Oh my, how life has changed in such a short time as we deal with the current realities of physical distancing and social disruption. We keep hearing “we’re all in this together” and for the nonprofit sector that has never been more true. Many of you are struggling to serve clients who are impacted more directly than others. Many of you are trying to figure out how your agency is going to pay salaries and the bills and well, just survive. And, you may be conflicted about what stories you should be telling now and how (or even if) to move forward with your fundraising appeals.
Stories are the lifeblood of our sector’s work and stories are helping us stay hopeful and positive. Look around and you will see people all over social media searching for uplifting and heartwarming stories to disrupt the flood of cortisol that is feeding our stress. And, using stories for raising funds is now more important than ever as people seek ways to connect and give back. Certainly, if you are a nonprofit in the social services sector, your stories are easy to share … people whose lives have been derailed need to know that you will be there to support them with food, housing, mental health services and much more and people are eager to support those services. (One food pantry I know put out the call and raised $30K in 48 hours!!).
But how do you share your stories when you are an arts or research organization – not on the front lines of serving people directly impacted by this pandemic? I would say that your stories are easy to share as well. The news is full of stories about how vital and valuable research is in this critical moment. And the arts? Well, the arts are what we all turn to for inspiration, education, delight and wonder. There are beautiful stories to share no matter your agency’s role in fortifying and encouraging each of us to our highest calling and our best selves.