1 Update + 2 Challenges Incoming


We have some “big picture” guidance for Fundraisers today.

(All of this will make more sense if you’ve downloaded our free guidance on Fundraising In a Pandemic: What Will Happen, How You Can Succeed.)

First, here’s an update based on what we’re seeing and the results the organizations we serve are experiencing:

  • The bad news – I suspect “the slump” is going to last longer than we expected. The number of things being canceled this fall implies that the economy won’t be up to full speed for months. This will lengthen the slump.
  • The great news – “the bump” is much larger and lasting a lot longer than we originally expected. A majority of our clients are having record-breaking springs. If you’re not fundraising right now, you should be. Donors want to help right now. As @PatrickTiernan said recently on Twitter, “Charitable giving allows people to exert a sense of control in a world that is otherwise spinning.”

And now, a word about the future. Most organizations are going to face two significant challenges over the coming months.

Challenge #1

Modifying your fundraising so that it’s relevant to donors, while still following direct response best practices.

Because if your fundraising sounds like it’s business-as-usual, it will sound irrelevant to your donors in the new world we’re living in.

Your go-to offers will work best if they’re recontextualized to today’s world. Additionally, you probably have new offers available to you (new things you’re doing, new needs you’re meeting, new expenses you’re incurring, new revenue shortfalls you’re experiencing, etc.)

This is going to be hard work.

Challenge #2

Staying the course when you start raising less money.

Sooner or later, that appeal that annually brings in $50k is going to bring in $35k. And then that email that usually brings in $35k is going to bring in $26k.

You’re going to be tempted to mail less. To stop spending money to acquire new donors. And to cancel that campaign.

But that’s almost always the wrong approach. Because during “the slump,” you’re playing a longer game than normal – you’re playing for mindshare. And you don’t keep mindshare by slowing your communications.

Because if you stay top-of-mind for your donors – when “the surge” comes – it will happen faster for your organization, and you’ll raise more money.

It’s Nice to Have a Map

We keep hearing from Fundraisers (and Board members and E.D.s) that they don’t know what to do next because the world is so different right now.

We’re sharing the updates above, and published Fundraising In A Pandemic so that any Fundraiser can have a “map” for what the next few months will look like.

Remember, organizations like yours have survived (and even thrived) fundraising situations like this one before.

And if you’d like help during this crazy time, get in touch. We can help you keep your fundraising relevant during the coming months, or even create your fundraising for you.

Good luck out there! And right now, perhaps more than ever, “lean in” to donor generosity. They want to help!

Pandemic Fundraising: What to Expect and How to Succeed in the Months Ahead


Every once in a while, we give you a free resource to help you raise more money.

It seems like a good time for that, doesn’t it? Because there’s a LOT of fear in the fundraising world.

So this free resource gives you what you need to guide your organization through the next few months – because we want your organization to be healthy after the pandemic!

Download here for free.

First, you’ll get a graphic that shows what will happen to your fundraising over the next few months. (It’s not possible to know the exact timeframe, but it’s absolutely possible to know the shape & pattern that donor behavior will follow.)

Second, you’ll get a document that shares – based on experience – how to communicate and fundraise your way through this.

The pandemic and economic downturn are doing grave harm to a lot of organizations. But you can minimize the impact and even come out ahead on the other side.

Some organizations are going to have incredible years – even organizations not overtly connected to the pandemic.

It all depends on the choices you make in the coming hours, days, and weeks. It’s up to each organization – to your organization – on how to respond.  

Please download this guide. It has our best experience and advice, taken from past crises and downturns, to help your organization succeed.

Timely Info about Emergency Loans


If your organization could use a loan to keep employees and/or stay open, keep reading.

Yesterday The Agitator posted a guide to help nonprofits get a small business forgivable loan.

Here’s a link to their guide.

They’ve done an incredible service by summarizing the situation, and what you need to do.

If a loan is needed / crucial / of interest to your organization, I’d hustle. The funds are limited – speed matters. As I’ve been saying, if a donor is going to give five emergency gifts during this time, you do not want to be the 7th organization to ask her. The same principle is true here.

Roger and Kevin, thank you.

And watch this space in the next 24 hours for a handy graphic that will attempt to predict how the next few months of fundraising are going to go, as well as a more in-depth explanation.