by: Jen Maslanski, Devscape Copywriter
Fundraising isn’t easy, even in the best of times. A global pandemic has made things much harder, but there are a few innovative ways you can prosper despite the health emergency. This article provides you with some ideas on how to continue to raise the funds you need even in these difficult times.

Focus on the Person
During the pandemic, everyone is feeling stressed out. It’s also likely that they’ll be feeling increased job insecurity and financial uncertainty. As a result, they might not be receptive to someone asking them to part with their money.

The best way to overcome this is by placing the focus onto the person, and what they’re going through, rather than trying to push for an immediate donation. This will ensure that you give them a reason to keep reading or watching your message. For example, you might want to start by offering a gesture of support, telling them that you understand how difficult things are. Building relationships when life is difficult can be the most powerful way to gain life-long supporters.
There are a few other ways that you put the person first. For example, you might want to gather a list of resources that you think might benefit them. You could share some updates about how your organization is responding to the pandemic. Another great option is to look back on some of the great work that your non-profit has done over the past few years.

Don’t Use High Pressure Tactics
Right now, money is tight. Many people simply won’t be financially able to give to your organization. Putting too much pressure on them, won’t produce donations from someone who isn’t in a position to help you, but it will make you seem insensitive. It’s more likely you’ll end up damaging your relationship, making future donations unlikely.

Often, a small change in language is all that you need to do to make people feel comfortable about donating to your cause. For example, you can say “If you can, please consider a small donation.” Many small donations can add up, don’t focus on the amount focus on building support.

Be Very Clear About Your Needs
Be clear about why you’re asking for donations, especially if it’s because you’re trying to meet increased demands for your services. If possible, you can use testimonials or statistics to show why you’re still a vital service.

When people know exactly how they’re money will be used and why it’s so important, they’re much freer to give. Demonstrate how effective their donation will be by giving them past examples. Stories are powerful. Show them photos illustrating how funds are used or organize an interview with someone who you were able to help because of their support. Donors want to experience the joy of helping others.

Use the Internet to Help You
In many cases, you’ll need to re-think your fundraising techniques because of the ways Covid-19 has changed people’s lives. It may no longer be possible to do a door-knocking appeal or host a big event, but there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore online. Don’t abandon your plans, instead think of ways to adapt them.

Webinars can be just as affective as events. Use video conferencing tools to meet up with people. Host on online “Lunch with a Board Member” and provide participants with an engaging talk on something that interests them about the work your nonprofit does.

Send an email to your supporters letting them know how you’re adapting to the new normal. Let them know how you’re helping others, especially if the work you’re doing relates to Covid-19. Post the same information on your website, highlighting what you’re doing to help during the pandemic and the ways people can help you to make a difference.

Use social media to your advantage. Upload video from past conferences you’ve hosted or keynote speeches from past events. Include a donation link, they’ll be able to use, if the content you’ve posted has helped or entertained them. A wonderful success story illustrating this is The Actors Fund’s stream of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera”. They raised over $400,000 in donations for coronavirus emergency relief.

Subscribe To Argenta
Another way to harness the power of the internet is by using affordable, cloud-based software to manage your nonprofit and create fundraising campaigns. Argenta allows you to create individual campaign pages to get your message out and accept donations online. Promote your Argenta Campaigns on social media or through email to encourage supporters to give.

Argenta has all the tools you need to run your entire organization. Once a donation is made online, it’s automatically added to your General Journal through the Accounting and Finance module. All you do is watch the money come in and use the reconciliation tools to balance your bank account. The automation and integration in Argenta saves you hours of time. The all-in-one, everything is included price, saves you money you can use to do more of what really matters.

Some of the Best Support Comes from Volunteers
Not everyone will be able to give financially right now, but some people have a lot more time to give, especially if they’re not able to work during the pandemic. They’re looking for ways to constructively use their time. Why not take this opportunity to expand your volunteer support system. Argenta has an extensive Volunteerism module to help you. Create tasks and post them online for your volunteers to see. If they find something they’d like to help with, they can simply click “Sign Up” and that task is assigned to them. They’ll even receive an email with all the details.

Volunteers don’t necessarily have to be onsite to help. Ask them to help with planning, writing emails, making phone calls to your supporters and those you help. A phone call to someone who is shut-in and feeling alone means a lot.

If your volunteers are physically coming to your organization, make sure to create a safe environment for them. Ask them to wear masks and stay at least six feet apart. Encourage them to wash their hands. Remember to let them know how much you appreciate them and what a great impact they’re making.

Always Thank Your Supporters
Probably the most important thing to do is to reach out and thank your donors. Not just a quick thank you, but a letter or email highlighting all the ways their support has helped others. Showing your appreciation is even more important during the pandemic. Consider a phone call. Even people who are continuing to work, with less financial worries can feel scared or alone. A friendly phone call can make a lasting impression. As a result, they’ll be more likely to donate again in the future. Developing long-term support is always the goal of any fundraising campaign.

Conclusion
While the global pandemic has made it difficult for your organization, you need to keep pushing forward. While it might seem unfair to be asking for money at this time, it’s important to remember most people are looking for ways to make a positive contribution to the world. Your work is important and this won’t last forever.