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Report from HBCU Action Nation – 21st Century & Digital Fundraising

“Revisit the case statement so stakeholders are clear about what we are doing to remain relevant, operational, and impactful at the height of the COVID-19. Engage donors consistently; use the right platforms; and to take advantage of technology.”

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Technology? Digital platforms? Not so fast!

Fundraising success requires access to technology and use of digital platforms. It also requires knowing how to use data to make fund development and fundraising related management decisions that impact the financial health of your organization.

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Fundraising in the time of COVID: Stay focused on your donors

Part Two of Two “As a medical college, Meharry is on the front line of COVID19. We have been doing the work for years but haven’t been given the recognition until now. Our president and CEO, @Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., has a long history with infectious diseases and is being called on by our mayor as well as national television networks and other media. His leadership and visibility help demonstrate the value of our institution and this is a fundraising opportunity for us. When something comes out in the news where Meharry is highlighted, I have a list of people who I immediately sent it to in order to engage them.” – @Linda R. Witt, Meharry Medical College, Senior Associate Vice President for Development While the needs of […]

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Fundraising in the time of COVID-19 – Talk to your donors.

Part One of Two How do you work with your donors when everyone is “staying safe, staying home?” Where will funding come from? These are just two of the questions nonprofits and higher education are grappling with. To gain insight we talked with Saad&Shaw team member Robert “Bob” Poole, the former senior vice president advancement for Meharry Medical College. He asked Linda R. Witt, Meharry’s Senior Associate Vice President for Development to join the conversation. Poole and Witt are two of our country’s most experienced Black fundraising professionals. We offer a summary of their conversation for you to reflect on as you find your way through this time. First, here are Witt’s key points: Know your priority donors and maintain engagement via phone calls, emails, social media, and special messages […]

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COVID-19 impact disparities? Increase equitable, targeted response: give Black

“When white folks catch a cold, black folks get pneumonia. Many of us are familiar with this phrase, which sums up the level of inequity black communities face in comparison with others in times of crises. Whether we are speaking of an economic downturn, environmental disaster, or a health pandemic, the disparities we face — on every indicator of well-being — means that the impact on black communities will be far worse.” Susan Batten, CEO, ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities These words opened Batten’s letter to The Chronicle of Philanthropy reminding all of us that philanthropy’s response to COVID-19 cannot be complicit in reinforcing historic underfunding and inequitable support of Black communities.  The facts are in: when and where racial data is reported, African Americans and Latinos are […]

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Help for nonprofit leaders working from home.

For those fortunate enough to work from home, the challenges of sustaining this “new” work environment have come at us fast and not all of us have been prepared. Nonprofit leaders have deep experience working in less than optimal conditions, but today’s challenges are compounded by “social distancing” and increased dependence on technology which we may – or may not be – “experts” at using. Shannon Dixon, founder of Shannon MB Dixon, has been “working from home” for years – balancing service to nonprofits and family. We reached out to her for tips on technology and team motivation and focus. I’m new to working from home. Can you help? There is a lot being written right now about working from home, much of it about establishing a routine and carving […]

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Nonprofit soul searching – three things to do now

Nonprofit soul searching – three things to do now

After this crisis the world will never be the same. Whether we liked things as they were, or didn’t, one thing is guaranteed: the future is unknown. How we enter that future can be influenced by actions we take today. With this column we offer questions for you to consider, discuss, and even write up your responses to. We want to help you prepare for what will come next. You know your organization, those you serve and advocate for, and your community, its assets, challenges, politics, and resources. Let’s put that knowledge to work. Here are three things to do now: assess, define, and consult. Assess. Examine what you understand to be your organization’s strengths and challenges today and historically. What assets are you bringing into the future? What aspects […]

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Nonprofit funding and COVID-19 – three things to do now

As we continue to live through this COVID19 pandemic we must ensure the health and continuity of our nonprofits. These organizations and institutions are the infrastructure of our communities and have been built over years and often decades. They are rich in community knowledge, networked across the generations and neighborhoods, and often connected to like-minded organizations across the country and internationally.Last week we offered suggestions for what do to now. Here are three more. Make sure your organization is aware of funding opportunities that are – or will become – available. Funding is opening up at all levels. Check websites for government, community foundations, nonprofit support organizations, and philanthropy networks. Be prepared to clearly and concisely define your immediate needs. Be aware that there is and will be funding for […]

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What to do now – don’t lose your momentum

In this time of uncertainty, we suggest taking time to look to the future and to begin planning for what will come next. We know that things will change, and past crises have taught us that some nonprofit organizations and institutions will recover more swiftly than others. We share what we have learned about how to position your nonprofit for recovery. Now is the time to assess where you are and take advantage of those things that you do well and make the necessary adjustments to maintain momentum as you move forward. Engage your board, staff, and volunteers. Use video technology – and the phone – to bridge social distances and strategize. The following are a few things your team can focus on for immediate and mid-term fundraising: Stay in […]

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