If 2020 taught us anything, it was that any and all things (however chaotic and unthinkable) could happen. Wildfires roared, earthquakes shook whole nations, and a pandemic basically shut down the world.
Nonprofits had to learn how to adapt quickly and innovate to keep their doors open, all while fighting for the health and safety of their employees and clients.
Donors rushed in to help us in unprecedented ways, ensuring funding was available for those who needed it most.
Although 2020 was a year of uncertainty, we learned a few things about fundraising amidst a pandemic and its aftermath.
As we step into a new year, we’re sharing our top four things you should be doing with your fundraising in 2021:
Four things you should be doing with your fundraising
2020 brought continuously changing circumstances and needs. Now more than ever, nonprofits need to communicate clearly and often with their donors.
Do not make assumptions – ever.
Ensure that your donors understand the needs of your organization and how they can help meet those.
In addition, make sure you understand the preferences and needs of your donors and how they wish to engage with you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for money.
We’ve seen so much hesitancy in asking for funds this last year.
Many nonprofits have made assumptions about what donors want to give to in times of stress.
While it’s true there are frontline needs, donors don’t deviate wildly from their core interests.
Making assumptions about how donors might like to support you will at best cost you donations; at worst, it could cost you a relationship.
Learn about how Write On Fundraising can help you with your capital campaign planning.
Have a plan.
If you’ve never had a comprehensive fundraising plan before, this is the year to sit down and put one together.
While your line-up of fundraising activities may be forever burned inside your head, chances are your organization’s back-up plans are not.
Have a conversation about your plans to pivot in response to market changes and get that plan out of your head and onto paper. (Hears mother’s voice, “Fail to plan and you plan to fail”.)
Focus on quality over quantity.
Last year was a year of isolation for all of us, including donors. 2021 is not the year to try to cram 200 new donors into your pipeline.
Instead, it should be a year to sit down and cultivate deep, meaningful relationships with the people closest to your organization (if you haven’t been already).
This is something your donors have missed and will respond to with increased giving.
Remember, donors choose your organization because they care for your mission and they want to be involved.
Let’s use 2021 as a year to strengthen relationships, build a strong foundation, and move forward with diversity and sustainability in mind.