What do nonprofits need right now?
Donors and engaged citizens, do you know?
Undoubtedly, nonprofits are struggling, rethinking their offerings, activities, and staff, and at the same time, continuing to serve our communities.
None too soon, there is sigh of relief from nonprofit leaders as the stimulus bill includes support for nonprofits.
The bill is huge as it eases the pain of losing revenue from canceled fundraising events, fees for service, and ticket or admission fees, for example.
For nonprofits, the bill will provide loans and forgivable grant opportunities. Also, it increases tax incentives for corporate giving and expands charitable deductions to taxpayers. Just this alone is big. There are other relief opportunities available for nonprofits with more information to come.
Additional funding resources is critical in the months to come.
NONPROFITS CANNOT EXHALE
But nonprofits cannot exhale completely and think the stimulus bill will solve all of the problems of lost revenue. Being considered is the longer-term impact this crisis will have on their finances, staff hires, and thus program offerings. Without question, nonprofits will need to realign their programs to meet the needs of those they serve and how they serve them. The faster they adjust, the better.
Nonprofits are the heartbeat of our communities. They know how to serve their audiences – they are the experts. Moreover, many organizations are serving those in desperate need of help right now – the homeless, hungry, or hurting. Yet other organizations bring value to our everyday life – through arts, education, cultural events, and history.
Absolutely, they are all important.
This is where you – the philanthropic community – come in . . .
WHAT CAN YOU DO RIGHT NOW
Without a doubt, nonprofits need your help more than ever. That’s what nonprofits need right now. To support nonprofits, you can take a variety of steps. It is up to you to determine what that looks like for you. Here are suggestions:
1. WHAT A BOARD MEMBER CAN DO RIGHT NOW
As a nonprofit board member, be a leader and not a seat-warmer, nay-sayer to fundraising, or a wait and see member. Step up and ask your executive director/CEO and development director specifically what you can do right now to help. Don’t get off the phone or video until you know exactly how you can help.
2. WHAT A DONOR CAN DO RIGHT NOW
As a donor, continue to give and give more. If a nonprofit representative has not communicated with you in the last few weeks, contact them. Ask them what they see as their shortfall at this moment. Find out how much they need to keep the organization moving forward. Either contribute to that gap in funding or cover it all! If you are passionate about a particular program in jeopardy, direct your funds to support that program.
3. WHAT A TICKET HOLDER CAN DO RIGHT NOW
As a ticket holder, forgo a refund for the canceled event. If you have not bought tickets for an upcoming annual event, send a gift in the amount you would have paid for that event or double what you would have paid!
4. WHAT PASSION CAN DO RIGHT NOW
As someone passionate about a cause, participate in virtual event offerings. You are seeing more of these and will continue to see them. Definitely, your presence means the world to the leaders and beneficiaries. Your participation fosters momentum and exposure to the pressing needs of the organization.
5. WHAT AN ENGAGED CITIZEN CAN DO RIGHT NOW
As a person concerned for others, step up in a big way. You may be in a position to volunteer for an organization serving a critical need. Clearly, nonprofits are adjusting to taking great precautions to keep volunteers safe. Discover what you can do right now to help those in dire need of help. Volunteering may be picking up the phone to call others to support your favorite charity.
You are what nonprofits need right now.
In summary, nonprofits need your help more than ever. Your community needs you more than ever.
Please give to and support your favorite charities.
Also, please share this with your friends and nonprofits you support. We are in this together.
Thank you for what you do for your community.
Stay safe, smart, and healthy.
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Nancy Rieves, Ed.D. is a fundraising coach. She provides overwhelmed nonprofit leaders of small organizations with a roadmap to maximize and sustain major gift fundraising. She prepares leaders to be confident and successful in raising money. Reach her at [email protected].
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