Let’s take a breath, because 2020 has been quite a year so far. As the world figures out how to live with a global pandemic while a vaccine is being developed, businesses, families, and nonprofits need to figure out how to operate within the same complicated, socially-distanced framework.
The need for services provided by nonprofit organizations is greater than ever, but coming up with fundraising ideas in 2020 may have you stumped. Take a look at these creative ways to continue raising those much-needed dollars.
1. Stay Top of Mind
Many people are working from home and possibly homeschooling kids for the foreseeable future, and there are very few social opportunities to take advantage of right now. People may have shifted their thinking away from topics and causes that used to garner attention. Others have experienced a financial hit and won’t make their usual donations to local organizations this year. Now is not the time to quietly fade away, however, just because regular contributions might be on hold.
Keep in Touch
It’s essential to keep your website, emailed newsletters, and social media channels up to date and active. One thing people are spending more time doing than ever is scrolling through social media—so be sure to post regularly. Talk about what you’re doing in the current environment. How have you adapted your programs to respond to COVID-19? What can the community do to pitch in?
Any and all communications should include an easy way to convert interest to donations. Include a simple option to click and donate, and be sure to make it clear that this is how people can help you continue your work.
Reallocate Marketing Funds
Nonprofit organizations may need to reach further and find donors outside of the groups they’ve relied upon in the past. 2020 is the year to try new fundraising ideas. Consider shifting marketing dollars around to target groups you haven’t reached out to before. What sort of media ad buy will get your mission statement in front of fresh eyes?
2. Virtual Gala
In light of current conditions, the show must go on—but it must go virtual. If you had an existing gala planned that you’ve since had to cancel, why not keep the date and theme but work to transition the event to a virtual one? Create a landing page or update your existing one with the new details, and share that info far and wide. Call upon the same members of your community whom you would count on to purchase a table and ask them to head a virtual table.
Online Auctions and Raffles
A virtual gala can and should include many of the hallmarks of a standard ballroom event. Create an online auction with easy-to-use software and showcase the same items guests would have been tempted to bid on at a live event. Reach out to your usual supporters and local partners who would typically donate auction items.
Create an online raffle and give away a portion of ticket proceeds or a donated item from an auction partner or vendor. Keep ticket holders in the know with updates and graphics on your webpage and social media feeds.
3. Bring the Community Together Online
People are yearning to feel connected with their community these days, so consider fundraising ideas for 2020 that can bring people together while raising funds for your organization.
Virtual Speaker or Discussion
With the constraints of current conditions, large groups of people won’t be able to assemble to hear about the work your organization does for the foreseeable future. People with a compelling story to tell that relates to your organization or a professional keynote speaker with widespread appeal might pique your virtual audience’s interest. Sell “tickets” or encourage donations to access a live feed of the event. Taking part in a live feed creates more of an “event” feel than simply posting a video, and it can help unite your audience—if not in person, than at least in spirit.
Classes or Shows
If your organization supports the arts, schedule a showcase to shine a light on your group’s work. Another fundraising trend for 2020 is online learning with a twist. Search your community: maybe members of your board or prominent community members could offer a compelling lesson or tutorial online. Or consider approaching a professional to donate his or her services for an hour or two. Online learning creates both community and the opportunity to sell tickets for access or solicit donations.
Look to professional chefs, artists, fitness experts, master gardeners, and others to provide an online class. Publicize your event and call upon your community members to participate. Finally, showcase crafts, cakes, or projects created during the event on social media to solicit further funds following the event and create a fun afterglow.
4. Email or Social Media Blast
While you want to keep up regular communication with everyone on your email list and with social media followers, you don’t want to continually bombard your community with solicitations. You should always make it easy for everyone who gets your emails or follows you to click to donate, but asking constantly could make your fundraising part of the background noise of daily life.
Pick one day to blast your email list and social media feeds with a call to action. Utilize peer-to-peer power and ask your followers to share the message of your mission with their friends. People are more likely to give when peer-to-peer relationships are engaged.
Leverage Matching Funds
Talk to corporate partners or board members to put together a giving match. People love to know that when they give one dollar, two dollars will go to your cause. Corporations like to give this way too for the same reason—and the double hit of positive publicity. Use the matching fund and send updates throughout the day of the appeal to remind donors that today’s money will go further to fund a cause they support.
Reach Your Fundraising Goals in 2020
We know you believe in the cause your organization promotes. The need for the aid and support provided by nonprofit organizations has certainly not gone away. At Grey Fox Pottery, we’re dedicated to working with nonprofits and local businesses to weather the storm that is 2020. Be sure to keep an eye on our blog for more info on branding and marketing small businesses during the pandemic.