Last Thursday, I was one of over 4,000 attendees at #ProjectEveryone. Put together in just over a week by the Fundraising Everywhere team, this virtual conference featured a range of great speakers focusing on fundraising in response to the coronavirus crisis.
My Twitter thread from the six hours of talks is below. Click through to read my notes from those I attended.
I’m at #ProjectEveryone – here’s my thread.— Richard Sved (@richardsved) April 2, 2020
How to pivot your strategy in a crisis @WayneTheMurray
1. There is no business as usual. It’s all changed.
2. Work out what has changed.
3. Drop everything non essential
(Wayne’s cat just popped in to say hello, which was cute.) pic.twitter.com/Gq4WylWjnS
The first talk I attended once I’d managed to get into the ‘room’ (it was so busy!) was Wayne Murray’s on how to pivot your strategy in a crisis. I particularly appreciated his exhortation to focus on the short term, and keeping people connected.
Nobody cares about your income deficit. They care about the impact on your beneficiaries. People really do want to help.Wayne Murray
Next up, Jasmine Adams spoke well on adapting messages in response to Covid-19, which was a good companion piece to Wayne’s talk as she explained that you can change your strategy but maintain your vision.
After this, Louise Morris spoke compellingly on engaging high net worth individuals in the fundraising response to the pandemic. I liked her notes of optimism, even while recognising how tough it is for charities and their fundraisers right now. She urged us all to pick up the phone and make human connections.
Madeline Stanionis spoke next on crafting digital campaigns, with plenty of excellent examples, followed by the inspiring Elizabeth Ngonzi, who spoke about how digital storytelling and virtual events can revive our fundraising. We need to show relevance, authenticity, clarity and transparency, she told us.
Next up, Zoe Amar spoke on becoming digitally focused. I particularly liked what she had to say about good leaders embracing their vulnerability.
As leaders, we shouldn’t be afraid of being afraid.Zoe Amar
The final session I attended was given by Rachel Stephenson Sheff and Emily Collins-Ellis on the subject of changing plans with funders. There was so much good detail and advice here, and you’ll find plenty of pics I took of their excellent slides on the link above. It was refreshing in particular to learn more from the perspective of the funder. Some of their advice:
- Tailor your response depending on whether it’s restricted or unrestricted funding you’ve previously had
- Think beyond fundraising, to strategy, relationships, systems thinking, and the organisation more broadly
- Start with need
- Fully explore risks
- Define your ideal strategy
- Evolve donor relationships
- Understand what your donors might be thinking about
- Find your silver linings
- Bend don’t break! Focus first on survival, but ultimately how you will transform.
Survive => Cope => Recover => Learn => Transform
So, thank you to all the speakers for their excellent sessions, and thanks to Nikki and Simon for pulling off a superbly energising conference.