Balancing faith with reality, relief from the Federal Government, 5 Myths Debunked and how Handbid is helping our charity heroes cope and adjust.
The Stockdale Paradox
We certainly are in the midst of a stressful and uncertain situation for most. You read or watch the news and your fear, uncertainty, and doubt likely grows. Most of us would probably like to crawl in a hole (or head down to our basement) and binge-watch Breaking Bad on Netflix rather than deal with anything related to COVID-19. Furthermore, we don’t want to come back up until this virus has passed or we’ve watched all 62 episodes. Whichever comes first (or last).
But we can’t do that! We have kids to monitor (to make sure they are learning and not doing Tik Toks), we have dogs to walk, and we have funds to raise for our non-profits.
We must learn to lead our families, teams and organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining our faith that we will get past it. As Admiral James Stockdale was famous for saying in Jim Collins’ book Good to Great:
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
So we ask you to reduce your stress a little by understanding this important FACT:
This WILL pass. Pandemics come and they GO. We will get past this. There will be an end and we will return to our regular routine. However, we realize that we (you) are going through some really difficult and uncertain times. We must acknowledge the reality of our situation and press on.
Federal Government Aid is on the Way!
The US stimulus bill has some welcome news for all US residents. Households are getting money, small businesses and non-profits have access to low-interest loans, and the government has increased the standard deduction for charitable donations by $300 for non-itemizers.
Moreover, non-profits can also qualify for the payroll protection program. If you need a few months of support to cover payroll, we encourage you to read up on this now!
Debunking the Myths about Fundraising During Today's Crisis
Lastly, let’s debunk a few myths about fundraising in this current situation:
Myth 1: People do not have the capacity or desire to donate today
REALITY: Many people are out of work and may not be able to contribute. We see and understand that, but many more are not in this situation. These donors are still willing and able to contribute to their favorite charities, small businesses, and community.
OUR SUGGESTION: Our charity heroes who are running online fundraisers (peer to peer, online auctions, or text to give campaigns) are finding that their donor base is connecting, bidding, and donating. They just need the opportunity to donate, and you need to give them that opportunity by running an online fundraiser today.
Myth 2: Businesses will not donate to my cause
REALITY: Businesses that are hardest hit by the shutdown may not be able to support your auction event. However, many other businesses will. Businesses, like local residents, want to support their community programs. Moreover, those businesses currently impacted will need to aggressively pursue patrons once this is over. Your fundraiser may be the opportunity they need to attract customers.
OUR SUGGESTION: If you have a living room full of auction items, run an online auction and auction them off. If you have not collected any items for your auction, consider shifting your effort over to a peer to peer fundraiser or online giving campaign.
What is a peer-to-peer fundraiser? We have a webinar scheduled for this week to go over that very topic. Please plan to attend.
Myth 3: There is no easy way to reach our donors remotely
REALITY: Online conferencing tools, social media, and community apps like NextDoor should show you that this is not the case. We have seen an amazing uptick in people being connected through webinars and social media outlets. Many with dormant Facebook accounts are now much more active as they connect with family and friends online rather than in person.
OUR SUGGESTION: Use your social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) to reach your audience. Expand that through NextDoor. In addition, send out mass emails through your email marketing system (Constant Contact, MailChimp) if you have one. And/or upload your contacts database into Handbid’s invite system and send out mass emails or mass texts to your constituents. Invite them to your fundraiser, online auction or text-to-give campaign.
Myth 4: We need to hold off on spending at this time
REALITY: In these times, anyone (household, business, etc.) can scrub through their expenses and cut things they no longer need. But fundraising is the life source of nonprofits. Why would you ever consider cutting fundraising?
When businesses hit hard times, they will cut luxury expenses (e.g. fancy coffee in the break rooms, company parties, business travel) and certain departments they consider non-essential. Rarely, if ever, do they cut sales. Sales is the means to generate revenue that they need to pay bills. Instead, they may make sales more efficient and redesign how they attract and acquire customers. Fundraising to a nonprofit is essentially a sales department.
OUR SUGGESTION: For now you need to pivot away from in-person fundraising to online methods. Perhaps those 2-3 people donated $5,000 each in your paddle raise last year at your gala may not be able to make that donation again right now. So rethink it. You actually have the opportunity to attract hundreds of donations through a peer-to-peer fundraiser. 100 donations of $150 gets you to the same $15,000, but instead it adds 97 more donors into your database who can be essential to the future of your organization.
Myth 5: We can't make any decisions right now, we need to wait until this crisis is over.
REALITY: We all know the crisis WILL end, but we do not know when. We also do not know how long people will be spooked away from large gatherings and events. We expect things will get back to normal in a matter of months, but no date is set.
OUR SUGGESTION: Do not wait on a date that is indeterminate. You have the means to act now and a donor base that is ready, sitting at home, and focused. If you wait, you could miss out on the success that many other charities in your circumstance are having TODAY!
How Handbid is Helping our Charity Heroes
We understand the stress and struggle that many of our charity heroes have today and are working with each of them that reaches out to us on an individual basis.
We have extended the contracts for all of our clients by three months to give them extra time to run their events in person or shift their efforts to online.
We are issuing credits for any monies spent on their event that need to be moved to the future.
For our clients willing to sign or renew their multi-year contracts, we are offering them one additional year for no additional charge (e.g. buy 2 years and get 3).
For those that want to run their auction online, we are helping them make this transition (which is a minimal one on Handbid).
For those that want to consider a peer-to-peer or online giving campaign instead, we are applying your contract cost as a credit to those efforts, while helping them get transitioned.
Have questions or need to discuss a contract with Handbid?
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!
Already part of the Handbid family? Email us at email@example.com to set up an online auction brainstorming session.