Giving During Crisis: How COVID-19 will affect charitable giving

pexels-photo-461077In the midst of crisis, what happens to charitable giving? We are currently in the throes of the COVID-19 crisis, and charities are feeling the effects of the pandemic. Historically, economic downturn has not ignited charitable giving. In fact, according to The Conversation, average giving has actually decreased by 0.5% due to more people being out of work, leading to less income and reduced wealth availability.

During the coronavirus pandemic, charities are looking for ways to protect donation levels. Here are some ways that your fundraisers can continue to nurture relationships with donors, even during this time of uncertainty:

  1. Check up on donors: This is a difficult time for everyone. Your donors may have lost jobs, be sick or know someone who is sick, be suffering from depression, etc. While it’s important that you continue to bring funds into your organization, your donors may not be in a place where they can give right now. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t call them up and check in. Your donors will appreciate the call and it will keep you top-of-mind when they’re able to give again.
  2. Take advantage of #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5: GivingTuesday is creating a sequel! In an effort to “drive generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world,” GivingTuesday has announced #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving set to take place on May 5. Nonprofits, corporations, individuals and foundations are encouraged to take part in this “global day of action.” According to GivingTuesday, people can participate by helping neighbors, advocating for an issue, sharing their skills, giving money or goods to causes, etc.
  3. Give your donors examples of how they can help: When donors are used to writing a check, it can be difficult for them to identify other ways to help. Come up with a list of ways that those who may not be able to give money can still contribute to your organization. This may include donating food or supplies, making masks, sharing information across their personal social channels or participating in virtual events.
  4. Create a specific campaign and track progress: If you have a campaign dedicated to COVID-19 relief, promote it! Track your progress and keep your donors updated on it so they can see where their donations are going and how they are contributing to the overall goal.
  5. Go virtual: Did you have a fundraising event cancelled due to coronavirus? Rather than cancelling, make it virtual! Create a virtual walk or gala, encouraging donors to participate from the comfort of their own homes. You can even set up a videoconference that participants can log into so they can interact with each other, as well as members of your organization. Social distancing doesn’t mean we should be distant, and finding ways to come together as a community in virtual ways has never been easier.
  6. Make sure your online giving platforms are up to date: Make it easy for your donors to give from the comfort of their own homes by making sure your online giving platforms are updated and accessible. Make it possible to give from your website and your social channels. The easier it is to give, the more likely your constituents are to donate!

How is your nonprofit protecting donation levels and nurturing relationships during the COVID-19 crisis? We know that it definitely isn’t business as usual, but we hope that you are finding ways to persevere and continue to do great work for your community and the world.