Earlier this week, CCS Fundraising hosted a webinar, Principles of Fundraising: Navigating the Challenges Presented by Coronavirus, to discuss the current COVID-19 crisis and provide guidance on how nonprofits of all sizes and across sectors can proceed during this uncertain time. CCS leadership presented perspectives drawn from over 70 years of fundraising experience through times both prosperous and challenging.

In the recording of the webinar, which can be accessed here, CCS leaders Robert Kissane, Rick Happy, and Lindsay Marciniak shared their thoughts, which included:

Fundamental Learnings from Times of Crisis

Challenging times offer an opportunity for organizations to strengthen and cement their relationships with their stakeholders, as well as to affirm their mission and to demonstrate their relevance. We have learned through experience that donors who stopped supporting specific nonprofits during or after a crisis did so primarily because they no longer felt connected. Nonprofit organizations that stay the course and keep their stakeholders engaged ultimately emerge from challenging periods successfully.

Unique Implications of the Current Situation

While social distancing (or physical distancing) prevents us from meeting in person, there are still many opportunities to connect and continue operations. Furthermore, for many, this distancing offers time to reflect, plan, reach out, and think further ahead than tomorrow’s advancement committee meeting, for example.

Nonprofit staff should be communicating often and frankly with their donors as well as with colleagues, friends, and those who they haven’t connected with in some time. Remember that donors care about the organizations they support, and want to know how this situation is affecting the organization in addition to what is being done to deal with it.

Immediate Strategies to Implement

CCS recently published an article sharing best practices and principles of fundraising that have been tested through time. One key aspect to continuing the success of your program is embracing technology as a sure way to create meaningful and dynamic experiences. Now is also the time to develop a short-term plan to motivate your donors, reaffirm your mission, and most importantly, show empathy with your stakeholders.

For more up-to-date information, visit www.ccsfundraising.com

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About the Author

CCS Fundraising is a strategic fundraising consulting firm that partners with nonprofits for transformational change. Members of the CCS team are highly experienced and knowledgeable across sectors, disciplines, and regions. With offices throughout the United States and the world, our unique, customized approach provides each client with an embedded team member for the duration of the engagement.