February 14, 2022
At the end of the day, diversification of revenue sources will be critical to weathering whatever storms we face as a sector: natural or man-made.
We have to be honest – 2022 has been nuts. The prevailing sentiment from our development colleagues is that the fundraising landscape looks very much like a Magic 8 Ball that’s always landing on “Outlook hazy, try again later”. Stock market fluctuations and inflation are provoking serious questions about giving trends, while the insidious nature of new COVID-19 variants continue to leave us all in event planning limbo.
At the end of the day, diversification of revenue sources will be critical to weathering whatever storms we face as a sector: natural or man-made. Our advice?
—> A.B.A.: Always Be Applying (yes, we know that’s poor grammar). Up your grant seeking efforts and apply to enough opportunities that you are statistically closer to success.
—> Change Up Your Story: Develop new, compelling narrative for your proposals, annual reports and appeals, website, social media platforms, etc. that illustrates how critical you have been to making sure your community had their basic needs met during COVID, and how you’re ready to help them face what’s next. Make sure to center your community’s and clients’ voices!
—>Increase Your Asks: We don’t believe in being shy, and we certainly don’t believe donors get to stay comfortable while you’re out here stretching every dollar and putting out fires 24/7. Funders have to hear from the non-profit community how both COVID and this crazy inflation we’re experiencing is wrecking havoc on your ability to deliver programs and meet demand. Ask for more, explain why carefully, and ask for multi-year commitments.
—> Stay hybrid: If COVID-19 is going to be something we have to live with, then fundraising has to stay resilient and flexible. Keep a healthy mix of in-person and virtual events on the schedule this year. And don’t feel bad at all about cultivating relationships with donors over Zoom – if we’ve learned anything at all during the pandemic, it’s that virtual meetings give us the ability to meet with donors more conveniently, wherever they happen to be.