On May 5, the world will celebrate a unique Giving Tuesday.
Rather than the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it’s the Tuesday after some states begin lifting stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s a unique moment in time and a unique moment for philanthropy.
Nonprofits are struggling, and many leaders feel apprehensive to ask donors for money when:
- So many people are ill and are dying, leaving so many more to grieve.
- Businesses are closing and record numbers are losing their jobs.
- Parents are working from home while their children are learning from home.
- Multiple generations are helping the elderly be connected, cared for, and fed.
- Essential employees are working around the clock to keep all of us safe, despite how vulnerable that makes their own health and safety.
- Everyone has moments of feeling isolated, anxious, and uncertain about what tomorrow may bring.
And yet, nonprofits must solicit gifts, especially during this time of great need.
We fundraise because nonprofit organizations are on the front lines of every one of these statements.
We fundraise because philanthropy is about making a connection between a donor’s values and an organization’s vision. Inviting someone to make a gift aligned with their belief system is joyful, impactful, and exactly the positive emotional lift we need when everything around us feels overwhelming and out of our control.
But, let’s be clear. Philanthropy is not sales. It is not persuasion. It is engagement, which means it’s a two-way dialogue. The fundraiser tells a story about an organization they care about and the impact that organization has on the people and places they serve. The donor decides to give or not, or to volunteer or not, or to ask more questions or not.
Philanthropy is a voluntary action. The call to action is only acted upon when a donor is ready.
Two of our clients are currently offering compelling invitations to the community to engage with their missions.
CelebrateOne invited the community to support new moms by donating funds to purchase diapers, wipes, and formula through a Call 4 campaign with NBC4 Columbus. It was a simple request, yet the result was remarkable. More than $34,000 was raised from more than 500 donors in a very short amount of time because the overwhelming response was a desire to help someone in need.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus just launched a #SaveSummer campaign to raise funds for the hundreds of at-risk youth in Central Ohio who will rely on summer programming more than they ever have before. With schools closed and families isolated, our community’s youth will need the academic, recreational, social, and emotional support that Boys & Girls Clubs programs are uniquely positioned to offer.
Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what you believe in and how you can help. The gift can be small, but the impact will be large.
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO