Fundraising During Difficult Times
Fundraising has become increasingly difficult during the pandemic, and many of you have been wondering whether you should move forward with your campaigns or if you should put your fundraising on hold. The answer to that question is a complex one and much depends on your prospective donor base. That being said, you should never completely stop working on your fundraising for NEADS. The very worst thing you can do while fundraising is nothing!
So let’s go over some of the most common questions and concerns that people have right now in regards to their fundraising campaigns…
How do I move forward with fundraising while also remaining sensitive to the current difficulties many people are facing?
One path to take is to refrain from asking for donations directly, and instead, focus on sharing your fundraising page and talking to people about NEADS. The more awareness you can bring to your campaign the better. People may not be able to donate right now, but if they know why you’re fundraising, and if you keep sharing stories and information about NEADS, then there is a better chance that they will donate eventually. Keep in mind that asking for the donation is generally not your 1st step anyway. Your 1st step should be laying the groundwork so that when you do ask for a donation the potential donor understands why you’re asking, where their money is going, and how it will be used.
I feel uncomfortable fundraising right now. How do I ask for donations?
Even though times are difficult there is no harm in asking for donations or asking people to share your fundraising page. You are not forcing anyone to donate. You are simply educating them about NEADS and asking them to be a part of something larger than themselves. If they want to contribute they can do so by making a donation, by sharing your fundraising page on social media, or by spreading word about NEADS in any other way that they see fit. There are numerous ways that people can contribute, and you may just find that people are driven to do so now simply to feel connected during this time of increased social isolation. As a fundraiser you are offering people an opportunity to help and then it is up to them to decide if, and how, they want to do that.
Are people still willing to donate to non-profits during times of economic uncertainty?
The answer to this question has always been “Yes!”. People do still donate to nonprofits even during difficult times. The current pandemic and the resulting quarantines are certainly unprecedented and navigating fundraising during this time is understandably difficult – difficult does not mean impossible though!
Should I wait until everything is back to normal?
No, you should continue to fundraise. There is no way to tell when everything will be “normal” again and time lost working on your fundraising campaign can never be regained. Keep the forward momentum going and try to get creative with your campaign. After two months of hitting the pause button it is time to re-launch those fundraising campaigns!
Why is fundraising for NEADS so important?
The true cost of a NEADS Service Dog is over $45,000, and while most organizations require clients to pay for the full cost of their dog, or a large portion of that cost, we have decided to do things a bit differently. NEADS clients are asked to fundraise to support the entire organization. What this means is that each client becomes an integral part of our fundraising team. Every dollar brought in by clients has a direct impact on how many dogs we can train, how many clients we can accept into the program, and how much support we can offer our active teams. It truly is a community effort, and everyone must contribute, not just for their own benefit but for the benefit of everyone involved with NEADS. If every client does their part then we can keep the fundraising goal at $8,000, and not be forced to increase it.
During these difficult times, the best thing clients can do is to support each other, share ideas and successes, and keep moving forward with your fundraising. You can reach your goal…don’t stop believing!