Welcome back to Grassroots Your Giving Season 2020! We’re reposting some of our tips and tricks that will help you engage your community of small-dollar donors for the long haul. Now more than ever, we all have to take quality time to care for ourselves and others. Our team has some advice for celebrating the work you’ve done so far, so you’re ready to take on 2021 and continue growing your organization’s grassroots fundraising program!
You did it! You navigated and overcame unexpected challenges to grow a fundraising program that empowers donors to support your work during and far after Giving Tuesday. Giving season and 2020 are officially over, but you’ll continue the grassroots momentum in 2021 and beyond! So even though you’re keeping up the nonprofit fundraising, don’t forget to think about the nonprofit fundraiser (you!). Here are some steps for taking care of yourself in and outside of work, so you’re in a good place to foster this important work for the long term!
1. After giving season: Some self-care for you, by you.
In these immediate days and weeks after giving season, remember that your nonprofit’s work is a long fight for change! So while 2020 required nonprofit fundraisers to steer their organizations through an unprecedented crisis, it’s also more important than ever to take care of yourself in ways that work for you. This way you’re ready to meet any fundraising moment throughout the year.
We know self-care means different things to different people. Whatever it means to you, give yourself what you need to feel recharged and to take care of yourself!
2. When giving season winds down, celebrate:
Your achievements! Before 2021 gets into full swing, recognize all that you have achieved this past year. No one planned for a global pandemic or pivoting to virtual events, and you have worked day in and day out to fundraise with empathy and utilize online giving tools so your organization can transition into a digital-first world. You made it through 2020, and that’s a win!
Your donors. As the year winds down, say thanks to the amazing supporters who gave to you throughout 2020 and giving season! You can send an email dedicated to showing your gratitude for their end-of-year gifts and explain how their donations will be put to good use by your nonprofit this year, or recap some of your organization’s achievements that were made possible by the sustained generosity of donors like them!
Your team. Finally, express gratitude to your fellow organizers and colleagues! This work of change takes so many people, and it’s important to show appreciation for their hard work during such a difficult period. Say thank you at your team meeting, or better yet, send each team member a personalized thank you note! Instead of taking your team out for lunch (as you may have done in years past), send them a credit for a takeout treat. Our nonprofit often sends our staff and partners cookies — complete with a thank-you note — after a busy giving season. It’s a low-lift and delicious snack for our team and support system that makes folks feel loved and appreciated when they need it most!
3. After the end of the year: reflect and debrief (before jumping back in)
Now that giving season has come to a close, you’re getting back to your day-to-day fundraising routine! But before you jump back in, take the time now to reflect and prepare for the future. This year looked different for every nonprofit, no matter your location, size, or mission statement. If your nonprofit relied on in-person events to motivate giving, how did you fill these gaps? Many nonprofits were involved in the protests for racial justice that happened this summer, but the movement is not over: How are you going to continue this work in 2021? If this isn’t your group’s focus, how are you making sure your work is intersectional and rooted in equity moving forward? These questions, along with other resources like The Management Center’s Debriefing Template, can help you make a plan to continue your strong grassroots fundraising efforts in the new year.
You’ve put energy into promoting your organization’s cause for the long term — and it should be the same for you, the nonprofit fundraiser. Put some energy into making sure you have sustainable work processes that can support you this upcoming year, whether you’re going into your office or working from home!
Hooray! Along your journey to grassroots your giving season, you started to grow a program that can fuel your work year-round and picked up digital strategies you can pull out any time to boost your fundraising. We’re excited to keep this momentum going with you, so here’s a big grassroots cheers from us to you!