The Road to Survival: Nonprofit Tales during the Pandemic

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The Road to Survival: Nonprofit Tales during the Pandemic

It has been a crazy ride for businesses all around the world, including nonprofits. As much as we miss how the old management used to be, there is no other better way than to adapt to the current situation. The pandemic is here to stay for some time, therefore it is entirely up to nonprofit professionals and leaders to make the best use of possible resources and create the most out of it.

As we accept this new reality, we reached out to several nonprofit leaders and influencers who have been a witness to the changes in the nonprofit business, more so by being a part of it. This article brings together what these individuals have to say about the shifting focus and how the surviving nonprofits have been handling matters. Now could be a perfect time to take chances and improve fundraising for nonprofits, with long term goals in mind. 

Gail Perry, Philanthropy Expert & Nonprofit Evangelist, Fired Up Fundraising

“I think there are two different kinds of responses to the pandemic. Some have hunkered down, closed doors, and cut staff and fundraising. These nonprofits may not survive the pandemic. 

Others have approached it a different way: They are innovating. They are using this crisis as an opportunity to reinvent themselves, to try out new ways of delivering their mission, new fundraising strategies, new perspectives on their work. The chinese character for Crisis has the word “opportunity” embedded within it. This is indeed an opportunity. Regarding fundraising  – this is a great opportunity to reach out to your supporters, show up personally and authentically, and tell them what the work needs now. Many donors are pulling through.”

Julia Campbell, Founder & Principal, J Campbell Social Marketing

“It is true that many nonprofits are struggling right now in the light of lockdowns, closures, and surging unemployment. But there are many that are still communicating with their donors, connecting with supporters, and showcasing their mission. I think that this disruption poses an opportunity for nonprofits – how do they want to come out on the other end? What do they want to do differently? Nonprofits have always been resilient and resourceful. I’ve been seeing innovation throughout the sector to cope with the pandemic, and hope to see it continue well into the future.”

Amy Eisenstein, CEO and Co-Founder, Capital Campaign Toolkit

“Nonprofit leaders are doing the best they can in the face of the pandemic. Some have risen to the challenge and have pivoted to adapt programs and services, as well as fundraising efforts to the new reality. Others have floundered as programs were shuttered. Most nonprofits will survive this crisis, but certainly not all of them. Those who have stayed in touch with donors, continued to ask for support, and converted to remote programming will emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”

Patrick Coleman, Founder & CEO, GiveCentral

“In addition to fundraising for nonprofits, the pandemic has had its impact on the overall management and operations of nonprofits. While some nonprofits weren’t ready for change and fell victim to the looming pandemic, many other nonprofits are surviving and quite well at that. These nonprofits have adapted by identifying and making the required changes in their strategies and management. Take churches for instance, an emphasis on remote giving via mobile and text-to-give have helped them meet their goals even in these difficult times. Keeping the engagement alive through online masses too has contributed largely to this tale of survival.”

Maddie Grant, Digital Strategist and Culture Designer, Human Workplaces

“I think nonprofits have done a great job in the initial “triage” stage of this change. They have made quick changes to adjust how to run their operations and met the needs of stakeholders in creative ways. The part of nonprofit DNA that’s about “caring” has really helped with that, I think. My main concern, however, is that nonprofit leaders might be staying too short-term focused. This is understandable given the circumstances, but most nonprofits are facing a bigger, longer term transformation in their operating environments, and it’s time for them to start thinking about the deeper, potentially permanent changes that will be required to thrive in the months and years ahead.” 

Jessica James, Founder & CEO, Jessica James Consulting

“During the pandemic and economic fallout, nonprofits are doing what they do best – navigating challenges with grit and resilience, and prioritizing their missions and their clients above all else.  Nonprofits are no stranger to uncertainty – whether they provide essential social services, strengthen the moral fabric of our society or advocate for policy change, the industry deals in complexity daily, and leaders understand how interconnected all of us and our systems are. This unprecedented crisis has shown the necessity of the nonprofit sector in filling the gaps that are created by our broken economic system and catching those that fall between the cracks. Corporations have so much to learn from the way nonprofits and their leaders rise to any obstacle in front of them to ensure that the people and communities we serve are never left behind, no matter how dire things get.”

Nonprofits all over the world are preparing for a collective battle. Through it all, it is ideal to consider technological aid, especially when it comes to fundraising for nonprofits. The focus is to keep the connection with your donors; you can check out GiveCentral LIVE which is a live streaming platform that will help you conduct online meetings and provide a direct donate button at the same time. Our social communications toolkit also offers various ways in which you can reach out to your supporters. It is important to remember that nonprofits must keep pushing on because there is a greater good out there that needs everybody’s contribution. We’re all in this together.

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