This post was originally published on the Candid Blog.

Candid gets you the information you need to do good. One way our team works toward this mission is by developing capacity-building trainings and workshops focused on fundraising, organizational sustainability, and leadership and management.

How are you?

In early March of this year, at the onset of coronavirus (COVID-19)-related closures and shelter-in-place protocols, Candid’s programs teams across the U.S. began reevaluating in-person course offerings. What started with postponing a few classes in cities where COVID-19 hit hard quickly led to large-scale course cancellations.

With dozens of in-person Candid events scheduled to take place across the U.S. each month, we wanted to hear from our community of nonprofits about what information and resources were most relevant to them at this time. We know that nonprofits are working on the ground in our communities, offering critical services, and providing a safety net of essential resources. Through a series of listening tools, including a survey to our dedicated GrantSpace followers and regional newsletter subscribers, we asked our nonprofit partners, “How are you, and how can we help?”

Almost 400 community members responded. The majority, 57 percent, identified support from foundations as their top fundraising priority. Another 20 percent said they were focused on seeking support from businesses and corporations. When asked about the best way for supporters to contribute to their organization, 92 percent said monetary donations were most crucial, confirming that strengthening organizational fundraising plans and connecting with funders are essential.

Other key issues/requests identified by respondents included:

  • Free or reduced-cost programming for nonprofits experiencing financial losses
  • Tools for finding funding related to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Increased flexibility from funders on grant requirements
  • Resources for small nonprofits and arts organizations as well as small businesses

How Candid is helping

Webinars

Among other resources, Candid is offering a series of free COVID-19 related webinars to provide best practices and new ideas for how to fundraise during the COVID-19 era.

Past events in this series include:

We’re offering a third webinar in the series later this month:

We continue to offer our free introductory webinar series on fundraising planning, proposal writing, project budgeting, corporate giving, and Foundation Directory Online (FDO), which you can find listed, along with other program offerings, on our GrantSpace calendar.

In addition to this series of free COVID-19 webinars and our core introductory classes, our more advanced skill-building webinars are being offered at a discounted rate to ensure that our trainings are more accessible during this difficult time. We’ve extended this discounted rate to new virtual workshops and peer learning cohorts as well.

New virtual workshops

  • 8 Steps for Cultivating Relationships with Individual Donors, May 26 
    Strong donor relationships are critical to fundraising success at all stages of the development cycle, especially during the COVID-19 era, when many organizations are stretched to capacity and must be certain of those partners. In this virtual course, attendees will explore how successful fundraisers reach and surpass their goals. These steps present proven techniques for connecting with donors, effectively communicating your cause, and cultivating long-term relationships, even during a pandemic.
  • Outcomes Thinking and Management: Shifting Focus from Activities to Impact, June 2
    Funders increasingly want to invest in a nonprofit’s impact, not activities. This is particularly true in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 era. In this hands-on, two-part virtual workshop, participants learn to shift their respective organizations’ focus and communication tactics from activities to outcomes. We discuss and learn how nonprofits can develop frameworks for tracking the outcomes and impact of their work, and how to successfully articulate impact to funders.

Virtual peer learning cohorts

The Leadership Circle for Emerging Development Professionals is a monthly peer group meeting in which new development professionals (0-3 years of experience) from small to mid-sized nonprofits can share challenges and strategies for personal and organizational success during the COVID-19 era. In an informal, virtual roundtable format, participants have an opportunity to connect with colleagues to share insights, gain practical solutions, and alleviate any on-the-job isolation or stress they might experience while fundraising during a pandemic. Sessions for this series begin on May 15.

Custom group trainings

We curate customized trainings to help organizations achieve specific objectives. We work in the areas of program design, evaluation, fundraising planning, proposal writing, stakeholder engagement, and more. We work with organizations of all sizes and cultures, and our training engagements run the spectrum of half-day programs to multi-year projects, such as:

  • Grantseeking best practices for the Community Foundation of Lorain County’s Hispanic Fund
  • Emergency grantseeking for Feeding America’s national network of food banks
  • Grantseeking during the COVID-19 era for start-up fundraisers, offered in collaboration with DonorSearch.

Ongoing resources

We’re also updating key resources to connect you with funding information and resources to advance your work:

  • Candid's coronavirus pop-up page includes real-time information on the global pandemic, funding data, observations, and more.
  • GrantSpace’s Knowledge Base article on emergency financial resources related to COVID-19 hardships is a working list of aid available to individuals, artists, nonprofits, and small businesses.
  • Candid’s eBooks library is a curated collection of free online literature on topics pertinent to the social sector, such as fundraising, nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, and board development.

We hope your community can benefit from this wealth of resources.

About the Author(s)

Krista Berry Ortega Programs Manager - West Candid

Elizabeth Madjlesi Programs Manager - Northeast Candid

David Holmes Programs Manager - Midwest Candid

Topic(s)

COVID-19

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