The Covid 19 virus pandemic is delivering a societal disruption that is likely to leave little if anything untouched. That includes nonprofit organizations and the way they raise money. I can’t tell you what the post-pandemic future is going to look like for nonprofit fundraising. But that uncertain future has been raising a lot of questions at Zuri Group. The reason Zuri exists is to help nonprofits raise the money they need to fulfill their mission and we are dedicated to delivering solutions that evolve and adapt to the current situation.
So, all of our questions center on the help our clients might need in 2 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months. We’re pretty sure they’ll need a lot of what we’ve already been doing for them—digital philanthropy, strategic planning, and technology implementation and alignment. But we’re just as sure that modifications in how we deliver solutions will be required. We’re equally sure that whole new, nonprofit fundraising avenues will open up. What we don’t know is how wide they’ll be, the distance that can be traveled on them, and the vehicles best suited to them.
The good news is that questions beget questions and sooner or later bits and pieces of potential answers begin to appear. For instance, we have never been more sure that online giving tools (and good data) will grow in importance; some of our healthcare clients are seeing a 500% increase in daily online gifts as they battle Covid 19. We also know that the best questions and answers are the result of multiple minds exploring multiple aspects of multiple problems. That leads me to this.
Below are some of the questions that have entered my mind. What I’d like you to do is respond with questions that have entered yours. Or queries that my questions might raise for you. Or maybe even insights into potential answers to your, mine, and ours questions.
What I want to do here is catch a glimpse of the future of nonprofit fundraising, the digital tools that support it, and whatever the new normal may be. Please comment freely. There’s no doubt that we will all be in this together, so let’s be all in. Let’s push beyond the edges. Let’s find the opportunities that always come out of disruption.
- Will months of financial insecurity lessen the philanthropic urge? If so, how do we rebuild peoples’ charitable impulses? Would more frequent solicitations for smaller gifts be a good idea?
- Will educational institutions lose students and therefore tuition? Will distance learning change our feelings about college? What about lost ticket sales and ancillary earned income tied to college athletics, not to mention the impact on alumni giving?
- Will we come out of the pandemic with a desire for greater government involvement and responsibility in areas that have traditionally relied on the nonprofit sector? If so, how will that impact nonprofit fundraising?
- How about hospital foundations? How will we feel about our healthcare institutions? Will they need to rethink how they fundraise? Is there a new kind of opportunity here?
- Will nonprofits find themselves being asked to participate more in their geographic and area of interest communities? If so, what new fundraising opportunities might open?
John is an innovative leader and strategic thinker with over 30 years of experience and more than a decade in the nonprofit technology arena. John founded Zuri Group in 2007 with the knowledge that nonprofit organizations are most successful when they have trusted partners in technology on the team.