Coronavirus and Fundraising – Getting Real and Getting Creative

Coronavirus and Fundraising – Getting Real and Getting Creative


By David Allen, Development for Conservation


First off, I hope that you, your family, and your extended family is well and stays that way. Each of us will eventually know someone who catches the virus and probably someone who gets hit hard by it. I hope and pray that that someone is not you or those close to you.

Last night I learned that a neighbor who lives two doors down from me is in the hospital with COVID-19. Suddenly all that was theoretical is now real. Something that was happening somewhere else is now happening here.

I hope that the delay in your neighborhood continues for a while longer.


* * * * * * * *

Several things to share this week.

The first is that the “Paycheck Protection Act” passed last week and should provide help for you and your land trust. Pay attention – there will be great demand.

But first, this disclaimer:

I am not and attorney. I am not and attorney. I am not and attorney. I am not and attorney.

I am not a CPA. I am not a CPA. I am not a CPA. I am not a CPA. I am not a CPA.

You should consult with your legal advisors. You should consult with your legal advisors.


OK – with that said, here are two takes on the impact of the Paycheck Protection Act.

This is one from real lawyers:

CARES Act – SBA’s New Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses & Nonprofits

And this one is from The Agitator:

The Skinny on What You Need to Get a Small Business (under 500 employees), Forgivable Loan (PPA Program)


They both say about the same things:

  • You could potentially cover your entire payroll (there are a couple of conditions and exceptions) plus the money you pay for your office (rent or mortgage) for 2.5 months with a loan taken from the program – and then have that loan forgiven (ie turned into a grant).
  • If you have already laid people off, this money could be used to rehire them, as long as they are rehired before June 30.
  • This money will be available through your local lending institutions (banks).
  • You should contact your lending institution ASAP, because there will be competition.


Good Luck!

BTW – if you have a small business (like a consultancy) or even a side gig, you may also qualify for help under the Paycheck Protection Act, too. Check it out.


* * * * * * * *

Another part of the CARES Act allows those who would not normally itemize their taxes to deduct up to $300 in non-profit contributions from their 2020 taxes “above the line.” This means that some of your donors who make a $300 donation this year will be able to deduct it from their taxes even if they don’t itemize their taxes next year. (They will still get the Standard Deduction.)

This feels like information you could use in your renewal and appeal letters this year.

Note that this paragraph has been corrected since it was first posted – thank you Christian Dietrich!


* * * * * * * *

Several of you have been reaching out to donors in very personal ways by telephone, email, and letters/cards. THANK YOU for letting me know how that is going!

  • One story was of an endowment donor who was making six-figure pledge payments. The outreach resulted in her releasing at least one of the payments from restrictions, allowing the land trust to use the money for more pressing operational needs.
  • Another was from a donor who shared a story about social distancing on a preserve trail.
  • And one was about heart-warming well-wishes from donors, including this one: “Thanks for the words of encouragement. I find strength walking these bluffs every day. The Conservancy has an enduring mission which will only gain more importance and appreciation on the other side of this crisis. May you and your staff and your families stay well.”


So how are YOU doing? How are you coping? Are you working from home? Are your spirits up?


* * * * * * * *

And then there are these (recently captured from Instagram posts)

Where is your next travel destination?

  • Las Kitchenas
  • Los Lounges
  • Santa Bedroomes
  • Porto Gardenas
  • Los Bed
  • Costa Del Balconia
  • St Bathroom
  • La Rotunda De Sofa


Me drinking home alone in 2019: Sad, Disturbing, Loser

Me drinking home alone in 2020: Citizen, Inspired, Hero






Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pixabay



Share this!
  • Brianna
    Posted at 10:35h, 01 April

    Them: What are your plans for the day?
    Me: I dunno. Hit up the living room around 2 or 3.

  • Rick Newton
    Posted at 15:40h, 31 March

    Treasury department guidance here:

  • Kathleen
    Posted at 14:15h, 31 March

    Thanks David – very helpful info! I called Umpqua Bank already…

  • Lori O.
    Posted at 11:17h, 31 March

    Stay well (and thirsty), my friend!

  • William Stevens
    Posted at 09:07h, 31 March

    David, I value your posts.
    We are doubling no – tripling down – on our efforts to win monthly, automatic online donations.
    Asking folks who might give $100-$150 once a year to sing up for, $10-$15 a month.
    We suggest it would be easier for them, and would help us by turning a maybe-not-for-sure annual gift into a more reliable monthly income stream.
    We are so small, that a few hundred of these gifts would take us from dire uncertainty to being confident of running our programs.
    Thanks for being there; be safe.

  • Christian Dietrich
    Posted at 08:52h, 31 March

    The $300 above-the-line deduction is NOT available to itermizers–only non-itemizers. See Section 2204.

  • Gal
    Posted at 07:54h, 31 March

    Thank you David! This post made me laugh and don’t we all need more of that right now? Wondering if anyone would be willing to share the gist of their scripts for donor calls? I hope to pull together staff, board and volunteers to call our entire member base (about 300 folks). Would love to get a sense of what others are sharing or finding has been most impactful in their communications.