COVID Lessons – Part 1

COVID Lessons – Part 1

It was due to appear in the TMC at some point. What have we learned from COVID? I call this “Part 1” not because I am planning a series of these important takeaways, but because I think that, over the next 12 to 18 months, there may be a few—like the new world of proposals and such—just planning ahead!

In late January, I received a copy of the RBC Economic Current Analysis newsletter—a special report on the impact of COVID on the charitable sector. This excellent report contains some important data we need to be aware of and understand. It also notes a few things we should be learning. I have listed the highlights specifically, and added a few of my own takeaways below. These are the main four learnings from COVID (Lessons – Part 1).

  • If you have not shifted your focus to digital and on-line, do it now or perish. This goes beyond charities. Unless you have a digital and fully online platform from which to operate, you will be in trouble.
  • Understand that the way you used to raise funds (sponsorships, bronze, silver, and gold proposal packages, and giving from face-to-face experiential galas, walks, runs, tournaments, bonspiels, etc.) did not happen in 2020 and probably will not happen for most, if not all of 2021. Now, go back and read #1 above! You must think differently and be creative. We are never returning to “normal” (defined as pre-March 2020)!
  • We need to move on from what we have always done and think about new ways to raise funds. Many organizations knew their galas, golf tournaments, and walks were becoming dinosaurs and that they needed to do something new, but were scared to be bold or innovative. Now there really is no choice. Go for it!
  • Understand the importance of diversification of your revenue channels. You cannot have all your eggs in a single basket. If 90% of your revenue came from live events and interactions, you were whooped! A diversified portfolio (events, sponsors, major gifts, annual campaigns, fees for service, product sales, etc.) is where you need to be, so get there as quickly as you can.

Please remember to stay HIMPS! (Healthy, Isolate when possible, Masked, Physically distanced, and Safe!).

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  1. On point as usual Brent and you managed not to say ‘pivot’. That word is high on my dislike list!

    • Lol Jim. I too hate that word. My mother used to say “hate is a strong word and should not be used”. But I now hate that word!!! Thanks for noticing its absence from the post.

  2. It is sad how many organizations out there refuse to go digital these days. I will watch them in my rearview!

    • Well said Josh!


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