While the last 15 months have been filled with comparatively empty businesses, isolation and cancelled events, the time has finally come where I feel like it is safe to say that we are somewhere in the neighborhood of “normal.” Normal—with stipulations of course.
Restaurants are among those still struggling post-pandemic. With lack of resources for food, staff and the remains of capacity restrictions, it’s seemingly easy to agree that the service industry is the last to come back. However, non-profits may have a strong case for taking the “Still Struggling the Most” title. With many major fundraising events postponed, again, to late 2021 or even 2022, non-profits are still scrambling to find ways to save dollars and work effectively towards their missions. Despite the major events being out of commission, there are still a few easy and cheap ways for non-profits to drive donations and work towards the “normal” that each of us are remembering.
Many assume brand to be composed of a logo and a couple of key colors associated with an organization. While this may be partly true, brand is so much more than that, and it is dripping with opportunities for non-profits to take advantage of. A simple best practice may be as easy as ensuring all messaging is tied in with a logo, brand colors, and weaves in aspects of the mission statement. Promote recognition by ensuring campaigns and fundraising efforts are aligned with brand standards.
Get comfortable with social media.
Tablets and computers helped children stay connected to teachers and Zoom, and other virtual meeting tools allowed parents to stay connected and work from home. But what is assisting non-profits in raising donations from those looking to contribute? In the current climate, the answer is taking advantage of social media.
Non-profits typically struggle with technology, using it, and not having the latest and sometimes not the greatest equipment. But social media can be an easy and modern way to reach donors without putting them into the same convention hall or on the same golf course. A quick tweet or Instagram post are strong ways to push messaging while simultaneously reinforcing brand and mission statements.
Additionally, social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are excellent ways to reach primary and even secondary audiences. Both have features built into their apps that allow for easy donations and fundraising efforts. By campaigning through social media platforms, non-profits are able to double down on raising brand awareness while maintaining consistent communications and driving donations.
Despite competing with similar organizations that are working towards the same or similar missions, the pandemic has created an environment in which it’s beneficial for non-profits to lean on each other and establish partnerships to achieve goals and save money. The pandemic has brought some unique challenges, but lessons have been learned that can have changing effects. Non-profits are looking for consolidation to save cost and are learning to team up with other organizations in an effort to do so. They are sharing building space with other partners to reduce overhead, sharing administrative functions to reduce headcount and even purchasing items in bulk or to ensure delivery of sought-after toiletries and cleaning/safety supplies.
Through the pandemic, these charitable groups are relying on each other in ways that have not been experienced before. With state regulations, they assisted each other in navigating through the changing safety landscape to be more unified for a community in need. Non-profits are learning to partner with others to expand their reach and broaden their impact. They also are sharing programs and information that worked for them in hope it would work for others. With some in trepidation, as many non-profits are in some ways competiting for community support, the pandemic has encouraged them to lock arms with others to support the greater good.