March 24: Is it tone deaf to fundraise in corona times?

Jen

tap, tap, tap…

Hello, Lobsters!

Beate

Is this thing on?

Simon

Hi

Jen

First, and most important, how is everyone doing?

Beate

In pandemic-adjusted terms: yeah okay

John

you know…

trying to find the positive in every moment.

Jen

Same. We are healthy and the family is doing well and adjusting to new realities…

And a whole new language!

Beate

The good news: people have now learned to mute on video calls!

No more screaming kids in the audio

πŸ™Œ

Or road work

Simon

I’m good thanks. Tired but good

John

Simon

you must be HELLA busy with your fundraising everywhere work

everyone wants to do virtual conferences now

rightly so

Simon

It is pretty busy. Everyone needs it now

You know I started my Fundraising YouTube channel 7 years ago?

Jen

For today’s topic, I thought we might extend on some of our covid19 conversations and talk about what is and is not “tone deaf” right now — and John might have just provided the perfect introduction…

John

I’m here to help.

Jen

Is it tone deaf to be talking about future conferences and events?

Do we really think we’re going back to the way things were?

Beate

Depends how future I think

As for after the summer, I’d say cautious optimism

John

not completely… without a doubt we are creating some new normals

Simon

I don’t think it’s necessarily tonedeaf to talk about future travel and plans. Cautiously. But yeh we’re not dead yet

Beate

Definitely! We’ve got to plan for life moving on at some point

Simon

The main tone deafness I’ve seen is people talking about a small percentage of humans being wiped out and why’s that ok

Jen

The MOST tone deaf of all the conversations…

Beate

And we shouldn’t wait for things to get back to normal before we move on, it’s going to be longer than that. Adapt to our now-situation as if this is life for the next 4 months

Jen

Example

John

is that a question?

Jen

A conference I was to speak at in May was postponed, but they have asked if we will come next year…that seems premature/tone deaf to me…

Simon

Do you think? I thought that was fair to invite next week

NExt year I mean

John

same.

Simon

Maybe we need to define tone deaf

Jen

IDK man, I read that and thought “I’m not committing to anything”

John

i mean olympics… now next year – 2021

the euro’s – 2021

Beate

We’re all goinng to be pretty busy in 2021

Though how will we afford all those tickets

πŸ˜‚

Jen

Isn’t this a bit like a snake eating its own tail? How can we cram everything we were going to do in 2020 into 2021 and not expect major fallout…

Not to mention that investments are worth half what they were a month ago and lots of people will lose their jobs or be precariously employed

Simon

It’s delicate though because in some ways this is a big meme and in other ways people are dying. So it can be hard to strike the right tone

Beate

hahah!

That is the most accurate description I have seen!

Jen

THIS

Simon

Like I definitely adjust depending on who I’m talking to

But sometimes the same people are totally joking about it all and then the next time you talk about it they’re making guesses about who will die

Beate

I’m 50% joking about kids in the home office, 50% crying about not being able to be with my bereaved grandmother. It’s a fucking roller coaster.

Jen

So are we all just forever tone deaf now?

Simon

Maybe that’s the conclusion…we’re all always tone deaf, because our tone is different from everyone elses

Like how some people are always offensive

Beate

In a fundraising context though: i think it is tone deaf when we see emergency appeals now, that don’t explain why this is corona relevant

Like “help us, corona!!” okay, but what do you DO that’s affected by it?

Jen

yes

good segue Bea

John

? like an emergency without naming the emergency?

🧐

Simon

Yeh fair point

Which is silly because every cause could be doing a covid19 appeal

Beate

like a pigeon aid raising funds off an earthquake in a different part of the world

Simon

A pigeon fluttering his wings could cause an earthquake on the other side of the world

Beate

lol

Jen

what is and is not tone deaf in our fundraising now?

Simon

I guess it’s tone deaf to ignore COVID19 right now

John

i think jen will disagree

Jen

Yes and no, Simon

Simon

Hit me

Jen

Here’s my problem

Simon

ok

Yes

Jen

Yes, COVID19 is impacting you now and you need help

Simon

Yes

Jen

Let’s say you do after school programming for at-risk kids and you’re not running your program

Simon

Yes

Jen

You’re not running it for the forseaable future

You’re laying off staff

Simon

OK

Beate

some active listening there

John

very much. lol

Jen

How can you actually raise money for said program?

Simon

Well why are you laying off staff and not running programme?

Jen

Because lockdown and social distance

No programs, no need for staff

Simon

Do it virtually

Do it with megaphones

Stand behind a big sheet of plastic

Post books

Do videos

Jen

But are charities doing that yet?

Simon

Give the staff paid time off

John

virtual after school program?

🧐

Jen

I haven’t seen any of that…I’ve only seen programs postponed but not replaced

Simon

No theyre not…but why not?

Cost

Jen

why not is a good question – and if they WERE I would give with a full heart

Beate

So. In such an example, I wouldn’t think it’s tone deaf do fundraise. To say we need you to make sure we’re still here when the world opens back up.

I think it would be entirely appropriate.

