The pandemic has caught the entire world unprepared, and nonprofits are no exception. Many organizations aren’t equipped to handle this type of crisis and are struggling to stay afloat. The good news is that nonprofits can learn how to weather this storm. Here are 5 ways that your organization can do to survive the pandemic.

Come up with diverse funding sources

Due to social distancing, fundraising events that required mass gatherings had to be canceled. This means that obtaining funds from fun runs, galas, auctions, and concerts are no longer possible. Most nonprofits heavily rely on these types of events, so coming up with other funding sources is important to stay afloat.

Here are a few ideas on how you can generate more sources for your funds amidst the pandemic:

Hold virtual events. Governments might have ordered people to stay at home, but that doesn’t mean your events should be canceled, too. Take your fundraising event online! That 3K marathon can still be achieved by donors remotely and safely. Host a Facebook live video where people can bid for your items that should’ve been auctioned. Or have a home gala via Zoom where participants can dress up and socialize in the comfort of their homes. The possibilities are endless!

Woman holding a chart and recording a video

Initiate crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is the practice of raising small amounts of money from a large number of people—a crowd. It has a target amount and a deadline. There are plenty of crowdfunding websites out there, but the best platform for nonprofits is Causes. It’s a campaigning platform and a social network for nonprofits in one.

Send out donation forms. Whether it’s by email, instant messaging, or your website, a donation form is a direct and straightforward way for people to donate. A donor form may include some brief details about your organization and where the funds will be used. Then, add a call-to-action at the bottom of the form where people can select the amount that they want to donate. You can also add another option where they can choose to donate monthly.

Keep your donors involved and engaged

Making your donors feel appreciated is a great way to promote donor retention. Donor stewardship should already be an integral part of your campaign long before COVID-19, and now is the time to thank them, communicate with them, and keep them closer than ever if you want your funds flowing.

Check out these tips on how you can keep your donors involved and engaged with your organization:

Send regular updates. Your donors will appreciate it more if you sent them regular updates instead of giving them a thank-you letter once a year. Let them know about any event cancellation and provide options for them to continue supporting your cause. Post photos and videos on your social media pages that showcase your progress so they can see where their donations are going.

Send them a gift. Got party favors left over from a canceled event? Send them to your donors and participants through direct mail.

Create a thank-you video. Make your thank yous more personal by creating a video for your donors. Include the donation recipients, such as the community that your cause supports. You can add these to your emails or post them on your social media accounts.

Update your donor databases

Many nonprofits have only realized the importance of updating their donor databases during the pandemic. Having to deal with outdated, missing, and duplicate contact numbers and addresses can prevent you from contacting your donors. This is why it’s important to keep your donor database regularly updated.

Man looking at files and working on the computer

Many donor databases are available out there depending on your needs and the size of your organization. For small nonprofits, Fundly CRM is a good piece of software. Medium-sized nonprofits can use Salsa, while large nonprofits will find Raiser’s Edge extremely helpful.

Train your staff and improve your system

Having a convoluted system pre-pandemic is already difficult, and even more so during a crisis. If you haven’t already, then now is the best time to train your staff and improve your system. Having a trained staff means that everyone is constantly learning new skills, utilizing practical tools, improving their productivity, and creating a better working environment.

Check out this three-part course for your board members—how to keep them excited, engaged, and active so they’ll become fundraising superheroes.

Enhance your skills

If there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it’s the fact that we don’t know what will happen in the future. To make sure that you’ll be equipped to handle any crisis that will come your way, you need to pursue training, look for a mentor, avail coaching programs, and join seminars. 

People raising their hands during a seminar

Furthermore, running a nonprofit in the new normal requires transitioning to digital systems and coming up with new ways to increase your funds. You’ll need to educate yourself on creating a fundraising plan and adjust it to our current situation. If you need help in building a successful, sustainable, and stable nonprofit, don’t hesitate to register for this masterclass.