Has fundraising shut down during the crisis?

The biggest and most damaging piece of bad information for fundraisers in this crisis is this: Don’t talk to your donors right now! They’ll be furious. They’ll never donate again, and they’ll tell everyone they know that your organization is not nice! Be afraid!

I don’t know how many nonprofits are taking this advice, but judging by my mailbox and inbox, quite a few are.

Organizations that are shutting down right now are missing out on an amazing opportunity. Because most fundraisers who have stayed active and adjusted their messaging to the current reality are experiencing never-before levels of donor response.

So whoever is telling you to hide and stay quiet — stop listening to them! They are basically telling you that suicide is not such a bad course of action right now.

Here’s a refreshing and important post on the Passionate Giving Blog, at Damaging Crisis Statements and Actions. The key point:

… donors care deeply about your organization and are concerned about its financial welfare. So don’t swallow the line that other organizations aren’t asking and therefore you shouldn’t. And don’t believe the falsehood that donors don’t want to give during these times.

What’s true is that, as humans, we need to give. And the act of giving is a transcendent action and behavior – it takes the giver above the fray and releases goodness into the planet.

But here’s the interesting thing. Nonprofits who are connecting with their donors right now are doing well because donors want to give.

But they’re also benefitting from the silence of other fundraisers. Philanthropy that would be going to those fear-driven, hiding-in-holes organizations is flowing to the bold organizations who are doing things right.

Which is kind of sad, isn’t it?

It just confirms that old truth that fortune favors the bold. That’s true all the time, but especially now.

Be bold, not fearful. That’s how you’ll come out of this in great shape.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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