Simon

Yeh or we need to close and sterilise the shit out of this place

Beate

hah

Jen

Agree on both counts. But that breaks the big rule of problem and solution

Simon

Now I’m not saying 100% everyone should be doing appeals…but I don’t agree with a blanket no appeal rule for anyone

Beate

I would think such a charity could still do a lot and showing that you’re repurposing and moving quickly will make people want to give

Jen

And people are giving to “keep us ready” which is a thin and shitty fundraising offer

Simon

Really? I feel like it’s total problem and solution

Beate

Problem: We have to keep closed because corona. Solution: You keep our doors open when the world opens

Simon

Problem is covid19 … which everyone has empathy and sympathy about

Jen

Ok yeah I see that Simon

Beate

Or you help pay for our staff to make calls to vulnerable people rather than do physical outreach

Simon

Yeh…”We’ll be waiting for when we can open our doors again”

Beate

I spoke to a charity who are now repurposing a lot of their staff to call their members to make sure they’re okay

Which I think is really great

Simon

I mean how did we survive *before* outside was invented?

Telephone, internet, email, post

Jen

We are still actively fundraising but with special messaging. Bluefrog provided excellent templates.

John

Here’s the link to the Bluefrog resources:

Jen

Goddess, I hope with more of us telling clients to call and talk to their donors there are wonderful and beautiful real conversations happening all over the world

Simon

This is just a much bigger problem than most charities have ever been up against before

This is the new cancer charity

Beate

I think the biggest problem is for those who have had massive events planned. There isn’t really a good way to move that online. You can’t break through the noise enough to replenish that offline activity with online activity. But for any other “regular” fundraisign, I think you can find ways to make it work

Simon

So people still respond to other appeals, but if you can bring in covid it’ll do better?

Like people used to donate to universities and colleges before this…and that’s dumb as shit

John

🀣

Jen

All those spring galas, runs walks etc… FUCKED

Beate

By the way, another cool example that I will forever put in my slides:

A Norwegian artist did a virtual concert with voluntary tickets (or, as we like to call it: fundraising). He had ten times bigger audience than he’s ever had, and made more money than he ever had. NOK 125.000 (about €12.500 normally). Which is also ten times what he’d normally make on a concert.

Which goes to show, you get SO MUCH MORE when you ask rather than sell

πŸ™Œ

Let people help, let people show their appreciation and boom

John

must have a phenominal list

Beate

no list

John

also – i do not understand norwegian currency

Beate

all facebook

John

like – ads?

Beate

No, he just posted the live and then people share it and log on

1500 people attended

so not a huge crowd either

Simon

That’s really cool

John

that is cool.

Simon

People are making a mistake of seeing online as an inferior version of offline. And in some ways it is

But it also allows you to do so much more online that you couldnt do off

Beate

πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

It’s usually just because they either aren’t investing or doing it right

Jen

Seeing a lot of artists doing PWYC (pay what you can) virtual events – would love to see charities do more

Beate

Yeah, I can see someone staging a live something from the office and raising money off it

Jen

OK, another tone deaf consideration… legacies

I’m doing a webinar tomorrow with CAGP and a HUGE question here in Canada is about how to fundraise for legacies right now

Simon

Oof…we need a legacy special with you and David Love

Jen

One of our clients, an environmental charity, had 5 calls in 2 days from people wanting to make sure they did what they needed to do to donate their property in their will

Beate

wow

John

bananas

Simon

It makes sense…we’re all thinking there’s like a 50/50 chance we’re going to die

John

and

can you believe charities are sTILL afraid to appear vulnerable?????

Beate

I think it is definitely the right time to look over your website, SEO and search marketing on legacies

Jen

anyone else have something to share about tone deaf in fundraising right now?

wait, is tone deaf tone deaf?

Beate

Careful with humour

She said, flippantly

Jen

Too soon to be funny about it Bea?

Beate

Anyone attempting humour in fundraising now, just for the love of [deity] check it with at least 50 people before letting it out on the public.

It’s like what Simon said, we’re at 50% meme and 50% death. That’s a knife’s edge..

Jen

Ok well that’s basically our time, folks

Beate

wow, that was fast

Jen

Be well, wash your hands… any other thoughts?

Beate

But then again last week was ten yers ago so

Jen

time has no meaning anymore Bea

Beate

did you bring a lobster fact?

or did you deem it done deaf to bring one?

Simon

Oh that was quick

Well nice to chat x

John

yah that went quick

Jen

yes i have a lobster facr

Lobsters would be excellent at physical distancing (hate the term social distance)

We need social intimacy and physical distance

anyway

Beate

because claws?

Jen

back to lobsters

John

is that a fact?

oh

Simon

What

Jen

they would be good at distance because they can swim forward and backwards

John

is THIS – THE FACT?

Beate

..is that unique to lobsters..?

Jen

And when alarmed, they scoot away in reverse by rapidly curling and uncurling their tails

Beate

I guess I’ve never seen a cod reverse

πŸ€”

John

lol

fish don’t need to swim backwards Bea

Simon

They swim backwards?

Weird

Jen

They CAN

John

ive never seen a lobster swim at all

Beate

wow good to see the gong show still goes on

John

but they’d have a grteat backstroke

Jen

Like Simon

Beate

hahahah

John

hohohohoho

Beate

reverse joke

Simon

Weird

Beate

so until next week / year / decade?

Jen

Later lobsters

Simon

Bubye

John

stay well my friends. miss you.

❀

Beate

big hugs to all

πŸ₯°

Simon

❀

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