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What Does Our Nonprofit Do With Our Annual Fundraising Plan Now?


What Does Our Nonprofit Do With Our Annual Fundraising Plan Now?

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the nonprofit community has certainly felt the urge to throw their 2020 fundraising plans out the door.  How do nonprofits, who rely on the value of face-to-face interaction with supporters to raise major funds, possibly shift meetings online and raise the same amount? How can nonprofits pivot spring fundraising events to Livestream if they’ve never done it before (and no one really knows what they’re doing)? These fears, and more, are keeping development professionals and nonprofit executives up at night right now. However, we must acknowledge that the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting nonprofits in similar, but vastly different and complex ways. There is no “one size fits all” answer to how to update annual fundraising plans in the midst of a global health crisis. Still, there are important factors to consider that can help nonprofits adjust. Let’s consider two.

#1: Your Nonprofit Size

1. Small Nonprofits (Less than $100,000/year) Grassroots nonprofit organizations may not have a written 2020 fundraising plan. Well, now’s a perfect time. Strategize with your team and board members new ways you can fundraise in the digital space into the unforeseeable future.


Create a worst-case scenario plan, if you had to raise funds digitally the rest of the calendar year. Then, create a best-case scenario plan, where you fundraise face-to-face in, say, two-months-time. If your small nonprofit does not have a mobile-giving platform, ZOOMGIVE’s digital giving technologies can help you start accepting mobile and online donations today! Learn more. 2. Medium Nonprofits (Less than $500,00/year) Medium-sized nonprofits are arguably the largest group of U.S. nonprofits today. The majority of these nonprofits already have a formal 2020 fundraising plan and may have already started to adapt plans for the digital landscape.


Keep in mind, fundraising plans in this climate must remain adaptable and concrete. Because the news is changing so rapidly, your fundraising plan should be fluid enough to be tweaked on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Yet your plan should also be solid enough to help your messaging stay consistent for donors. ZGIVE’s Text-to-Give and Text-to-Engage features can affordably and easily help you stay on brand and on message. 3. Large Nonprofits (More than $1 million/year) Large nonprofits have their own set of unique challenges. Large nonprofits are often accountable for large teams and groups of constituents, as well as a more involved Board of Directors. This means every change large nonprofits make can feel overwhelming, given its widespread effect.


However, large nonprofits probably also have a development staff with specialties – like Peer-to-Peer fundraising – which are incredibly useful right now to adjusting 2020 plans. Additionally, major donors and the Board of Directors likely already prepared large nonprofits to have reserve funding for a time like this, which gives at least somewhat of a cushion.

#2: Your 501(c)(3) Cause

1. Relief Aid Nonprofits: disaster relief, emergency shelters, food banks, and blood drives.  The good news is, relief aid organizations have already received over $1 billion dollars in charitable funding since the COVID-19 began to spread. Plus, relief aid organizations are often the most prepared for disasters, so it’s not unlikely that many already had a plan to adjust 2020 fundraising plans. The bad news is, relief aid organizations are being stretched incredibly thin right now. Therefore, changes to relief aid fundraising plans should keep human resources, like development staff, at the forefront. 2. Community and Faith-Based Nonprofits: museums, churches, and animal shelters. In the U.S., community and faith-based organizations (CFBOs) have some of the most loyal supporters. This explains, in part, why there have been so many museums, aquariums, shelters, and churches in the news in the last few weeks showing off how they are getting creative in digital fundraising pursuits. However, many CFBOs are reliant on events and large gatherings.


One of the most important changes we will see CFBOs making to their 2020 fundraising plans is the addition of Livestream. Did you know QR-code scanning (Scan-to-Give) is an effective fundraising tool for Livestream events because it allows donors to give with a quick camera scan? 3. Educational Nonprofits: universities, afterschool programs, in-school programs, and educational camps.