A friend of mine who is running the Boston marathon and raising money for his charity called to ask me if people would still give to him if the marathon is cancelled amidst the coronavirus concerns.
The fact is that many organizations are being forced to cancel their proprietary peer to peer fundraising events. These events are great opportunities to recognize your most ardent fundraisers, raise funds, recognize your sponsors, and engage with your supporters.
Peer to peer fundraising is vital to many organizations.
Here are some suggestions that may help mitigate the impact of the cancellations caused by COVID 19.
- Communicate to your supporters that fundraising can still be done online. An email to all registrants and donors is a quick, simple, and effective way to do this.
- Call your top fundraisers and team captains individually. Thank them for everything they’ve done so far. Explain to them that its vital that they continue to fundraise online. Address their concerns and assist them with messaging for their asks in these unusual times.
- Close your online registration form.
- Offer refunds for registration fees only after giving registrants the opportunity to “donate” their registration fee. You may need to provide documentation that the registration fee is tax-deductible.
- Call your sponsors. Talk about the impact of the cancellation and give them an opportunity to help out.
It will be a while before we know the true impact of the cancellations on giving in 2020. The best things that nonprofit managers can do right now is to take steps to minimize losses and create a strategy for managing cancellations in the future.