Episode 148 | How to Fundraise During a Pandemic

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In light of COVID-19, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about fundraising during this time. Do I continue on?  Do I push pause?  Do I cancel my event? My number one piece of advice I want to give you is do NOT stop your fundraising.  Don’t allow this to stale or stagnate or freeze your fundraising because life will continue to go on.  We are all going to continue making decisions on how we’re going to give and invest.  During this time, I want you to realize that this is when billionaires are made.  The wealthy population in all our communities, they are thinking about how they are going to capitalize on this season and how am I going to multiply my dollars and investments?  If you’re diversifying your fundraising, your wealthy donors are still giving.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to your donor base and continue to have these conversations.

I want to encourage you to not feel frantic during this time.  For most of you, when you’re fundraising, you do so for the entire year, not just a month.  Whether that donation comes in today or in the next couple of months, you’re probably still going to be ok.  As you’re having conversations about people, I want you to talk to them about their giving in general.  Let them know that it’s up to them as to how they want to make their donation.  Do they want to make it now?  Or, do they want to hold off? 

The other interesting part of this season is that it’s tax time.  People are maybe realizing that they should have given more away last year as well as others who are just trying to make better plans.  They are thinking through their generosity, their giving.  Some people who are getting tax rebates now have more money to spend so they are thinking about who they can give to with their tax returns.  I want you to see that just because this pandemic is happening, does not mean it’s going to impact someone’s giving.  Don’t make that decision for them.  This isn’t the time for you to shut down.  Do what’s best for you. 

Now, if postponing your fundraiser is the best thing to do, then do so.  But don’t use this as an excuse.  You need to make decisions based on the best interest of your cause, not necessarily what’s going to be the easiest decision.  I’ve seen people push off their events and it’s because they were lazy.  They were lazy in their fundraising months ago and they didn’t get their stuff together, so now, they aren’t in a position to have a successful fundraiser.  Whether this virus was happening or not, they would still have had a poor fundraiser.  When you are tasked with raising funds, I want to give you some tips so you are never in a state of panic.

  1. Do NOT stop your fundraising
  2. Schedule meetings
  3. Plan for the future

Prepare for the future.  Use this opportunity to plan the rest of the year.  Sit down with a pen and paper or dry erase board and markers and start talking through what you want to make sure you’re taken care of for the months and years ahead.  Do not allow this time to be the reason for you to go on vacation.  This is not the time to shut down, it’s the time to ramp up.  Now is the time to have conversations.  Don’t allow this time to be an excuse to not move forward. 

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