COVID-19 Concerns in Donor Management (Session 3)

In this episode of the Community Foundation Coffee Talks, we will be discussing:

  • Funding in the future- Has anyone started thinking about the next 16-18 months?
  • Donor Fatigue- How to prevent it
  • Donor Engagement

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Future Funding

Bridget Dierks - Community Foundation of the Ozarks
So, we are in our fifth week of funding for our COVID-19 Immediate Response program, which has lately been focused on populations of significant needs. We are now moving toward non-profit stabilization grantmaking. We are hoping to start that in June.
 
Sarah McPherson - Oakville Community Foundation
We’ve been shifting the conversation with our fundholders to what continued efforts are going to be needed in the future. We’ve now raised over one million dollars for our fund, of which $550,000 has been distributed. The next phase includes the continued distribution of these dollars. 
 
Adin Miller - Los Altos Community Foundation
We’re in the midst of launching and raising dollars for our response fund. Looking forward, we’ve intentionally repositioned our normal grantmaking cycle so when it runs it will provide general operating support for organizations coming out of hibernation. 
 
Kris Kamann - Idaho Community Foundation
We have just sent out our fourth round of grantmaking for our response fund. From here, we are beginning to look at the recovery portion of this cycle. We’ve been reaching out to our donor advised fund holders to notify them of the Covid-19 response fund and encouraging them to donate. 
 
Arleen Levine - Jewish Federation & Foundation of Greater Toledo
We’ve been reaching out to all of our donor advised fundholders and asking them to support the Covid-19 relief fund. We want to understand the state of these needs before we designate specific funds. We have, however, designated some funds to the general community. Anything further, we are waiting to see what would be best.
 
Sarah Mcpherson - Oakville  Community Foundation
Most of our funds are controlled by our fundholders. They tend to give in the third and fourth quarters of our fiscal year, but 40% of our funds have already been designated. They’ve given a lot upfront. So, looking toward the future, the challenge will be to keep this momentum down the road.
 
Kate Wilson - Hampton Roads Community Foundation
We just completed our first round of rapid response grants, which we did in collaboration with United Way. From here, we are planning on a second phase for recovery that’s maybe three to six months out. This recovery phase looks like it will be more focused around nonprofits and less around direct services. We have also been reaching out to our fundholders to help direct their grants to nonprofits that have needs greater than rapid response. 
 
Sara Judson - Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana
Have you had a certain amount of grants with minimum and maximum amounts during this latest round of rapid response grants?
 
Kate Wilson - Hampton Roads Community Foundation
Yes, we wanted our grants to max out at $25,000. The goal was for them to be smaller grants, and part of that had to do with our partnership with United Way.
 
Kris Kamann- Idaho Community Foundation
Our maximum grant amount for COVID-19 fund was $25,000.
 
RECOVERY PHASE
 
Jessie Gunn - Whidbey Community Foundation
What types of nonprofits are you all seeing within the "recovery" phase - beyond "response"? For us, it includes organizations that have lost revenue due to fundraising events canceled, etc.
 
Sally Cross - Community Foundations of Hudson Valley (NY) 
We have a lot of arts, cultural, and environmental groups that have lost a lot of immediate support and earned revenue. We’ve been trying to keep them on our donors radars, as well as figuring out how they can operate while recovering.
 
Adin Miller - Los Altos Community Foundation
We’ve seen arts, education, environmental, workforce development nonprofits within the recovery phase.
 
Dan Layman - The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge
Like others, we are trying to conceive what different phases of work will be needed to fuel the relief efforts. We’re moving into a phase where we are relying on resident engagement strategies. We are looking at what people are experiencing at a micro level and what we need to do there. We’re also considering past this, and what we can do to make the nonprofit sector whole again. We are coming up with some plans to have in place for this. 

Donor Fatigue and Engagement

Rachel Myers - Whatcom Center for Philanthropy
We are hosting a virtual conversation with our CEO, Maury, to give people a chance to interact with each other to help with feelings of isolation. We’ve been trying to limit our Zoom calls to 20-25 people so they feel more interactive. 
 
Michael Jones - Stonewall Community Foundation
It’s too soon for us to do a lot more than take the donations and say thank you. Whenever someone does give, we add them to an appropriate mailing list to keep them updated on what their dollars are doing. We’ve also been sending out handwritten note cards as a refreshing way to connect with people. 
 
Syd Schnurr - Chaffee County Community Foundation
We had a huge outpouring from our little community for our emergency response fund. Now, we are focusing on stewardship of the donors coming in the door. Our goal is to show them exactly what their dollars are doing by reaching out via social media, thank you notes, and phone calls. 
 
Sara Judson - Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana
Has Chaffee County promoted that idea of donating the relief checks?
Syd Schnurr - Chaffee County Community Foundation
We promoted it after it was suggested by some influential folks in the community in a letter to the editor in our local newspaper.
 
Adin Miller - Los Altos Community Foundation
There is the new $300 tax break for charitable giving. We have internally spoken about education donors about this and encouraging them to use it.
 
Dan Layman - The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge
Some of our donors are giving what they had budgeted for summer travel since most of those trips have been cancelled or the individuals are nervous about long-distance travel.
 
Kris Kamann - Idaho Community Foundation 
Transparency and stewardship are two words that cannot be used enough. Our communications person has been organizing press releases to update those concerned on where we are at. We’re now hosting a virtual version of our annual luncheon, in which we usually get banks and financial firms to be sponsors. However, at this time we are going to lay off of the solicitations and just simply thank them for their support. 
 
Sally Cross - Community Foundations of Hudson Valley (NY)  
We’ve been able to speak with some professional advisors about recent changes in their clients estates and what they would speak with them about. A lot of them are getting inundated with people doing planning between the market and the increased mortality saliences of their clients.
 
Sarah McPherson - Oakville Community Foundation
I just recently sent out an email blast to our priority advisors to give them information for clients who were asking about how they could contribute charitably.
 
Denise Sorom - Community Foundation of North Central Washington
To further engage donors, we’ve had our grantees write a simple email containing a photo and a story of how these funds have helped them. They’ve been very moving. 

About the Author

Foundant Technologies

For more than a decade, Foundant Technologies has specialized exclusively in making philanthropy easier and more impactful through intuitive technology solutions. All of our cloud-based solutions focus on grantmaker, grantseeker, scholarship provider and community foundation needs with the goal to make day-to-day tasks streamlined and help maximize the impact of the philanthropic community.

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