We don’t even need to share with you the state of the country and world right now. You can turn on any news channel for that information. As it pertains to your foundation, this may seem like dire times because who would want to donate right now when personal financial stability is at stake with the likely economic downturn the COVID-19 pandemic is causing? While it may seem hopeless to improve donations at a time like this, we want to share with you some ideas we have to keep the donations coming in while reinforcing the mission and building affinity for your organization.

During this crisis, it is imperative that you engage your prospects and base with the notion of special funding that will get put to work quickly and for very specific causes. Your hospital should have those identified and you should be reinforcing that need with a group funding approach that involves all stakeholders.

Idea 1: Identify a new audience of prospects and engage your donor base

Everyone is getting hit hard right now by the consequences of the spread of this virus. Low income families are possibly out of work because they don’t have the ability to work from home. People who work in hospitality are getting laid off every day with the temporary closing of service-related businesses. The travel industry is taking a big hit because we are all being advised to stay home. And your wealthy donors are taking big hits with the monumental dips in the stock market. However, there is a bright side. There are prospects that will engage with your foundation and have a desire to improve community health circumstances. You need to identify those folks. The focus is on the healthcare industry because you all are at the front lines combatting this pandemic. We suggest you send specific campaigns to those active community stakeholders who will contribute in smaller amounts. It’s better to get 1,000 $50 contributions this month vs. waiting for larger contributions for when this will all blow over. And that timeline is unknown.

Idea 2: Show compassion in your outreach

As stated above, everyone is affected by this pandemic. Some more than others. The first outreach should be an email or postcard that asks how they are doing and stating that you are there for them in this time of need. Don’t ask for anything in return but show that you are thinking about them as we all try to get through this together. The power of human compassion will be highlighted during these troubling times and showing how your foundation is there to offer support is of utmost importance. It is crucial to reinforce the mission of your hospital and foundation. Your constituents need to know that you are engaged and active during this time of crisis.

Idea 3: Provide ways to help

We know that bringing money in to keep the lights on is extremely important. But so are the time-consuming efforts it will take to prevent the spread of this virus. Instead of solely asking for money in your outreach, list various volunteer opportunities at your health system that are needed. Retired medical professionals are being called in right now and we aren’t anywhere near flattening the curve of the spread of this virus. Volunteers will be needed in your community if they aren’t already. Your healthy community stakeholders will appreciate learning about volunteer information as it is sometimes not readily available. As we stated above, people want to help if they can.

There will be members of your community that want to help now with smaller donations. Let them know that you have a fund with a specific designated purpose for the pandemic. Make it easy for folks to make a smaller level donation online and get that money moving to the front lines. Consider grants that will provide direct impacts to individuals or entities serving at risk and vulnerable populations. Check out our previous blog on specific actions and campaigns you can do in support of this pandemic effort.

Idea 4: Communicate what you know now

Your health system is at the forefront of combating this health emergency. Your community would rather hear from you vs. the national media. Share what you know about the current status of the local community via your social media channels, website, blog, etc. Once your community sees how helpful you are, they will start seeking more of your services which could turn into generous donations in the future. We are all affected but we recognize the importance of non-profit organizations so we are here to help.  If you are a friend of Brightway Data, please go to the website for your local hospital and consider giving something online to help get money moving on this cause.