[Recording] Digital fundraising lessons in a time of Covid

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
01 Jun 2021

Last week we’ve hosted a webinar with a very interesting panel sharing their key lessons learned about digital fundraising during lockdown.

Your interest in this session was impressive so we’re happy to share the slides and the recording with anyone who might have missed it.

We’ve asked our panel to share their top three lessons learned from lockdown and how they apply to charities and nonprofits of all sizes.

The panel consisted of:

  • Woodrow Rosenbaum, Chief Data Officer at #GivingTuesday
  • Michele Dilworth, Senior Director of Partnerships at Candid
  • Vinay Nair, CEO & Co-Founder at Lightful
  • Akruti Desai, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The webinar was moderated by Alix Guerrier, CEO at GlobalGiving.

You can watch the full session here (scroll down to find the slides)

Here is a brief summary of everyone’s lessons

Giving moments drive participation - Woodrow Rosenbaum

Woodrow Rosenbaum, Chief Data Officer at #GivingTuesday, shared a series of very interesting slides on GivingTuesday’s lessons learned over the past year and how the giving trends have changed.

His top 3 takeaways were:

  • Donor mobility was unprecedented
  • Market volatility was evident (and resilience was crucial)
  • Giving moments drive participation

Moreover, Woodrow shared his thoughts on what’s coming ahead for the rest of 2021, highlighting the importance of engaging your supporters and give them new opportunities to give.

Be proactive in your communication - Michele Dilworth

Michele Dilworth, Senior Director of Partnerships at Candid, shared Candid’s top 3 digital fundraising lessons during lockdown and how their work has changed over the past year.

Here are her top 3 takeaways:

  • It’s important to communicate proactively and transparently on what your community is experiencing
  • Ask ‘how can I help’ and give back to your donors in your very own way
  • Reimagine your audience and take the time to rethink your reach and how you define your community

It’s more important than ever to embrace authentic storytelling - Vinay Nair

Vinay Nair, CEO & Co-Founder at Lightful, talked about Lightful’s key lessons during lockdown and our observations based on the organisations we’ve worked with over the past year.

Here are his top 3 takeaways:

  • Authentic storytelling matters more than ever - in a time of a crisis stories helped organisations stand out
  • To build nonprofits’ digital capacity, we must remain flexible and responsive - virtual training on communications and fundraising has become multi-faceted and it’s crucial to be flexible in the methods of delivery
  • The baseline of expectations for digital fundraising experiences keeps getting higher - digital fundraising is a necessity in the lack of physical events so it’s encouraging to see that the baseline of expectations keeps getting higher

Donors really need expert guidance - Akruti Desai

Akruti Desai, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shared her takeaways from a funder’s perspective and allowed us to zoom out in the bigger picture of online giving and philanthropy.

Here are her top 3 takeaways:

  • Nonprofits need flexible fundraising more than ever
  • Donors are viewing generosity more broadly than giving to charitable organisations - it’s not just about giving money, there is also a higher interest in volunteering opportunities
  • Donors really need expert guidance - there has been an influx of queries of donors and foundations asking how they can support their COVID response initiatives

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