CEO Insights: Generosity Increases When Disaster Strikes

March 23, 2020
2 min
A grid of shapes, a portrait photo of Justin Wheeler, and the words "CEO Chat".
Justin is Funraise's CEO, a co-founder, and a bad-ass, experienced nonprofit fundraiser. Like a true fundraiser-turned-founder, he breaks down the concepts behind Funraise's mission everywhere he can make nonprofits' voices heard.

Is it unethical to fundraise during a time like now?

I would argue the opposite.

Hunger and starvation are not on pause.
The climate crisis is not giving us a pass.
Cancer research can't stop.

Although it might be harder, now is not the time for your nonprofit to take a back seat or to put fundraising on hold. Here's what you should prioritize today...

  • Work hard to understand who on your donor file is not in a position to donate and suppress them from appeals.
  • Schedule calls with any donor who makes up 5%+ of your budget to understand if their giving will change this year.
  • Launch a COVID-19 emergency fund. Your work does not need to be related, but if it is impacted financially by it, create a fund that will help offset the loss in revenue.

Yesterday one of my clients, DIGDEEP, launched a campaign for World Water Day and raised over $70K in 24 hours. Low-dollar fundraising will help you weather the storm.

Now more than ever is the time to take it seriously.

Can't listen to the video? Scroll down to read the transcript.

Video Transcript

If we look at history, if we look at major events that have happened in our country and in society, the recession in 2008, other world disasters, a trend that we see is that household giving typically increases. I expect that corporate giving, foundation giving and high net worth giving will slow down for a bit. But individual household giving, which makes up 74% of total charity in the United States, typically increases. So as you're thinking about what does this mean for my nonprofit? What does this mean for our fundraising strategies? One of things I want to encourage you, don't put your fundraising on hold. You have a segment of donors who are hungry to do something to get involved, regardless if it's related to COVID-19 or not. So fundraising teams don't, shut down your fundraising operations. Figure out who are the donors we need to be speaking with, who are the donors we need to be communicating with. Talk to them and they'll be some donors that are just not ready for conversation yet.
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