By Sharon Danosky
Recently, several of my clients have reached out to ask me about whether or not this is the right time to send an appeal letter. In true consultant fashion, I said, “it depends.” And it really does.
If you are a health or human services organization – on the front lines in any way – then my answer is definitely! Send your appeal. Make it short. And describe what you are seeing, doing and how a donor’s support will help people through the Coronavirus. Emergency appeals are almost always effective. Even if you weren’t considering an appeal – you should definitely plan on doing one. People want to help. People want to help people. As we are mainly isolated in our own homes watching the news – it is nice to know that there is something you can do to help others. So Ask!
If you are not on the front lines, then I don’t recommend you send your appeal now. People are pretty pre-occupied and your appeal will most likely fall on “deaf” ears. Instead – provide people with “useful information.” Talk about ideas, stories, and fun facts. Offer suggestions for “safe distancing” activities.
- An historical society just sent a newsletter out sharing historical stories about other times when the country was isolated. In the newsletter they promised to continue to share these stories – giving readers, like me, something to look forward to.
- A land trust I’m working with is talking about describing their trails, what to look for when you’re hiking and how to develop a garden for wildlife.
- Symphonies and art museums have great opportunities to share music or artwork; develop fun quizzes.
- Libraries can recommend and discuss good books to download. Develop a virtual book club.
These are unusual times. And we are all in it together. People want to help where they can. And be given a respite whenever possible. Nonprofits are in the unique position to do both. And what you do today can encourage more people to support you now – as well as later.
At Danosky & Associates, we are committed to helping you through these challenging times. If you have questions about this article or are experiencing other strategic needs please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-799-6330.