Year-End Giving in the Era of COVID-19 by Ray Gary
Year-end Giving in a Different Global Landscape in 2020
The global landscape in 2020 looks wildly different than we imagined it would. Although it’s been a turbulent year, the shift to digital giving is creating new opportunities for nonprofits. By planning a year-end campaign that is engaging and easy to participate in, your organization can have its best end-of-year campaign ever. While some best practices still apply in the era of COVID-19, there are new considerations to help you empower your donors and turn 2020 around for your organization.
Make Giving Joyful
While we should all be intentional about cheerful giving, people could use some joy right now, and canceled events don’t have to take the excitement out of your year-end campaign. Replace your fun holiday parties and philanthropic events with engaging virtual events that bring your donors together and celebrate your mission. Get creative with theming, presenters, competitions, games, and more to make for a memorable and uplifting experience. We may not be able to be together right now, but an engaging virtual event that encourages cheerful giving can still make your donors feel close to your cause.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 )
Stay on Mission
Even in times of uncertainty or hardship, your donors care about the good your nonprofit does in the world. Always be respectful and understanding of what your donors may be going through, but remind them that the state of the world has only made your mission more vital, as we are Biblically called to care for those in great need. Forge an emotional connection with donors by sharing photos, videos, and personal stories to demonstrate the need for your nonprofit and the work you are carrying out. This will help donors see beyond disruptions in their personal lives and realize that others may have been affected even more than themselves. If your nonprofit’s work doesn’t seem as relevant within the context of COVID-19, don’t be discouraged. Just show how you’re providing people with hope—we all could use some, and the opportunity to give to causes your donors care about certainly still exist.
If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit. (Leviticus 25:35-37)
Easier is Better
Digital giving, mobile-optimized experiences, and a variety of payment options make giving simple, fast, and fun. During the busy holiday season, these practices will ease the burden on your donors and empower them to support your campaign. Easy is the new normal online. It’s what today’s donors expect, and nonprofits need to get with the times. The easier it is to give to your cause and share it online, the more your donors will engage.
Digital fundraising may be the new normal, but you don’t have to do it alone. Establish peer-to-peer giving campaigns that allow your donors to advocate for your cause, spread awareness, and raise money on your behalf—all from their personal networks. Then, watch your donations multiply. Peer-to-peer fundraising is an innovative way to raise money while reaching new donors and taking some of the burden off of your fundraising team.
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:11)
Make Your Data Work for You
Keeping your digital giving connected to your CRM ensures your busy staff will be able to get maximum use out of the donor data your organization collects. This information can provide new insights for your fundraising team and empower you to connect with donors in strategic, personalized, and engaging ways. Interpreting and leveraging these insights will help your nonprofit set the stage for a successful 2021.
You may be ready to put 2020 behind you, but by planning ahead and following these best practices, your nonprofit can deepen your relationships with donors and end your year on a high note.
Ray Gary is the CEO of iDonate, the leading fundraising software provider that exists to grow nonprofits and create a more generous world. Through giving channels such as website, peer-to-peer, text, and events, iDonate allows nonprofits to empower their donors with the personalized experiences they are accustomed to online. Watch this video to learn more!
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