10 Tips for Mastering Fundraising in Uncertain Times

10 Tips for Mastering Fundraising in Uncertain TimesA 2020 Candid analysis predicts that between 3 and 38 percent of nonprofits will be pandemic victims—and they studied organizations with revenues greater than $50,000 per year.


The stakes for developing nonprofit revenue are unlikely to be this high again in our careers.


To lead your nonprofit, read these ten practical tips based on my work guiding hundreds of nonprofits leaders facing income challenges.


  • Lock in your current funding streams. Don’t disqualify yourself from your current revenue because you forgot a report.
  • Ask: Be innovative. Ask, how can we take advantage of this? Seek new opportunities which are only possible now
  • Request planned gifts. COVID reminded us that our health is precious, and now may be the only hour we can act on our values.
  • Pivot toward solutions. Yes, uncertainty is annoying. Instead of moaning, generate options.
  • Involve your donors. During the 2020 lockdown, donors warmed the hearts of many.
  • Focus on opportunities to provide value. Ask: Who needs the value? Do they have the resources to obtain it? If yes, explore further.
  • Identify what’s unique or rare about you. You’ve got millions of competitors. Every 501c3 provides tax benefits—but only the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance serves the whole St. Pete arts community.
  • Seek revenue until the final bell. In car accidents, most people quit too soon. If drivers kept driving, they’d reduce injuries. Make the extra phone call and effort to earn the revenue.
  • Consider merging sooner, when you have more to offer, then later. (See The Merger Checklist.)
  • Remember, uncertainty includes both good and bad. The recipients of Mackenzie Bezos’ millions face new unknowns. What do their long-term donors think about their financial needs now? Yes, you might prefer the challenges of other organizations, but they don’t have your advantages.

For more:

Nonprofit Strategy 101 

Guilty as Charged, How to Prove Your Nonprofit Board Supports Your Organization

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