Written by Alicia M. Lifrak, CFRE
Executive Vice President
While this current crisis is unquestionably unprecedented, we want to let you know that we are here to help you in any way that we can. Your mission is too important to too many people to not take this opportunity to strategically focus your efforts to ensure minimal disruption.
In similar times of crisis (natural disasters, 9/11 and periods of severe economic downturn), we have assisted our nonprofit partners to make sure that they come out stronger on the other side. We have also seen the impact of what halting your fundraising efforts entirely can do to an organization. Even during these most stressful times, we must find a way to persevere. Here are some tips that we can offer as you move through the coming weeks and months.
- Stay the Course. To the best of your ability, keep your fundraising programs intact. Circumstances may require that you adjust your strategies or channels, but now is not the time to disappear. Organizations that pulled back and stopped soliciting after 9/11 and the 2008 recession took years to recover from their losses (some are still trying to recover), while organizations that continued to solicit their donors with messages of need and impact emerged stronger and healthier.
- Stewardship. Acquiring new donors may be difficult during this time as individuals wait out a time of uncertainty before making a major gift decision, but this creates the perfect opportunity to be omnipresent with your existing donors and make sure that they know the impact of their gift. Positive storytelling, digital programming and impact reports are all great ways to let those who love you best know that you still appreciate all that they have done.
- Stay Connected. Most people are stuck at home right now and there is a lot of stress as people are feeling disconnected (from sports and culture and day to day contact with their friends and family). Find communication platforms that allow your donors to find a sense of community by bringing them together with your efforts. Your donors will recall this later when all the dust is settling, and their appreciation for you “being there” with them will be significant.
- Make the Message Relevant. It is particularly important in your efforts that you continue to communicate your ongoing need and articulate how these events are impacting your organization both in the short-term and the long-term. But you also need to be sensitive and empathetic to their concerns and challenges, and those of the community around you. Make sure that any messages (or asks) coming from your organization in the weeks and months ahead are taking the broader sense of fear and uncertainty (that is challenging us all) into account.
- Be Prepared. Have contingency plans in place for your organization beyond just fundraising and marketing efforts. How will prolonged school closures, entertainment shutdowns and other economic factors impact your organization? And more importantly, how can you help? Be the voice of consistency and paint the picture of the better days ahead.
As Mr. Rogers so famously said in an interview, his mother would tell him “always look for the helpers” when a catastrophe occurred. “There will always be helpers,” he said, citing medical workers and others who come into a troubled situation. “Because if you look for the helpers, you will know there’s hope.” You and your organization have always been the helpers in your community. They need you now more than ever.
On Saturday, March 21, St. Louis County in Missouri (Gabriel Group HQ location) issued a Stay at Home Order for non-essential businesses effective Monday, March 23. Gabriel Group has been designated as an essential business by the definition of the county and will be continuing operations moving forward.
Only associates necessary for the production of client work will be expected to report to our facilities. All other associates will be working remotely in an effort to comply with the county’s order and maintain the safety of our associates and the community at large.
We are grateful to remain open and provide uninterrupted service to our clients. For a list of frequently asked questions and corporate announcements from our parent company, OSG, click here.
Gabriel Group couldn’t be prouder to name Pink Ribbon Girls as its Pay-It-Forward partner organization for 2020.
Founded in 2002 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Pink Ribbon Girls supports and empowers women who are currently in the fight against breast and gynecological cancers. Their mission to make the burden lighter comes in the form of many free, direct services such as healthy, delivered meals, housecleaning, rides to treatment and peer support. Pink Ribbon Girls operates in a “give where you live” capacity, meaning that although they serve many different areas around the country, all of the money that is donated stays within the community in which it is given.
2020 marks Gabriel Group’s eighth year in a row of nominating and choosing a local St. Louis-area nonprofit to partner with and support throughout the calendar year. Associates on the Pay-It-Forward Committee plan and produce various fundraising events year-round such as holiday raffle baskets, parking spot sign-ups and competitive games. After the year is over, Gabriel Group and its PIF Committee presents our partner organization with an accumulative check for the funds that were raised. This has become the company’s Christmas gift to its clients in lieu of a traditional gift.
Entering its thirteenth consecutive year, GG’s PIF efforts have continued to grow stronger over time with total contributions reaching over $150,000 since 2007. In the past, Gabriel Group has provided clean drinking water in the Dominican Republic; promoted agriculture by supplying animals to families in third world counties; partnered with an organization close to associates’ hearts after losing one of our own to ovarian cancer; fought homelessness and hunger in the St. Louis area; supported local veterans; assisted schoolchildren to ensure they have the basic tools needed for learning; and contributed to empowering young moms and their children realize their full potential.
As a company, GG associates have decided to set their sights on a 2020 goal of raising $15,000 for Pink Ribbon Girls. Multiple fundraisers have already been planned and executed, including a Fox Theatre ticket raffle, hat day offer and Super Bowl square lottery. Don’t miss out on our latest events by following us on Facebook as we look to make 2020 our best year yet!