It’s no secret that many nonprofits are struggling financially in the post-COVID world. Unable to conduct annual fundraisers, conferences and activities such as walks, bike rides and runs that are the lifeblood of many fundraising programs, the revenue slowdown can represent an existential threat.
Like many problems caused by the pandemic, solutions are being pieced together. Organizations may get some government help, accelerate grant funding and reduce expenses. They can also step up online fundraising.
In fact, today is the day for that. It’s #GivingTuesdayNow.
Vital for Survival
#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of charitable donation created to augment the traditional Giving Tuesday that comes after Thanksgiving every year. The traditional Giving Tuesday will still take place—it is scheduled for Dec. 1 this year—but today’s event was added to help nonprofits that are struggling with the slowdown caused by the pandemic.
It’s a great idea. Like digital advocacy has helped fill the void left when in-person lobbying was halted, a renewed emphasis on digital fundraising can help increase revenue streams. Digital advocacy is booming as organizations look to grassroots advocacy to carry their message to public officials. Perhaps we can help digital fundraising do the same.
Of course, many nonprofits have been wary of sending fundraising solicitations in recent weeks for fear of sounding tone deaf. It’s a reasonable concern. Alan Cantor, a nonprofit consultant, illustrated the point well in a piece he wrote for Harvard Business Review last month.
“There’s an apocryphal story already circulating among fundraisers about an unnamed university that forgot to cancel its scheduled late-March planned-giving mailing to alumni,” he wrote. “As a result, a letter went out declaring, in the midst of the pandemic, ‘There’s no better time than now to revisit your estate planning!’”
But that’s the beauty of a global giving initiative. Trepidation over solicitations may be eased by the fact that this is a day specifically set aside to contribute to organizations with important missions. Of course nonprofits are soliciting today—it’s #GivingTuesdayNow.
Most nonprofits have no doubt communicated with their audience since social distancing was put in place. But if your organization has not sent a solicitation—or even if you have—you may consider doing so today. Explain your commitment to the mission, what your staff and volunteers are doing, how the money will be used and why it is so important to keep up your important work.
Companies and Associations Can Help
There is also a role to play for organizations outside the nonprofit sector. Just like Phone2Action, other companies and trade associations can help raise money for important causes. You can circulate a message and links to employees internally, or even go wider.
In fact, Phone2Action can help you organize—and maximize—your #GivingTuesdayNow efforts. Here are a few ways to use the platform to help raise money for good causes, even as you continue your advocacy work.
- Text or email advocates or employees with a donation link of your choice.
- Send advocates to a donation page after they take action on your campaign.
- Make sure your messaging that encourages social sharing mentions #GivingTuesdayNow and your organization’s logo
Doing Our Part
Phone2Action is participating fully in this initiative. Our employees voted on which organization to support and decided on Capital Area Food Bank, an organization that delivers roughly 30 million meals each year to relieve hunger in the Washington DC region. Phone2Action will match every donation made by our employees on #GivingTuesdayNow, and will continue to do so until May 20th.
Employees have been encouraged to send “thank you” letters to healthcare professionals at facilities like Children’s National Medical Center, Shady Grove Hospital and Virginia Hospital Center to express appreciation for their work during the pandemic.
Encourage your employees, partners and supporters to give back by taking action on your favorite #GivingTuesdayNow campaign and helping nonprofits continue their vital work.
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