Fundraising During COVID-19: the Search for Solutions Continue
By Jacqueline Sherry
The effects of the coronavirus spread far and wide, from impacting the school system to influencing the healthcare system to affect our weekly trips to the grocery store. As COVID’s economic impacts begin to settle in and create less of a temporary place in our lives, many organizations are beginning to wonder how to change their fundraising techniques to fit the long-term impacts of COVID.
COVID has changed society in a big way by many not feeling comfortable with meeting in large groups even after vaccines have been distributed and herd immunity has been reached in the United States. Alan Cantor wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review back in April discussing the fear of keeping non-profits afloat. In this article, he mainly focused on the issue that nobody knows how long COVID and quarantine restrictions will impact our economy and society. But now, 10 months after this published article, these same questions are still being asked. Adjustments to fundraising have been made, but the need for more money never seems to vanish and neither does the desire to return to how life was pre-pandemic.
These long term effects of COVID mean that even one or two years from now, COVID will still have impacts in the world of fundraising. The biggest examples of events that can no longer happen in the same manner are door-to-door and in-person fundraising. Many organizations rely on meeting people face to face to encourage fundraising or promote their organization. The Woodson Young Hearts has many annual events, one being the golf tournament, that now require adjustments and may not look the same as they always have.
Beyond fundraising, there are other ways that the Young Hearts give back to the community, like volunteering at the holiday show every year, that have been put to a halt because of COVID restrictions and health safety regulations. This leaves many wondering how they can help their community in a COVID-safe way more than just donating money. Our world has now turned virtual and this online life can be tiring and unfulfilling to the human need of the community.
From the articles I’ve read on this topic and my time spent in this quarantine world, I think an optimistic outlook is the closest thing we have to an answer for every aspect of our lives, especially in cases of fundraising for organizations. We all must continue planning and cultivating out-of-the-box ideas for the future while keeping in mind the purpose of these fundraising activities is to ensure our motivation for the cause stays steady.