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Pivot Fundraising FAQs – Part II

By March 26, 2020September 18th, 2020Communication, Fundraising

In week two of uncharted territory I’m hearing many questions about your new role in pivot fundraising. Every few days I’ll share more answers to your questions.

First and foremost, keep your communication lines open with your board, staff, volunteers, donors, and those who benefit from your important work.

As you craft communication for the web, in person meetings, social media, and fundraising appeals ask:
What do you want people to:



By when?

Pivot Fundraising FAQs – Part II

Question 1 – Event Sponsorships
My question is about upcoming events and how to handle sponsorships.

If we cancel the event but still hold the auction online what do we say to our sponsors?

They are still receiving the pre-event exposure, but would not be receiving the recognition at the actual event. Should we be having discussions with our sponsors regarding this?

Lori says:
Yes. Please DO have discussions with your sponsors now.


• Call each sponsor to let them know what is happening. Leave a voice mail message if you can’t reach them.

• Continue to give them recognition on your website, on social media, and your online auction webpage.

• Post a short video interview or photo of their owner or CEO on social media or your event information page on your website. Allow them to explain why they support your important mission.

• Invite your staff, board members & other volunteers to comment & share any social media posts to give more visibility to your sponsors & their support.

• Be sure to share what their impact and financial support is making possible as you navigate through this health crisis. Make your messages about THEM.

Question 2 – Small shop with no buy-in for fundraising
I am the entire development department for a small domestic violence nonprofit where very little emphasis is placed on fundraising, until we need something.

I have limited resources and limited support. My executive director is not big on public statements and keeps deterring me from sharing information, except a couple of brief statements.

My needs always come in dead last, and now that is more true than ever. I don’t have the authority to make statements without checking with my director who is not placing emphasis on this.

I don’t know what to do at this point. In fairness, I know we are swamped, always. But I don’t feel like I am able to do my job as well as I could with more guidance and support.

Are there any small steps I can take?

Lori says:
Wow. I’m so sorry to hear you are struggling to make fundraising relevant at your organization. You are not alone.


Notice your own language choices:

This is hard. They’ll never change.

• Shift to possibility language: I’m learning how to make fundraising more relevant.

Take a read of this post about how fundraising (& communication) is one of the four key components to your growth & success.

• Share the article with others on your staff & board.

• Ask for a 10-minute conversation with others – more than just your Executive Director – about how others felt about the article & what steps you might take to fully fund all your community needs from you right now.

• Identify at least ONE partner on staff or the board to help you change the language to possibility language AND to help make raising funds a program equal to the client services your organization delivers.

  • Look for one thing that IS working, every day.


Watch for more answers to your FAQs in the next few days. In the meantime, pause to make calm, thoughtful choices.

ONLINE RESOURCE to help you navigate your pivot fundraising job:

What’s NOW Possible? March 31 – Four hour online fundraising & communication workshop. We’ll make a plan to meet your fundraising goal this year.


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