In the past few months, we have been talking about how to navigate this new “normal” as we walk through the season of a pandemic. Over the course of these last several months, you’ve had to make a shift. You’ve had to start looking at different ways of running your fundraising efforts. And so today, we’re going to continue on that topic. I’m going to give you a list of the industries that are actually doing really, really well right now, and then we’ll talk through that and see how it impacts you and your cause.
In the last couple of episodes, we’ve talked about online fundraising and virtual fundraising events. There’s no reason why corporations and small businesses would not want to still sponsor your fundraising efforts. How are people marketing right now? How are you engaging donors? How are you engaging customers? Corporations and small businesses are looking to you to get their messages out there in the world and they’re looking for creative ways where they can continue to promote and get people engaged in the work that they’re doing. It doesn’t matter what country you live in. I just want to remind you that humans are humans, it doesn’t matter where we live, we all want to be connected to each other. We all want to feel like we’re making a difference in the world in some way. We’re talking about the people who, in their gut, know that they need to take care of their neighbors. We need to take care of the people that we do life with, and we also have to take care of people who don’t have what we have. Whether that’s orphans and widows, poor people who don’t have food, don’t have a shelter, or don’t have a place to live. I’ve been watching these organizations that are feeding tens of millions of people, and the donations are still coming in. And they are seeing growth in ways that we probably would never have understood prior to this. Today as we talk about these corporations and businesses, I want you to just to be reminded that it is natural for them to want to give and to feel like they’re connected to the community. So, all we’re doing is we’re fulfilling the problem.
Let’s talk through some of these industries and then I will go from there to tell you how we actually engage them and get them to financially support the work that you’re doing. Number one on my list is the cleaning industry. People who are in the cleaning and product supplies industry are seeing an uptick because people need to clean their homes. Number two, the health and fitness industry. People are starting to realize that they’re packing on a few pounds and maybe it’s time that to get that elliptical machine or a few weights should show up at home, or maybe they should walk a little bit more. Maybe they need some new tennis shoes and some workout gear. The health and fitness industry has done very well. Number three, the wellness industry. Mental illness is on the rise and being isolated and not being connected with other people has proven to be something that we all know we need. The next one is the food industry. We all have to eat right? Grocery stores and even restaurants have modified what they do like curbside pickup and delivery. Then you get into the personal safety products like PPE or anybody who’s doing masks or any sort of personal protection equipment, those industries have done well. There’s the home and garden industry that’s booming. People want to make their homes look nice. This is also why the real estate industry is doing well – the supply and demand is just so crazy that homes are selling very well. Then we get into video communications. A lot of people shifted from working from a storefront property or office over to home, and they’ve obviously had to start using new technology. And so video communications like Zoom and GoTo Meeting are raking in the cash right now because we are all online either working or meeting with our families. Next are the eCommerce sites like Etsy or people who sell most of their products online who will deliver their products and services to your door. They have done well. Then you get into online education. All of our schools have shifted to online and e-courses are on the rise. And the list goes on.
I just want you to see that there is a whole host of industries that are doing well, and I want to encourage you to be much more strategic than you’ve been in the past. Let’s stop focusing on trying to retain the donors that we’ve had in the past and let’s start looking at what new industries and what new people you can start to engage. If there are certain people that you’ve been following, or people who you have really felt have impacted your nonprofit, then start having those conversations with them about how they could volunteer with your work and how they could adopt your cause. Everybody’s looking for that charity of choice and it doesn’t matter what their business looks like. Provide opportunities for them to choose your cause. Remember, a huge reason why companies and small businesses give to charities is that they want to make sure that the community sees that they care. When they donate school supplies or to feed the hungry, they are doing all those things because they know that they’ve got to take care of their people. And in return, those people are going to trust them back and want to do business with them.
It’s the same reason for both of us; for whether it’s the for-profit or nonprofit industry. We want to show the community that we care, and that we’re not just coming with a hand out all the time. Be sure to take a few minutes to realize that you have a lot of influence in your community, in the world, and the space that you work in. As you continue to press onward, I want you to take better control and to see that you have a lot of power in this season so go after new opportunities, and find new and exciting ways to engage people into the work that you’re doing. It is in your control to invite people in. You’re the gatekeeper, nobody’s going to just randomly show up at your doorstep and say, “Gosh, I want to market my product through your organization.” They’re not going to do that; you have to be creative. And you have to reach out to them and say, “you know what? You guys have been on our mind for a while. And we have this fundraiser that’s coming up. And we believe that there’s a way that we can partner together online, to make sure that this thing is a success for our community and a success for you as a business.” I hope that this is helpful today as you continue to press forward. And if you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am just like you and I’m on the other side trying to navigate this myself. I hope you have a wonderful week. Let’s go and engage these companies that are booming and let’s engage them in a way that they can make a difference in the world through your cause.
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