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Fundraising Success in a Pandemic

In a recent call with nonprofit consultants from across the county, a frightening statistic was shared: up to 40% of charities might be forced to close because of the pandemic.

Two recent reports support this statistic. An article from FastCompany refers to research from Candid (Foundation Center and GuideStar) and the Chronicle of Philanthropy references an extensive resource paper from Deloitte on scenario planning and advice for preparing for an uncertain future.

We’ve already seen massive layoffs in the nonprofit sector: events have been cancelled, sponsorships retracted, and emergency funding is starting to wane. I’ve seen these impacts at my own organization and have even had friends lose their jobs because of budget cuts.

During this time, I’ve posted advice and tips for digital fundraising, online engagement, and making the transition to virtual activities. I’ve held webinars on the importance of diversifying a fundraising portfolio with online contributions and cultivating digital audiences. And while I don’t have all of the answers to addressing a nonprofit’s survival during this unusual time, I can attest to the positive impact of focusing efforts in the digital space.

Special Event on Digital Fundraising

I’ve enlisted a few experts to help tell the stories of success in this area. At the next CharityChat Meetup, I will have four AFP members from across the country share their experiences of digital fundraising during the pandemic:

  • Janet Sherlip, Chief Visionary Officer of JKS by Design for TOPAchievers (TX)
    Janet will share the secret sauce of her virtual gala and esports event featuring a silent auction and Twitch platform
  • Annie Volk, Volunteer Marketing Director of Shelby American Collection Car Museum (CO)
    Annie’s organization held a virtual sweepstakes event that saved the closing of the museum
  • Lianna Magerr, Executive Director of Wilmington Children’s Chorus (DE)
    Lianna found great success on Giving Tuesday NOW using social media, storytelling and matching funds
  • Jeannie Neathery, Major Gifts Officer of Hinds Hospice (CA)
    Jeannie will share the story of her virtual walk/run with follow up appeal and virtual gala currently in the planning stages.

In addition, Colleen Duran with Gift of Life in Philadelphia will join us to share their quick pivot for an annual race and a unique “home-cooked heroes” volunteer program. Nancy Cox will share the details of the creative zoom “Owl-bomb” and “Fly-through” fundraising efforts with the Piedmont Wildlife Center in Durham, NC.

Join this special event on August 26 at 6 pm to learn about their experiences to quickly pivot and make the best of some challenging situations. We will have plenty of time for questions and sharing.

CharityChats Meetup Group
EXCLUSIVE: Digital Fundraising in a Pandemic
August 26, 2020 – 6 pm via Zoom
Note: This event has passed.
But you can see the recap and video here.

Unfamiliar with CharityChats? Learn more below!

Charity Chats are small group meetings designed to help nonprofits professionals share, help, and learn from and with each other. There are no presentations. There are no lectures. The discussions are completely organic and moderated by me, Jen Newmeyer.

Typically, attendees find nuggets of information that help to inform their work and glean ideas for improving a variety of projects. Some enjoy connecting with others and develop partnerships personally and professionally. Others are relieved to have a safe space to share and find support for challenges they may face.

Individuals who attend CharityChats might be currently employed by a nonprofit or working with nonprofits in capacities such as board service or volunteerism. We’ve had those just beginning their careers in charitable work all the way to executive directors and board chairs attend the chats.

The topics are directed by the feedback of the attendees and change every time. We’ve discussed board engagement, challenges with volunteers, data management and CRM limitations, grant collaboration, and of course, creative approaches to fundraising and campaign ideas.

There is no cost. These events are free, but they do require registration on
Also note, your information will not be shared with any other entity nor used for marketing purposes. Some events, like the one on August 26, will be recorded. Details will be shared in the event description.