12 Short Reads from 2020 Start the New Year Off Right
Many of us thought this day would never come, but in a few days we’ll finally put 2020 to bed. While it has been a crazy year that many people probably want to forget, it was also a year of innovation as we adopted new fundraising methods and acquired new donors to meet urgent needs in our communities.
Before we say goodbye to 2020, we took a final look back at the things that drew our attention at AHP. Read on for our top-performing blog posts from each month of the year—posts that offer new ideas and practical tips in addition to a walk down memory lane.
Many things have changed over the last 12 months, but taking care of yourself remains at the top of the list. In this post, Alice Ayres, president and CEO of AHP, offers advice for starting the year off right with self care.
This post is a time machine to the Before time, when we innocently published about things other than the pandemic, not realizing how quickly our priorities would change, including these tips about how to use marketing strategies to connect with employees and promote employee giving.
What a difference a month makes. By mid March, our attention pivoted to the pandemic, which engulfed all of our minds (and jobs) like an avalanche. After nine months, we are finally beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but these resources remain useful in our forever-changed world.
April took us screaming headlong into the pandemic, and many of us struggled to adjust to the rapidly changing fundraising landscape. These communication tips helped us transition to the new world of Covid 19, but they’re good advice for any moment of crisis—and for communication in general.
Last spring saw the cancellation of many in-person galas and events and challenged us to create virtual versions, often in a matter of weeks. The team at Northwell Hospital raised close to $1 million in their virtual fundraising walk at the same time that their New York City hometown was squarely in the epicenter of the pandemic. Their success was proof that a virtual event could work—the motivation we needed, and still need, to create virtual events of our own.
A bit of inspiration goes a long way, and VNA Health Group in New Jersey has a great success story. With just three weeks of lead time and only modest experience in planning virtual events, foundation leaders pulled off an online alternative for their annual young professionals’ gala that raised more than double the gala’s $40,000 goal. Learn from their experience and get advice for planning your own virtual event in this post.
As the weeks turned into months since the start of the pandemic, we all began to need a little encouragement, which Alice provided in this post about the resilience of healthcare philanthropy in prior crises and the early days of the pandemic.
Maybe it was the inspiration of Alice’s July post, but August saw the first non-Covid topic reemerge at the top of our hit parade. We’d been pushing the envelope with new tactics to reach donors for months already, so it’s no surprise that this post about how machine learning is upending the way philanthropy professionals find grateful patients gained traction among AHP members.
This post from October stood out for its timelessness in a year of constant change. In this post, Dan Otto, a fundraising consultant at Marts & Lundy, lays out five must-dos for hiring (and keeping) major gift staff with the skills necessary to cultivate these important relationships.
In October, the pandemic reemerged in our lives with a new surge, and our minds turned to how we could continue to engage with Covid donors as the crisis wore on. For advice on this topic, we turned to experts at fundraising firm Blakely to shed light on how to connect with pandemic donors, and what they tell us about planning for 2021 and beyond.
2020 saw a dramatic rise in the use of digital media to connect with donors, and many foundations looked more closely at how social media could be used to meet their goals. Before writing this post, when I heard about influencers, I thought of the likes of Instagram fashionistas and celebrities, but tapping into local community members yields more success in philanthropy. This post gives practical tips for starting a community influencer program to amplify your brand without breaking the bank.
Along the relief that came with the approval of a Covid vaccine came requests from donors to help them get priority access to the doses arriving at our facilities. Though we all knew our moral and legal obligation to vaccinate the most vulnerable without regard to their donation status, telling donors they can’t jump the line to get a vaccine is still not easy. In our most-viewed blog post of the year, Alice provided some scripting to help.
Now that we’ve taken a look back, it’s time to look forward again. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and every day brings us closer to the end of the pandemic. Best wishes from all of us at AHP for a prosperous and restorative 2021.