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Hello! We’re still in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak of 2020…
I don’t have to give you an update or a play by play of what that means – chances are, you know exactly what that means for your community. Across the world right now, there are a lot of things shut down, or canceled – and there are a lot of people staying home.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always wishing I had more time. I’m always saying, “I would do this thing or that thing – if I had more time!” “I could get so much more done if I just had a little extra time!” And for a lot of us right now – that’s what we’re getting.
Time. More time. Time, we didn’t plan on taking off from work, or time we didn’t plan on spending working from home, or not working from home. Time, we didn’t plan on spending teaching kids at home, or suddenly becoming office mates with your spouse.
This is a time of waiting. A time of rolling with the punches. A time of unknowns.
In this time of unknowns, there are a few things we do know:
So in line with what we know, let’s talk about some things you can do for your nonprofit right now, today, at home, or in your empty office or wherever you are – some things that will help your nonprofit continue to grow, keep momentum, and ways to keep building your relationship with your donors and the people you serve in your community.
Train – If you are in complete isolation – hop on a conference call, or a video call – Skype or Zoom are great tools for this – and train your volunteers. You can use this time to enrich your volunteers’ understanding of your organization, and really take their knowledge and caring to the next level. If you have a little bit of flexibility, you and a couple volunteers can train at your nonprofit’s office. Take advantage of this quiet time to do it.
Investigate – Look for new grants to apply for, apply for familiar ones – you can always work on grant research to find who new grant makers might be for your nonprofit organization. Here are a few
Grant Search Resources:
Read, research and learn – listen to podcasts, read articles. About what? About anything that will make your nonprofit better. What is something you’ve wanted to improve on with your nonprofit? Is there a better way to serve people? A better, more effective way to do something in your organization? Look at other organizations similar to yours as a model – research them, take notes, even write them an email and ask questions!
Create – work on your blog and email newsletter – stock up, implement new ideas, make templates. You can even learn how to segment your email list into different categories – the people you serve, your donors, volunteers, potential donors
Learn to use Canva.com to create graphics for your nonprofit – you can create social media posts, letterheads, programs, invitations – anything! If you already know how to use it, then practice using it more, or teach a volunteer how to.
Listen to more episodes of Nonprofit Potential – check out the website for episodes you haven’t listened to for topics you want to learn more about.
Keep serving any way you can:
Is it business as usual?
Use Facebook, Instagram and all your social media like you normally do. Post twice a week but make especially sure that you’re using a strong call to action. People like you to tell them exactly what they should do.
If you have had to close or are open limited hours, tell people.
Post all the details about your hours, opening and closing and keep posting like you normally do. Use a call to action to tell people where to find more details about what is helpful and then update the details.
Keep posting – it connects your audience to you. It’s something familiar. Don’t overload people with bits of news. Stay steady and consistent by serving them what they need.
What lies behind your posts is this: you’re thinking about the people you serve. What would specifically benefit them?
Are they people with kids at home for a few weeks? Give them ideas for activities, games and crafts.
Are they elderly and in need of cheering up? Post helpful hints or ideas for people to use in this time, like writing letters, listening to music, read and do crossword puzzles. Sometimes people just need to be reminded of things to do when their regular schedule changes.
Send anyone a card, deliver a healthy snack, share a feel-good movie or CD.
The point is – think of the people you serve and if you were in their shoes, what would help you? Make them feel loved and remembered.
Remember to subscribe to this podcast, leave a review and tell a friend!
Links I mentioned in this episode:
Grant Research Links