30 Mar

Week 3: Get Off the Constant Fundraising Webinars and Do These Things Instead

It’s been over two weeks of working from home and there have been lots of webinars (including several by yours truly). This week my best advice to all the front line fundraisers is to get off the constant webinars and do these things if you haven’t already:

  • Update your fundraising language in light of COVID-19 so you aren’t tone deaf in your messaging.


  • For regular/annual fundraising:
    • Check in by phone with all major donors and board members.
    • As appropriate, ask those who have pledged but not paid to pay their pledges as they are able.
    • Plan for your virtual events and continue to collect ads and raise funds around it.
    • Adjust your stewardship plans for all donors and track all check-in calls.  Make video updates. Host Zoom parlor meetings, updates and cocktail hours. Send branded ring lights, mouse pads, and tumblers as SWAG.
    • Small batch fundraising as prudent to include:
      • Reliable LYBUNTS
      • Donors who give from Donor Advised Funds
      • Donors who give from Family Foundations
      • Multi-year donors (3+ years in a row)
      • New donors who have reached out to you or have attended virtual programs/events, if appropriate


  • For foundations:
    • Speak to your program officers.
    • Consider if you can convert restricted grants to unrestricted.


  • For corporations:
    • Consider sending out a note to your database about patronizing key corporate supporters


  • Emergency Campaigns
    • Determine if you will launch an emergency campaign to fund your mission critical work.


  • If you or your staff have extra time:
    • Clean-up your database. No duplicates. Update addresses. Add new names. Put in notes. Link relatives and friends.
    • Put Google Alerts on your top donors and prospects.
    • Start writing Summer and Fall donor communications.


There is plenty of fundraising work to be done. We are on week 3 and these are just a few of the things on my list. What would you add? I would love to hear from you at

Nanette Fridman, MPP, JD, is a strategist and coach for values-driven organizations and leaders. She is the President of Fridman Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in governance, fundraising, strategic planning, and leadership and team development. Nanette speaks nationally and is the author of On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service and Holding the Gavel: What Nonprofit Board Chairs Need to Know. She can be reached at


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