Nonprofit leaders, STOP, don’t cancel your planned events, at least not before you’ve explored the benefits of going ahead with a creative alternative on that same date. There are many potential upsides to consider.
The benefits of going ahead are:
• People already have the date in their calendars
• Many only go to fundraisers because they believe in the cause or have a friend who does, so might be more than happy to stay home and participate, quite apart from the shelter in place order
• Any tickets purchased become tax-deductible donations for the person buying a ticket as no services are being provided
• Production costs are significantly reduced, especially if you aren’t being expected to pay for the room rental and catering
• You already have the artwork by now
• It gives you the opportunity to reach a far wider audience, not only for potential donors but also for your sponsors, who for the most part will be willing to continue to support the ‘event’
• You can still use those testimonials you’ve lined up or already filmed
• It keeps your volunteers and Board members engaged if you give them tasks to do to make the new version happen
• There will be way too many nonprofit fundraisers in the Fall.
I’m sure there are many other benefits too and would love to hear from you all with what you’re doing. In the meantime, here’s a great blog by Network for Good that goes into more detail on this topic.
Coronavirus Impacting Your Fundraising? Here’s What to Do
COVID-19 has a serious side effect for nonprofits—total wreckage of the spring events season. Many organizations have either canceled or are in planning mode to ensure that they maximize all fundraising possible with their special event. https://www.networkforgood.com/nonprofitblog/coronavirus-impacting-your-nonprofit-heres-what-to-do/?fbclid=IwAR2fe_qyZzWxyLPVBrvDi51EVv6V2I4kYqsWPiRfplKsT8wRBtlYb_ROM1c