Fundraising is Harder Than Ever...But Hope is on the Way

April 6, 2020 Brian Isaac

Every fundraiser in the world has felt the effect of COVID-19 this year.

Cancelled events, reduced targets, disappointed donors and supporters… and most of all, you might be achieving less social good than you could have without the global crisis.

And besides these disappointments, the emotional toll on your personal life can be overwhelming.

But there’s reason for hope that, through this year’s crisis, you can come out the other side stronger and better connected to your donors than ever.

Here are some practical ways that you and your organisation can overcome the hardship of the crisis with confidence, and move from despair to optimism for the future.


1. Build your deepest connections yet

A growing sentiment in communities right across the world is the idea that ‘we’re all in this together’.

Unlike so many previous crises, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected essentially every person on the globe. And despite the hardships so many are facing right now, this could be an ideal time to go even deeper with your donor relationships.

In fact, the current crisis has created a unique space for you to engage in relationship-building work with your supporters, especially those who won’t be able to give but are still personally invested in your mission.

For example, even though you won’t be able to meet face-to-face with supporters, they might have time for a phone call, a survey, or an opportunity to express their personal commitment to your mission by signing a petition or sharing your messages on social media.

Whichever way you decide to deepen your supporter relationships, remember that the level of investment your supporters give to your mission can’t be measured by their financial commitment in these uncertain times.

So, give them every opportunity to express their commitment – especially those who can’t give. While you might not see any financial benefit in these next few months, you’ll be planting seeds that will keep growing well into the future.


2. Grow personally from your experience

So many things in life are refined by a challenge.

The sweat and tears of practicing a musical instrument, training for a big event, or studying for the final exam are themselves the building blocks towards becoming a great musician, athlete or scholar.

And it’s no different for fundraisers.

You’re going to work harder than ever, and you’re going to struggle to meet the targets you set at the start of the year.

And although it’s going to be tough going, this is an ideal (and hopefully unique) time to grow your skills as a fundraiser. If you can make things work this year, you’ll be in incredible shape to perform exceptionally whenever the crisis comes to an end.

It’s especially important that you and your team debrief the experience of overcoming this particular hardship once it’s all over so you’re in the best position the next time things are tough.


3. See the light, not the tunnel

One final tool you need in this season of isolation and struggle is the ability to see the end of the tunnel, not the tunnel itself.

And the good news is, this pandemic will pass.

Businesses that closed their doors will reopen as the demand returns. Employment levels will recover, and many lapsed donors will once again be in a position to support your mission financially.

Plus, there’s great reason for optimism that, as people return from their homes to the outside world again, many will be inclined towards generosity in social good organisations that are clear about their mission.

So what whatever temporary difficulties you face right now, keep going! Things will get better – and Blackbaud is here to help you whenever you need us.


Transform your limitations into amazing fundraising results

There’s no denying that things are tough for fundraisers, and for now it’s getting even harder.

But you can use your limitations right now to connect with donors and grow personally as a fundraiser, knowing that there is great reason for long-term optimism.

For more tips and best practices for maintaining momentum in your fundraising right now, download your free COVID-19 eBook from Blackbaud today.

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