Like you, we at JGA have discovered new ways of doing that which only 90 days ago might have seemed unlikely—or unnecessary. The definition of what is necessary has changed so dramatically. And, we’ve all changed, adjusted ,and innovated in ways that would have in February felt unimaginable.
You need to draft an appeal to your annual donors and prospects in the middle of this COVID-19 global pandemic, but you are worried your donors have a lot of other things on their mind right now (just like you do). How can they possibly think about giving when they are faced with challenges, concerns, and uncertainty? Yet, your donors are generous, and your mission relies on gaining their support—points that affirm now is not the time to stop fundraising.
In today’s headlines, stories of giving and volunteering win our hearts and attention. Philanthropy and the spirit behind it are bringing us together now, as much as ever. People are responding to positivity and calls to do and help. So, they are ready respond to your appeal for support—but, you must first connect with them.
What role will philanthropy play as your organization prepares to welcome students back to campus, host performances, open the doors to your museum or resume in-person gatherings at your place of worship?
If you have ventured out of the house, you have seen the modifications that businesses are making to welcome customers back – plexiglass at checkout counters and drive-through windows, signage to accommodate social distancing in lines and many other modifications.
Each of you needs to develop and implement plans to help protect your stakeholders as you re-open your doors.
The timeframe and requirements for each of you to resume operations will vary drastically based on location, size of the groups, type of activities and the demographics of your constituency. But, no matter the differences, much planning will be required. Have you considered how philanthropy can be a part of your re-opening plans?
Like many college advancement leaders, Jane saw her alumni participation numbers continuing to trail downward. She knew she needed to engage with alumni in a way that was meaningful and increased their connection to their alma mater, but it wasn’t something she could expect the alumni office to do all on their own. They needed new techniques to engage alumni, and it was a project that would require both the alumni and advancement departments to work together. They also needed to create more collaboration with career services and other departments.
Today, the vast majority of us find ourselves and our staff working from home. This remote work arrangement, while necessary for everyone’s health and safety, creates some unique challenges. Though the current crisis has changed how we work, it hasn’t changed the desire to keep the missions of our institutions moving forward. Here are a few tips for you and your team while you are working remotely that will help position your organization to be more effective once the crisis passes.
The CARES Act, an economic stimulus bill that was passed into law on March 27, 2020, contains many provisions to assist for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals. Most of the initial commentary about the recent stimulus packages has, for obvious reasons, focused upon the organizational aspects such as payroll protection and enhancements to the small business loan program.
It is important that you also consider the tax changes that potentially affect the planning considerations of your donors and, therefore, might also affect your fundraising efforts.
Here are three aspects of the CARES Act that might have an effect on the philanthropic planning of your donors. Keep in mind that these are not the primary reasons a donor makes a gift. Your mission matters the most. Tax planning tends to affect how they give, not why.
A week ago Friday, I posted my first blog about COVID-19 and the impact it might have on nonprofit philanthropy. A lot has changed in the past week – seemingly by the hour. As you continue to navigate these complex waters, let’s first take a look at some historical data to see how philanthropy weathered the storm of other crises.
Unfortunately, there is no philanthropic data from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, so we have to look at the next most relevant set of data. The research from Giving USA and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy help us understand how donors behave during a time of crisis and also during an economic downturn.
We hope above all that you and yours are safe and healthy.
With the escalation of COVID-19, we know that you are facing many complex decisions and processing information at a fast pace. We want to assure you that JGA is here to help you think through the complex donor situations and the potential impact of COVID-19 on philanthropy. As always, our JGA team is accessible; whether we are working with you in your setting or remotely, we will stay in close touch to assist with this fluid situation. We have considerable expertise in remote work and anticipate there will be no disruptions to our service.
While it is too early to predict the full impact COVID-19 will have on giving and volunteering by your friends and supporters, we recommend that you and your colleagues focus on the following key areas in these days:
In November 2019, the Giving USA Foundation published a special report associated with its research of planned giving donors and their motivations to give. This study, "Leaving a Legacy: A New Look at Planned Giving Donors," was based upon national survey results from more than 860 planned giving donors and an additional 40 personal interviews. The study provides information on key trends, motivations, and insights.
Here are key findings and three practical implications for your planned giving program from this valuable research:
Though personal visits are the gold standard to engage and cultivate major gift donors, they can be costly and labor intensive if you are not seeing the right prospects. But how can you ensure you are connecting with the best prospects?
Your database holds the answer. Big data is a buzz word we’re hearing more and more about, particularly for its ability to organize large volumes of data to uncover hidden trends and its ability to make organizations more efficient through predictive analytics. This emerging trend involves utilizing historical data to find patterns and correlations to build assumptions and develop potential scenarios. So how do we take those concepts and put them into practice with our nonprofit organizations?
The trick to finding major and planned gift donors within your data is to identify those with both the ability to make a major donation, as well as the affinity to give to your organization. A good prospect has not only the capacity to give to your organization, but also an interest and inclination to give to your mission.
While you can’t grow a prospect’s capacity, inclination can be nurtured through cultivation.