise during COVID-19, Team DNL can ensure that your entire team is up to speed.
- Website optimization. When you’re not speaking with donors face-to-face, your website is more essential than ever before. Team DNL can make your site accessible, functional, and attractive.
Explore Additional COVID-19 Fundraising Resources
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:
Matching Gifts and COVID-19: How Companies Are Responding
In response to the crisis, many companies are expanding their matching gift programs. Check out this guide to learn more.
Corporate Giving Programs: The Ultimate Fundraising Guide
Corporate giving programs are the ultimate way to raise gifts during the coronavirus pandemic. Explore these programs in-depth with this Double the Donation guide.
Virtual Fundraising Software For Nonprofits: 20 Top Picks
Virtual fundraising is essential to raise gifts during COVID-19. Explore this list of top virtual fundraising software to begin raising gifts online.