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Chronicle Advice on How to Respond to Covid-19

Advice Covid-19 COP toolkit
The coronavirus outbreak is wreaking havoc across the globe, and nonprofits are especially vulnerable. Many groups are struggling to recoup lost revenue from canceled events, adjust policies and operations in response to an array of changes, and nurture relationships with donors during this unprecedented crisis.

The good news is that it is possible to connect with supporters in meaningful ways even when face-to-face interactions are not appropriate, writes Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, president of Grenzebach, Glier and Associates, a philanthropic management consultancy, in “4 Ways to Engage Major Donors During the Covid-19 Crisis.”

Enlist your top leaders to communicate with donors, she says. Supporters want to hear a CEO’s thoughts on the pandemic and how she plans to move the nonprofit forward despite mounting challenges. “But it’s important to consider which channel an executive uses to communicate,” Hilser-Wiles says. “For example, email provides a formal assurance that your institution is prepared and following precautions, while social-media platforms offer a more human touch to reassure people that you are taking immediate action and are responsive to their needs.”

You may want to reach out to key donors and prospective supporters separately to share deeper insights and invite their feedback. Consider organizing periodic “investor calls” for small groups of donors, Hilser-Wiles says, to update them on your response and share messages about your long-term goals.

Here is a collection of articles that offer more advice like this to help your nonprofit cope with the evolving crisis, keep donors close despite social distancing, and secure crucial resources to continue serving your community during these difficult times.