Posts tagged ‘pandemic’

January 20, 2021

How Can You “Vaccinate” Your Nonprofit for Good Financial Health?

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has caused death and economic destruction around the world. The nonprofit sector has not been immune from the ravages of COVID-19.

While some charities have held their own when it comes to fundraising, or have even managed an uptick, others have experienced a downturn. If the economy doesn’t fully recover, and quickly, all organizations may find fundraising more difficult in the months and years ahead. With a corresponding drop in earned income, the financial health of charities is in danger.

Richard Radcliffe is the Founder of Radcliffe Consulting based in the UK. He recently wrote a passionate article explaining how charities can ensure their financial health and security in the years ahead. Because he is kind and cares deeply about the wellbeing of the third sector, Richard has given me permission to share his wisdom with you:

 

Legacies are the “vaccine” for good, long-term financial health for your nonprofit organization.

Legacies are a security blanket, a treasure trove to dip into to GROW or to protect your charity in times of emergency.

Individual giving does not build reserves.

Trusts and Foundations give for projects.

Statutory funding is project or service-based.

Corporate funds are largely restricted or for dual interest.

What is there NOT to like about legacies? The answer is simple: It is wanting money NOW – rather like a baby screaming to be fed NOW.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The future depends on what you do today.” But legacies are not gained today or tomorrow. And bad leaders only think of today whilst in their seats of power.

Investing in legacies is like dieting: “Great idea but let’s leave it for another day.” And then a pandemic hits and all hell breaks out. Furloughed staff, redundancies, reduction in services.

Good leaders are visionaries who plan to fulfill their charity’s vision and mission AFTER their own lifetime as leaders.

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December 4, 2020

An Unusual Post for an Unusual Time

This is an unusual post for me. It’s not about fundraising or nonprofit management. Nevertheless, it’s appropriate for this unusual time. If you’re like me, 2020 has been a stressful year for you. Now, in the closing weeks of the year, that stress level is being ratcheted up. Professionally, we’re struggling to raise as much money as we can at year-end. Personally, we’re trying to make holiday plans while coping with ever-changing government directives concerning the pandemic.

To help you more effectively deal with the stress in your life, I want to tell you about two special webinars. Both of these programs will be taught by Michelle Stortz, C-IAYT. Michelle is not just a certified yoga therapist, she’s my instructor. So, I can tell you, from personal knowledge, that she’s experienced, compassionate, practical, and helpful.

While many of Michelle’s programs are designed for cancer patients and survivors, the following two programs are open to the general public and will benefit anyone experiencing stress:

Stress Reduction Through Yoga:

In this session, you’ll learn simple mind-body practices to reduce stress, get better sleep, and cultivate peace. Harness the power of your mind to stay calm in the midst of any storm! No prior yoga experience is necessary.

Date:  Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Time:  1:00 – 2:00 PM (EST)

Fee: This is a FREE event.

Register Now:  Click here to register now for this free Zoom event.

Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra:

The winter solstice is a special time of year. It’s the point at which the northern hemisphere is farthest from the strong influence of the sun and is more exposed to the vast universe. It’s the longest night of the year and, therefore, it’s a good time to work with your dreams … both your sleeping dreams and your deepest desires. Yoga Nidra is a guided, multi-stage relaxation/meditation practice that takes you to that sweet spot between wakefulness and sleep. Here you can hover near the subconscious, and allow your dreams to take the stage. No yoga or meditation experience is necessary. In this Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra event on Zoom, we’ll take time to:

  • write about our deepest desires and dreams
  • move the body and breathe a bit
  • then settle into the guided Nidra practice for quiet inward visioning
  • we’ll emerge and sit in simple meditation
  • then we’ll take time to discuss and write thoughts and/or action steps

Sink into the deep wisdom of the body and let your dreams have more playtime.

You’ll need:

  • a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted
  • comfy clothing in layers to adjust for body temp fluctuations
  • space to lie down, usually on the floor, but a couch, recliner, or bed will do
  • supportive props like blankets and pillows
  • a journal/paper and pen

Date:  Sunday, December 20, 2020

Time:  4:00 – 6:00 PM (EST)

Fee:  $20 per person plus a small processing charge

Register Now:  Click here to register now for this Zoom event.

