Attendees Learn About Best Practices During the Pandemic and Beyond

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect the nonprofit world, it’s necessary to revisit principles and best practices. Fundraisers gathered Dec. 9 for roundtable sessions covering a myriad of topics in light of our current fundraising environment. Hosts covered the following topics:

Jeriah Ebling with Goodwill Industries International covered soliciting major gifts in an uncertain economic environment. Building your pipeline and a solid case for support is critical to success, as is board leadership. Your board is critical, not only in helping to build a pipeline, but also to set an example - major donors have an expectation of 100% board giving!

Kelly Andrew with Acts Housing shared how Acts’ long running the Longest Neighborhood Table event pivoted during the pandemic – to Home Edition in 2020 and Impact Edition in 2021. Lessons were learned during the Home Edition that were applied to the Impact Edition, but both events raised more funds with fewer expenses.  While some sponsors weren’t keen on virtual events, most didn’t bat an eye. More impactful marketing materials were created to give sponsor packages more value.

Melissa Songco with Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County shared experiences cultivating corporate relationships. She said that in times of transition or challenge, it is not just thanking donors. Cultivation needs to be more meaningful. Virtual offerings are valuable in a way they weren’t before. She also shared tactful ways to ‘stay in your lane’ when board members/volunteers have ideas that go beyond your organization’s mission or bandwidth.

Marta Weldon with DBD Group discussed annual giving best practices as the pandemic continues.

Rechelle Chaffee with the Autism Society Southeastern WI shared strategies around how to keep your board engaged. Tips included having a designated portal where you store all board materials including letter templates, elevator speeches, and annual reports. A board buddy system was also recommended to help orient new board members, create a sense of comradery, and as a mentorship opportunity.

Rikki Harry, CFRE, AFPSEWI board member and membership chair shared with participants what to expect while obtaining your CFRE- Certified Fund Raising Executive - credential. Rikki shared helpful tips including downloading the audiobook version of the CFRE textbook, starting to track professional development registrations as soon as you decide you want to pursue the CFRE (and ensuring you save registrations using your personal email address!), and joining groups that are in the process of obtaining or have already obtained their CFRE.

Watch future newsletters for information on our January educational event!