“Fortune Favors the Bold”
During any crisis, the temptation is often to hesitate, to take a safe approach – a “wait and see” attitude. Frontline fundraisers, by and large, did take this approach when the Covid-19 pandemic began, and this was an understandable reaction. There was a great deal of uncertainty and many of us believed that the abrupt changes to our lives were temporary and we needed to wait it out before taking action.
Fast forward six months and we now understand that this is not a temporary situation, this is our new normal. One that will likely remain for quite some time and one that will potentially inspire permanent change in the way we do business.
So, as fundraisers, what should we do? How do we handle the current crisis that we are in the middle of? Fortunately, I have worked through several crises in the past – the aftermath of 9/11, the economic meltdown of 2008 being two examples. My experience has taught me that organizations that continue engaging donors and asking for gifts despite the crisis not only make it through but also become well-poised for success long after. Data is showing that donors are continuing to give and want to be engaged right now. Yes, your methods of engagement and solicitation will look different. But, that should not slow you down. This is a perfect time to step back and examine your strategic plan and assess your current structure. Unless it was created post-Covid-19, your strategic plan is already irrelevant. It’s time to re-assess your strategy and create a pathway that will allow you to continue fundraising in a new environment with new boldness and clarity of mission.
Be bold. Ask for gifts. Lean into your work and your mission – your organization likely needs support more than ever.
About The Author: David Garamella
David is an accredited fundraiser with over 25 years of executive and consulting experience in philanthropy. Before forming The Giving Collaborative, he served as Philanthropy Counsel for the 150 affiliated Hospitals of the Planetree Alliance and Chief Development Officer for Griffin Health Services as well as Chief Philanthropy Officer for Rhode Island Hospital, the Academic Medical Center of Brown University. He has a proven record of developing new programs and highly successful fundraising teams for healthcare, higher education, and other not-for-profit organizations.
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