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Claire Kerr 5 min read

How to continue fundraising for non-pandemic causes

Last week, The Chronicle of Philanthropy published a plea to the nonprofit sector: Don’t stop communicating with your donors. 

Melissa Berman of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors explained: "Nonprofits have an opportunity right now to talk to their staunchest supporters about how to make sure their balance sheets can get them through this and figure out creative ways to help those they serve."

Some organizations may feel hesitant to send out fundraising appeals if they are not a healthcare-related cause, but experts are recommending that nonprofits use thoughtful storytelling to show donors how they can make an impact in the world right now.

Your donors haven’t stopped caring about programs in their own communities, social justice campaigns, animal rights and everything else that’s close to their hearts.

One of the comments we’re hearing the most from Care2 members is: “I want to do something to help.”

Here’s three examples of fundraising appeals for non-COVID-19 causes. Each one addresses the pandemic, but also explains why a gift to their organization is important.

In this monthly donation appeal, TCR points out that in challenging times, you can always depend on the love and warmth of a furry friend. Homeless cats need your help more than ever before.

Toronto Cat Rescue fundraising appeal during pandemic

Freedom From Torture uses an image of empty grocery shelves to remind their supporters that while we are all under pressure, people who have survived torture are among the most vulnerable of us while seeking asylum.   

Freedom From Torture pandemic response fundraising appeal 

PETA told the uplifting story of Wayne the Poodle to show their supporters why rescue work must continue in the face of increased emergency calls for animals in need.

PETA fundraising appeal pandemic response

We’ve learned from history that communication is key. Don’t be silent when your supporters want to hear from you.  

This Moore Group white paper on fundraising response to Coronavirus recommends continued investment in activities that allow you to market your message: 

“Relevance isn’t just adapting to the situation; it’s also adapting to the donor. People who care about your cause deeply do for the same reasons today as they did a month ago. The more we can alter our message to fit the unique reason everyone gives to us, the better off we will be.”

For more fundraising research and best practices, check out Care2’s Community Building Resources and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ COVID-19 Resource Guide.


Claire Kerr

Claire Kerr is a nonprofit veteran who has worked for organizations in economic development, education, and fundraising sectors. At Care2, she works with charities and nonprofits as they use digital channels to acquire new supporters. She has presented online, social & mobile fundraising best practices at conferences around the world, and also teaches “Digital Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations” at George Brown College in Toronto.