Nonprofit organizations rely on donations made during fundraising events to support their important work and programs throughout the year. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, large fundraising events are no longer an option to bring in donations during 2020.
Nonprofit organizations are now looking for innovative ways to drive donations through new event technology channels or socially distanced event opportunities.
This article will offer modern and innovative approaches to help your organization bring in those much-needed donations while optimizing your volunteer management strategies to keep staff and volunteers safe.
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1. Adapt & innovate with other event technology
Large in-person fundraising events just aren’t possible this year for most nonprofits. So how can you continue bringing in donations while protecting your team and the local community?
Well, that’s where a little creativity and innovation come in to save the day.
There have never been so many virtual event platforms available, which can allow you to host anything from a virtual gala to an educational seminar or even a live-streamed concert. The possibilities are endless. All you need to do is start exploring them.
Not into virtual events?
No problem. There are plenty of socially distanced approaches to running a safe event. From drive-in concerts to drive-through food drives and remote runs, there is a way to bring people together while remaining socially distanced and supporting a cause.
We spoke with Arcadia School District about their current fundraising campaigns and how they are raising money online. Listen below or check out the full interview here.
2. Incorporate social distancing into your procedures
No matter what new event format you decide on, you will still need a team of staff and volunteers to execute all the work leading up to the fundraising event. Rather than having an in-person meeting to prepare for your fundraising event, consider doing all the work virtually.
Virtual volunteering has become a popular alternative to in-person work because it keeps your volunteers safe while offering them the flexibility to work from the comfort of their own homes. In order to properly manage your team virtually, consider investing in a volunteer management system to help track the hours they work.
If you are holding an in-person fundraising event like a socially distanced run or food drive, make sure that the team working the event is equipped with all the necessary personal protective equipment and trained to follow your local health authorities’ guidelines on working in the community.
Your goal should be to always ensure that everyone working your event feels safe and properly equipped to do their best work.
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3. Proactively communicate with volunteers & the community
The global pandemic has people’s anxiety high.
To mitigate any potential worries about your fundraising event, it is important to keep a clear and open line of communication between you and your team of volunteers and your local community.
As things develop and your plans become clear, remember to check with local authorities to ensure that you will follow all health and safety guidelines in the community properly.
Once you have that in place, then you should start reaching out to your volunteers through your volunteer management solution to inform them of all the safety precautions you are taking and what they can expect when they work. As part of your volunteer management approach, volunteers should have access to a two-way communication tool to quickly ask questions they may have leading up to the big day.
4. Create a safe space for everyone
Consider taking additional health and safety measures that go above and beyond the minimum requirements. You want to make sure everyone feels safe, including your volunteers.
One way to do this is to make sure you do everything you can virtually leading up to the event and only bring volunteers to the venue once it’s necessary.
This eliminates any unnecessary risks.
Ask your volunteers what will make them feel safe when working the event. For example, maybe they would like a face shield or plexiglass barrier. Going the extra mile here will help you keep everyone safe and show your volunteers how much you value them.
Chabot College shared the ways they plan on creating a safe space for guests and staff when resuming in-person events. Listen below or get the entire interview here.
5. Invest in a volunteer management software
A spreadsheet and paper approach to volunteer management doesn’t provide volunteer managers with what they need to ensure their volunteer team and community’s health is safe and traceable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A volunteer management solution offers volunteer managers the ability to:
Track health and safety training
Create COVID-19 specific volunteer roles and opportunities
Create shift location zones and schedules
Monitor volunteer shift check-in and check-outs
Equip volunteers with a two-way communications app
Manage your schedule from anywhere
Broadcasts protocol reminder communications and alerts
Complete volunteer contact tracing and reporting
A comprehensive volunteer management platform can handle the behind-the-scenes work of many tasks, both now and beyond the pandemic.
Take the time to locate the right solution and you’ll wind up seeing major improvements in your outcomes.
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This year is challenging for all organizations that rely on events to bring in donations and revenues, but where there’s a will, there’s away. There is still a genuine desire for philanthropy, even in this troublesome time.
All nonprofit organizations need to do is experiment with alternative ways to harness all the goodwill just waiting in their communities.
Now go out there start planning safely!
Author: Cassandra Smallman
Cassandra is a passionate content creator dedicated to fostering positive impact through thought leadership in both the Nonprofit sector and live events industry. You can find her work at www.initlive.com or on Linkedin and Twitter.