Nonprofit News

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The coronavirus has made us want to reach out. For the rest of 2020, we’re going to share a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from the work of our Communications team.

Most will have nothing particular to do with you-know-what—we just thought it was a good time to share as many resources as we can. We hope they may be of service, and we’d love if you would subscribe to the series and reach out with questions or ideas. Hang in there.


If you’re a fundraiser anywhere on earth right now, COVID-19 has transformed your work: from taking cultivation calls from the one room in your house with a locked door to shifting 300-person events to the internet.

But as the dust begins to settle and we actually figure out how to mute ourselves on Zoom, many of us are beginning to remember what it feels like to plan out our work in weeks and months, not days and hours.

As we venture into the wilderness of donor communications in a global pandemic, we put together a few tips for how to take the long view while continuing to be mindful of the current context.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

In recent weeks, every nonprofit organization in the country has grappled with new challenges. While these challenges differ from sector to sector and from region to region, for most organizations, business as usual is no longer possible.

With that in mind, your fundraising strategies don’t need to be put on pause, but they do need to shift. Outreach to your top supporters should keep happening (over the phone and videoconferencing) with strategies that reflect the current moment. Simultaneously, organizations that have the bandwidth should plan for what comes next, identifying prospects to cultivate now for asks later.

For most organizations, the challenge will be using limited resources effectively. To rise to the moment, we recommend a three-stage process—get ready, get set, go!—which any organization can execute in as little as three weeks. While this process will involve your entire team, success will allow you to secure gifts now and build capacity for the long term.

Strategic Information Services, Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Blog

The coronavirus has made us want to reach out. For the rest of 2020, we’re going to share a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from the work of our Communications team.

Most will have nothing particular to do with you-know-what—we just thought it was a good time to share as many resources as we can. We hope they may be of service, and we’d love if you would subscribe to the series and reach out with questions or ideas. Hang in there.


Alongside the six elements of your case for support, there’s one other foundational idea that shapes every case development project we take on:

The case lives in conversation.

Or, to be a tiny bit more metal about it, the case lives or dies in conversation.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The coronavirus has made us want to reach out. For the rest of 2020, we’re going to share a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from the work of our Communications team.

Most will have nothing particular to do with you-know-what—we just thought it was a good time to share as many resources as we can. We hope they may be of service, and we’d love if you would subscribe to the series and reach out with questions or ideas. Hang in there.


We’re kicking off Fundraising Communications Weekly with a deep dive into the Six Elements of Your Case for Support—the foundation for strong donor messaging in everything from major gift cultivation to annual appeals. In Part 1, we introduced the six elements on a conceptual level—now it’s time to see how they work in practice.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

A great deal has changed over the last two months, and our schools have been the epicenter of so much upheaval and adaptation. As development professionals, we need to support our independent school communities by checking in, asking for feedback, involving volunteers where we can, and helping to plan culmination celebrations.

While we steward our communities today, we also need to prepare for a 2020-2021 school year that is shaping up to look very different from the past. Below, we walk through several ways you can manage uncertainty and set the stage for a successful year, from new family engagement to fundraising planning.

Independent Schools, Strategic Information Services, Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Blog

The coronavirus has made us want to reach out. For the rest of 2020, we’re going to share a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from the work of our Communications team.

Most will have nothing particular to do with you-know-what—we just thought it was a good time to share as many resources as we can. We hope they may be of service, and we’d love if you would subscribe to the series and reach out with questions or ideas. Hang in there.


As we kick off our new Fundraising Communications Weekly series, there’s only one place to begin—the idea we return to most frequently in our work and share most regularly with our clients. Here it is:

A robust and comprehensive case for support will have strong core messages in six key areas: Context, Impetus, Vision, Plan, Credential, and Appeal. These are the six elements of your case for support. This is a big topic, so we’re going to break it into two parts. Today we’ll introduce the six elements, and next week we’ll show how they work in practice with a sample case.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

Many organizations that are directly responding to elevated community needs are seeing an influx of donors during the COVID-19 crisis. This includes (but isn’t limited to) hospitals and health providers, food banks, organizations working on equitable technology access for students, and organizations addressing domestic violence and homelessness.

Responding to donors during this chaotic time can be challenging—but bringing them into your community will be critical.

Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Blog

Independent schools are facing the COVID-19 crisis in motion today and a looming recession. In these uncertain times, donor stewardship is a respectful way to keep donors connected in the near term and lay a foundation for future solicitations.

Stewardship is important for donor retention and relationship building but also serves to help build community at our schools, adding to the value proposition we promise to our families. We have an opportunity to enhance the sense of community at our schools and steward our donors through outreach now. Social distancing does not mean keeping our donors at arm’s length!

As you make plans for personal stewardship over the coming months, consider the following ideas to broaden and deepen the impact of your efforts.

Independent Schools, Blog

Fundraisers are adapting quickly to these unprecedented times—adjusting fundraising strategies, recalibrating goals, and engaging prospects creatively. At the same time, boards and volunteer leaders want to know how organizations are accounting for the current climate.

What is the projected fundraising revenue for this fiscal year? How will the current environment affect our campaign projections? How are you engaging supporters when you can’t meet in person? What changes are you making to fundraising goals for the next fiscal year?  

Campbell & Company developed a new software product, Beam Insights, that helps leaders make fundraising plans for a strong future.

Campbell & Company News, Strategic Information Services, Fundraising, Blog

Whether you’re beginning your campaign, ready for your public phase launch, or somewhere in between, your organization is grappling with tough questions right now. You’re likely wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic and a possible economic downturn will impact your fundraising campaign and what steps you should take to adapt.

While this is an unprecedented time, we can navigate the current environment by looking back at lessons from other challenging times and doubling down on campaign fundamentals. We shared three key recommendations below to help set up your campaign for continued success.

Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Campaigns, Blog