Salvaging Your Nonprofit Fundraising Event During the COVID-19 Crisis

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Salvaging Your Nonprofit Fundraising Event During the COVID-19 Crisis

Let’s all face it, this global crisis isn’t going to end soon. The entire world is facing a pandemic and it is not to be taken lightly. It can be seen and read all over the news that for-profit companies are being hit by the crisis, therefore it is obvious that nonprofits are currently faced with their share of suffering too. In a time such as this, nonprofits have the option to either react, respond or initiate. Reacting is quick and brings out emotional satisfaction but usually, it is likely to give bad results. Responding is a smarter choice as it requires much thinking and also includes target setting. The smartest option for now, however, is initiating. We are faced with a problem that won’t go away quickly, but will be brought under control in the future. There are numerous nonprofits that are forced to cancel their fundraising event because of the current scenario. As a nonprofit, it is ideal to take an initiative to reduce any bad result that may stem out of a no-event situation. GiveCentral has listed down a few ways in which nonprofits can still prove their worth to their supporters. 

Go online

You might already have a website and social media handles on different platforms. By going online, we mean to say that you should take your event online. You can take your event online by streaming the event through the internet. For instance, GiveCentral LIVE is a feature that allows nonprofits including churches to have an online get-together or mass. It also provides the option to donate directly from the streaming page, you can find out more about this here.

Having your event online will help you to avoid the entire refund process. It will save you a lot of trouble, all you need is a platform that offers that kind of feature or you could even host it on your website with the help of technical experts. It is also way more positive to say that you are rescheduling instead of cancelling. Donors will also get to experience the event that they have been looking forward to. 

Find a replacement

Another terrific idea is to replace your event with a fun and interesting online competition. Your team can get on a conference call and decide on what exactly the theme of the activity should be. You can ask your supporters to send in stories (along with images) on how they are spending their quarantine, the person with the most entertaining story wins.

Related: Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits That Actually Work

The reward here should not be expensive, but sweet and meaningful, it should be able to show how connected your nonprofit is with its audience. It can be as simple as the winner’s picture pinned to the top of your page for a month. This will drive engagement and it is also a low-effort way to stay connected with your supporters. 

Be clear on your refund 

If you are in a situation in which you have already sold the tickets to your fundraising event and your event has been cancelled, this is your moment. There are a few considerations that will help you decide how you want to go through with this.

You need to find out if your nonprofit will be able to refund every person’s registration fee, you need to decide if asking your supporters for a refund request email is a better way to handle this. Your nonprofit also needs to be clear on where the funds will go, if some registered users do not ask for a refund. If people ask for a refund, then how long is the process going to take?  Put all this information on your email and let your audience know what exactly is going on. 

Communicate, over and again

The mantra is clear; there must be no communication gap between your nonprofit and your supporters. Everyone is in this together, you will be surprised how your donors can empathize with you as long as you are being honest about your effort and how your causes still need to be funded.

Whether you decide to go for an online streaming service or any other alternative, even the whole refund option, make sure that you communicate the same to your donors and give them a proper and precise brief. Make the information available on all channels, from your website to your newsletter and social media. You can also take some time out to connect with your donors through a phone call, they might just appreciate it. 

Salvaging your fundraising event will not be an easy task, but it is not an impossible one. Have you and your team identify your nonprofit’s strengths and weaknesses, draft your plan accordingly and execute it to perfection!

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