When I wrote this in early July, it seemed we were making it out of the worst of this. Unfortunately, the Delta Variant and the impact on unvaccinated Americans are causing a significant step back from normal. These questions are still relevant, though they may need a bit of an edit or be asked more conditionally.
This has been a time like no other. For those of us on the frontline asking for gifts, we’ve had to figure out new ways to move forward. We’ve had to understand the value and challenge of technology as our primary tool. We’ve had to deal with the unique situation of every one of our donors going through their own significant journey at the same time. And more.
So where does that leave us now? What do we need ask ourselves as we emerge from the worst of this pandemic and can once again join our colleagues and donors in person? What does it mean that we might be moving away from virtual cultivation events toward hybrid or in-person events?
For those of us in most of the United States, that moment of transition is now. For those around the world, the timing has yet to be determined.
Looking ahead, here are questions I recommend asking yourself:
- What’s my COVID story I will share with my donors? My story about what I learned, how I coped, and what my hopes and dreams are going forward.
- How will I communicate with donors about my desire to meet with them in person? How will I do that in a way that makes them comfortable?
- How has my relationship to technology changed and how will I use technology in my work going forward?
- What’s my organization’s post-COVID story? What did we do well? How did we continue our mission? What did we learn and how will we apply that going forward?
- What did I learn about individual gift work during COVID?
- How has COVID changed the way I think about my work?
- How will I do things differently post-COVID?
- How has COVID impacted my professional goals?
There weren’t many silver linings these past fifteen months, but there have been opportunities to reflect and learn. I hope these opportunities will help you in your work going forward.