My wife and I are planning to participate in both events. I encourage you to consider attending one or both of the programs. Self-care is vitally important. You can’t take care of others, professionally or personally, unless you first take care of yourself. Here is how I put it in an article for the Association of Fundraising Professionals:

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October 27, 2020

So, Wake Me Up When It’s All Over

There’s a line in the well-known Avicci song that goes, “So, wake me up when it’s all over.” It nicely sums up my feelings about 2020. It’s been a stressful year for us all in so many ways. Yet, despite the strain, I keep seeing articles and webinars full of unfounded optimism, particularly as they relate to fundraising in the post-COVID-19 world. Here are just a small number of the titles I’ve come across:

  • Rebooting and Managing After COVID-19
  • How to Keep Your Donors Once the Crisis Ends
  • Fundraising Predictions for After COVID-19
  • Fundraising Post-COVID-19
  • How Nonprofits Should Approach Grant Makers Post-Covid-19
  • After the Pandemic Fundraising

So, when is this post-COVID-19 time supposed to arrive?

No one knows. However, we do know it’s not going to arrive anytime soon. As I write this, the USA, and much of the world, is experiencing a coronavirus pandemic resurgence following efforts to reopen economies. We still don’t have a vaccine. While there might be a viable vaccine by the end of this year, experts say broad distribution will not be possible until probably the middle of 2021, at best. In the meantime, we still do not have solid, reliable therapeutics to treat the disease.

Even once people are vaccinated and the pandemic is brought under control, economists tell us it will take months, if not years, for the economy to recover. The Federal Reserve says that the jobless rate will remain elevated through 2022. The Congressional Budget Office believes it will take two years for the economy to recover to a pre-pandemic level. Even once things do return to “normal,” we do not know what that new normal will look like. For example, “about 2 in 5 Americans in a nationwide Bankrate survey from May, for instance, said they expect to shop less at traditional in-person retailers.”

While it will take time for the overall economy to recover, it will also take time for individuals to recover from financial as well as other physical and mental health issues made worse during the pandemic. For example, the percentage of individuals experiencing depression doubled even during the early months of the pandemic, according to the US Census Bureau.

So, if the lovely post-COVID-19 world is not going to arrive anytime soon, what should you really be focusing on over the next several months or longer? Here are just a handful of ideas:

May 20, 2020

Your Charity’s Greatest Opportunity is the Rising Need of Donors to Connect

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented fundraising professionals with a large number of significant difficulties. One of those challenges is trying to figure out where to get solid, actionable information to help nonprofit organizations raise much-needed funds.

Now, Prof. Jen Shang, Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, comes to our rescue. On Friday, May 22, 2020, she will be presenting a special webinar: “How to Love Your Donors During COVID-19.” I recently received an email from Prof. Shang, along with three tips, that she is kindly allowing me to share with you.

Prof. Shang, the world’s only philanthropic psychologist, has found that the pandemic is causing donors to feel a lack of wellbeing. This is due in large part to a decrease in the sense of connection that people feel during the lockdown. Interestingly, this presents an opportunity for your charity.

When you help your donors feel a sense of real connection, you will help them feel a greater sense of wellbeing. When they associate that greater sense of wellbeing with your nonprofit organization, they will be more likely to renew and increase their support now and well into the future. In other words, by taking care of your donors, you will be taking care of your charity.

One of the things that will make this webinar a valuable experience for you is that it is based on scientific research rather than simply relying on war stories or opinion. In other words, the many bright ideas you’ll learn will be solid and safely actionable. As someone who has taken Prof. Shang’s Philanthropic Psychology course, I can personally assure you that you will get meaningful information that will help you enhance your fundraising efforts.

Here is Prof. Shang’s message:

 

COVID-19 has created such uncertainty in our lives that many are wondering how and when life will ever get back to normal and how we will survive it all in the meantime.

At the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, we have not stopped collecting data since the first country locked down at the beginning of this pandemic. And we have been collecting data on how good people feel every other week since.

This [post] will give you a first sneak peak of the findings, and three tips on what to do NOW that you’ll find at the end.

We will release the full results of these studies in a webinar that we will host twice this Friday, May 22 at 6:00 am UK time and again at 3:00 pm UK time.

We studied over 4,000 adults in the US and other countries.

We measured about 30 feelings that people experienced on a daily basis. We found that people’s feelings significantly worsened during the first six weeks of the pandemic. As the lockdown continued, people felt progressively worse.

Specifically, people felt less connected to others.

Psychologists have known for decades that feeling connected to others is one of the three most fundamental needs we have as humans. Our need to have this fulfilled cannot be changed. It is as certain as our life exists. Our sense of connectedness declines when we are isolated in lockdown, when we cannot physically see anyone or talk to anyone, and when we cannot hug anyone or kiss anyone. We have seen our connectedness score declining for over six weeks now.

There is no uncertainty in any of it. When humans are locked down, their need to connect rises. With data, we also know what they need and in what quantity.

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