Tips for Fundraising During an Economic Downturn

If your organization has seen a massive drop in fundraising, you’re not alone. Once the corona virus hit—and the economy suddenly looked more unstable than it had in years—funds for charitable organizations fell off a cliff. Nonprofits large and small are facing uncertain futures.

We know your cause is too important to simply give up on. Luckily, there are things you can do to raise money for your organization, and Catering St. Louis Events offers several outdoor fundraising event venues that can benefit your cause.

7 Things You Can Do to Raise Money in a Recession

Close up of woman hands using laptop checking smart phone

1. Don’t Lose Touch

One of the best things you can do during this time is keep in touch with your donors. Even dropping a note to say how much you’ve appreciated what they’ve given in the past can help. Whether you do this via an email list, social media or other kind of outreach, try to stay top of mind for your most important supporters.

2. Put Gratitude First

Instead of begging, turn your messaging around and practice gratitude. Let your donors know that what they give helps to make the world a better place. If you can, spotlight specific examples, like this one: This week your donations helped 50 area families buy school supplies for their children.

3. Drive Urgency with New Tactics

Have you considered a matching gift fund to boost your donors’ sense of urgency? Have you brainstormed challenges or competitions your supporters can do while social distancing? These times call for thinking outside of the box. If you haven’t focused on recurring giving, now may be a good time to launch a campaign. Monthly gifts, even small ones, can sustain your organization until times are better.

4. Collaborate Online

With so many people online, this time is ideal for virtual giving days. If you can collaborate with other organizations that serve similar communities, you can host one big event instead of several smaller ones. This will allow you to host something truly spectacular and garner more attention than if you were going it alone. Think collaboration over competition during tough economic downturns.

5. Cut Inefficient Tactics

Inefficient fundraising activities won’t cut it any longer. Now is the time to look carefully at your expenditures and whittle down to the tactics that really work. Eliminate programs that require excess staff time or management. Then, take some time to survey your donors and better understand what activities really matter to them.

6. Utilize Social Media

If you’re not doing this already, now is the time to start. Post regular content to your social media channels and keep an eye on your stats to understand what's resonating with your audience. You might also want to partner with local companies that have a large social media presence. It's an inexpensive way to get more eyes on your cause.

Three Barn Farm

7. Book the Right Venue for Socially Distanced Events

While conditions are still a little shaky, you can still host outdoor events that allow for social distancing while bringing your community together. With so many of us working, fretting and huddling inside, an outdoor get-together may be the perfect thing to raise spirits—and raise some funds.

Reach Out to Catering St. Louis

Our most popular outdoor event spaces include Three Barn Farm, a charming rural setting located in Pike County, and Spink Pavilion at Missouri Botanical Garden, an art-filled garden get-away right here in St. Louis. We know your mission matters. A smart fundraising strategy will see you through.