For you, the Nonprofit Warrior fighting your way through the thick smoke of organizational survival, every day likely brings a new barrage of webinar and Zoom-enabled advice on fundraising in the time of coronavirus.
In the interest of your personal and organizational sanity, this consultant’s advice is to streamline your daily dose of educational offers – not forever, just for now. When we collectively move from the crisis stage and into a new normal, you will be less distracted by the anxieties of this moment and have more time for revisiting the wide world of nonprofit resources. Think of it as temporarily going Marie Kondo on your professional development.
Decide on the one or two sources of sound, timely advice that are most aligned with your organization’s needs and keep those on your radar. In response to the pandemic, many are offering more training and resources at free or reduced costs. Here are a few I find to be helpful, credible, and robust in the number of trainings and topics covered:
Start local, with your city or region’s nonprofit center or consortium, like Redbird’s friendly neighborhood Alliance for Better Nonprofits. Even if yours is a national or international organization, networking and tapping the resources in your own backyard is always going to be helpful. For nonprofits operating locally, the community connections and perspective can be invaluable.
If your primary focus is all things fundraising and donor development, of course the one-stop-shop is going to be the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), with bonus points for participating in a local chapter, like the awesome Great Smoky Mountain Chapter. Wherever you are in the Americas, there is likely a chapter to meet your needs. If you are not already a member of AFP, now is the time to check out the various cost-saving options for joining. If you are a member, be sure to visit the website for the impressive research reports and training inventory currently free to members.
Nonprofit Quarterly does a great job of covering and reporting on all aspects of the nonprofit sector, so if you need a more holistic source for yourself or to vet for your team, NPQ is a good starting place.
The National Council of Nonprofits focuses on policy, advocacy, and all things integral to infrastructure and capacity-building. While they are the nation’s largest network of nonprofits, their focus is on the needs of small and mid-sized organizations in local communities. Their COVID-19 resources are among the most extensive, timely, and accessible to the entire sector.
Candid, which is a relatively recent merger of Guidestar and Foundation Center, offers a nice variety of training topics and can be especially helpful if your agency has or aspires to build a solid grants program.
As we learn more about COVID-19, and our medical and research heroes get closer to effective treatments and vaccine, we are starting to see first light on the horizon. No matter how changed the landscape may be, the sun will rise again. In the meantime, stay strong, stay in touch with your fellow warriors in the good fight, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a pep talk or just a vent session. Remember to enjoy humor, deep breathing, physical activity, and trash TV breaks, as necessary. A little tequila now and then might not hurt, either.
In gratitude for your work on the front lines of change, justice, caring, and peace,