These are not the best of times.
Yet, these are not the worst of times for raising money for your school, your foundation, your association or your cause. Now is the time to communicate to your members and supporters more often and with a new voice. This pandemic will leave a mark. The loss of life, the loss of freedom and independence, and the massive loss of livelihoods during this time will filter all that follows for every living generation. As will the selfless acts of courage, sacrifice and service that we have witnessed from the front-line folks at hospitals, police and fire departments; but we have also seen the delivery, grocery, pharmaceutical, and other folks that have been duct-taping and bailing-wiring our civil societies together over the past few months.
The people of our nation have been exposed to an unfamiliar population of thoughtful and sensitive friends and neighbors in ways they had never seen before.
To ask for money is not crass or insensitive in this time, if you run a 501c3, it is your mission. If you have a professional association, regardless of the sector, your members have been dramatically affected. Now is the time to reach out. Americans are desperate to help, it’s harder now to get to the shelter or the food bank or the blood drive, but they can put a credit card number into your giving site, or respond to a direct mail brochure or a telefundraising effort.
Put On Your Oxygen Mask Before You Can Help Others
If you’ve been on an airplane, you’ve heard it every time. To ensure you can take care of your others in your care, first take care of yourself. For non-profits and associations, this historic global pandemic has created fundamentally life-changing and organizational and financial upheaval. Your organization must be healthy and thriving to be able to then help your community. Philanthropy is more important now than ever before in our country. Foundations and other non-profit organizations are a significant sector of the U.S workforce and economy. More than just the people we employ in the sector, but also the hundreds of millions that we serve that are being or will be impacted. If your organization is focused in the medical or healthcare sector, your members and mission are front and center, and the focus is on you. But all of us in the business of philanthropy must answer this call and rise to the challenge.
Americans are the most philanthropic in the country in the world, and we are at our best when times are the worst.
Universal Financial Impact
Association memberships look to their community leaders for guidance and support. Each of your members and the profession your association serves, have been profoundly impacted. Members are losing jobs, they may struggle with membership fees, unable to purchase association products or other subscriptions, and meetings have been cancelled or postponed. Revenue will be interrupted. Yet, leaders must help members through the process, provide relief, assist in getting and government grants. There are those with their members on the front lines, such as doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers; and grocery staff, delivery people, mail carriers, sanitation workers. Not as obviously, other professions such as teachers, realtors, museum workers, engineers, and students – at all levels – are experiencing a very personal sentinel moment in their lives. National member meetings have been cancelled – revenue, member recognition, awards, governance meetings all either delayed or moved online.
Heal Thyself Before Others
As a non-profit, you are not bound by the Hippocratic Oath, but it is excellent ant timely guidance. We are compelled to weather the storm like any business. It is vital to our economic survival that the important work of the organization can continue, both during the pandemic, and in the world we will all find on the other side. You can create a new strength for this new future, starting now.
The Zodiac Group is a focused collection of experienced individuals and organizations specializing in supporting non-profits and associations. We have worked for organizations engaged in a variety of causes, with a range of assets to bring to bear. We work fast and we help you get the results you need.
These are not the best of times.