Helpful Tips for Navigating COVID Challenges

December 08, 2020

In this episode of the NP Local podcast, co-hosts Jason Cass and Scott Niermann, MPA, CFRE, discuss how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting small organizations differently than larger organizations and share tips on how to navigate the challenges brought by the crisis.

Episode Highlights:

  • Jason mentions that today’s topic is relevant to Scott. (1:16)
  • Scott mentions that he came across a report from the Blackbaud Institute called the Blackbaud Institute index. (2:24)
  • Scott shares that the Blackbaud Institute is a software company that has several different software packages. (2:57)
  • Scott shares that he was very interested in the particular research that had with the COVID-19 crisis, and the research they did back in August. (3:08)
  • Scott mentions what’s interesting about these giving trends is that the medium and large organizations are faring a little better, at this moment. (4:40)
  • Scott shares that as of September 30, 2020, compared to September 30, 2019, smaller organizations are down about 4.4% in fundraising revenue, and when you get above a million dollars in annual fundraising revenue, organizations are up 1.5%, despite the COVID-19 crisis. (5:14)
  • Jason explains Digital Darwinism. (7:14)
  • Scott mentions his philosophy that, if we do enough of the right things, the things happen, the magic starts to happen. (9:02)
  • Scott shares what Blackbaud recommends when they break down the report for each sector includes sustained annual giving and donor acquisition. (13:32)
  • Scott mentions that the tax benefit is not why most people give. Yes, it has affected the volume or the flow of those gifts, but it’s not the main reason why they give. (14:18)

Key Quotes:

  • “We designed this podcast for those new to the field and for those medium-sized organizations that cannot afford a full-time fundraiser, who cannot afford the staff that they need, or there may be primarily volunteer-run the church basement kinds of organizations, and Blackbaud defines a small is less than a million dollars in annual fundraising revenue, you’d be surprised.” – Scott Niermann
  • “Volunteers keep their doors open, volunteers make the fundraising events happen, not some large fundraising team. Whereas if you look at a larger entity that can afford to pay staff strictly for this fun development, process and department, they’re faring better right now, because they are staffed and they are trained, and they can pivot a little bit easier and more quickly.” – Scott Niermann
  • “We are trying to use this time right now in my organization to sharpen the sword, and just to keep going with the core business functions. And I have to think that so many organizations are doing that.” – Scott Niermann
  • “Communicate with your donors, communicate with your board, you’ve got to get the message out. And right now, when most of us are working from home, or remotely in some fashion, most of the time, get that email out the door, make that phone call donors, who do not hear from you during this crisis.” – Scott Niermann. 

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