Summary: In today’s podcast, Barbara O’Reilly from Windmill Hill Consulting LLC and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss nonprofits’ fundraising before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and after the pandemic. Nonprofits with flexible development systems and strategies are better positioned to navigate contingency of any sort seamlessly. A flexible approach that enhances rapid adaptation ensures that nonprofits survive the rough and tumble of time.

Nonprofit Fundraising Pre-covid, During Covid, and After Covid

In this world of rapid change, one constant variable that ensures organizations’ survival and progress is their ability to adapt and innovate. The wake of covid-19 has clearly shown us one thing: that change is constant. You don’t need to look far to see that the covid-19 pandemic has seriously impacted how nonprofits’ fundraising is done in recent times. Currently, many nonprofits that lack the creative ability tononprofit fundraising cut through the difficulties brought about by the pandemic are seriously faced with the challenges of conducting effective fundraising, thereby leading to a low revenue generation to finance nonprofit’s projects effectively. In addition, events on the ground have clearly demonstrated that our traditional methods of organizing fundraising are pretty insufficient to promote fundraisers that maximize sizeable returns. Consequently, we need to rethink our normal fundraising approach to factor in current realities.

The way forward is to focus our fundraising campaign in a way that cuts through the noise of the pandemic by developing a profitable fundraising strategy that concentrates on the resources, skills, and tactics to engender more effective donors relationships by leveraging modern technology and many other innovative ideas that enhance productive fundraising for nonprofits.

Nonprofit Fundraising Before Covid-19

Before the onslaught of the pandemic, nonprofit fundraising events had virtually been conducted in person, and little or no attention was focused on virtual events. Major activities included dinner, concerts, and walkathons. These events are primarily used to promote visibility and support for a nonprofit’s cause. Moreso, events can also feature activities for the nonprofits such as speakers, a dance, entertainment, and more. In addition, some nonprofits also go to the extent of making use of raffles or charity auctions. Sponsors or honorees and a charity “ad book” are often featured. The “ad book,” while serving as a program guide for the event, is another fundraiser providing donors the opportunity to show their support to the nonprofits at the event by placing an ad-like page, 1/2 or 1/4 showing their support.

Many nonprofit organizations have relied on this method of fundraising campaign till covid-19 hit and dramatically changed the landscape of nonprofit fundraising.

Nonprofit Fundraising During Covid-19

There’s no denying that Covid has rattled so many parts of everyday life, and the nonprofit’s fundraising was not spared either. Today, it’s hard to imagine how things are used to be. Many nonprofits are now rethinking their usual ways of conducting a fundraising campaign. This is more obvious in the way many nonprofits are leveraging digital technology to foster productive fundraising in recent times. For instance, webinars, videos, crowdfunding, and more have become the in-thing. Virtual reality is finally dawning on us! Virtual fundraising entails a mix of many tools that facilitate effective fundraising campaigns. 

Nonprofit owners that have learned how to harness the capabilities of these digital technologies are significantly maximizing revenues to carry out their community projects. The use of virtual fundraising has made it possible for the owners of nonprofits to navigate the covid-19 restriction and remain viable. Virtual fundraising experience is not entirely strange per se; it’s a touch of innovation on in-person fundraising events. Take, for example, virtual tour- a great way of showing an insider view of the work that your organization undertakes- is now an alternative to the physical tours of your facilities due to social distancing regulations.

However, virtual fundraising campaigns cannot entirely replace in-person events. Therefore, owners of nonprofits should strive to strike a balance between using in-person fundraising and virtual platforms.

The Future of Nonprofits Fundraising 

Experience has shown that a singular approach to nonprofit fundraising is insufficient to engender effective fundraising. It’s pretty obvious today that hybridization is the new way to go. A perfect blend of in-person and virtual fundraising will make a productive fundraising event. Leveraging using both will ensure that donors of all kinds are well plugged into nonprofit fundraisers for a better experience. 

Fostering Effective Fundraising

Nonprofits should concentrate energies on building infrastructures that will enable them to scale their fundraising. In other words, nonprofit organizations should be full steam ahead in this crisis period. Moreso, donors’ relationship building is essential too. Then again, nonprofits should double down on building segmentation that allows personalized information tailored to each donor’s needs.

About Barbara O’Reilly

Barbara O’Reilly, CFRE brings to her clients nearly thirty years of annual fund, major gifts, and campaign fundraising experience at major non-profit organizations including Harvard University, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Oxford University, and the American Red Cross. Her firm, Windmill Hill Consulting, helps non-profit organizations of all sizes cut through the noise and develop a profitable fundraising strategy that focuses on the resources, skills, and tactics they need to build more effective donor relationships and catapult their revenue.

About the Host, Stephen Halanik 

Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders. Stephen is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions, a leading provider of loans for nonprofits in the form of Lines of Credit to nonprofits. Stephen is a best-selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses. Stephen lives in New Jersey with his wife, Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.

10% of profits from Financing Solutions is donated to charity.