Americans’ Mindset, Motivations and Interest in Social Causes During a Global Pandemic
We’re about to enter Week 6 of what we all refer to as our “new normal”. Most are balancing life & work from home, while others have experienced furloughs and layoffs. As reported by U.S. Today on April 16, a record 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the past month. Oxford Economics anticipates that some jobs will be recouped once the virus is contained and economic activity recovers, but it doesn’t expect the U.S. economy to reach pre-coronavirus levels of employment until early 2022. Some economists predict gross domestic product could fall more than 30% on an annualized basis in the second quarter, leaving investors, businesses and, yes, nonprofits bracing for an anticipated recession and possible depression.
These are tough, confusing and uncertain times, to say the least. To salvage individual and corporate dollars, nonprofit organizations have been struggling with whether to cancel, postpone or bring their events virtual. With the unemployment rate expected to spike to 14% at the end of April, they’re also grappling with whether to proactively fundraise or ask individuals to donate, volunteer or participate in events. While some organizations have made firm decisions, others are still considering their options. One thing we have learned in talking with dozens of nonprofits over the last month is these decisions are not one-size-fits-all.
At Accelerist, we’ve been a long-time proponent of better understanding your audience’s psyche, in order to make more strategic fundraising decisions. Whether it’s deciding on creating a new event, attracting new donors, finding new corporate partners, or activating audiences around a campaign or giving day, like the upcoming GivingTuesdayNow – knowing who your supporters are, what motivates them, where they shop and how they like to engage with your mission, is critical to fundraising in the new decade of big data.
Part of charting a path forward through a crisis is understanding how your core supporters feel right now. Edelman’s new Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic helps us understand how the general consumer feels about corporate response to the pandemic. Rocket Social’s weekly Good News Boost features corporate, influencer and corporate response to the crisis.
Accelerist’s new, nationwide study – Donor Opinion: COVID-19 – examines Americans’ mindset, motivations and interest in supporting social causes during a global pandemic.
All of the fascinating data in the report convinces us of one thing: How you treat your supporters now will determine if they are supporters for life. We also learned…
- Consider your supporters’ state of mind, financial burden, and heightened stress and responsibilities to tailor your event and partnership strategies, solicitations and ongoing activation communications.
- While Health is now the nation’s #1 concern, loyal supporters are still committed to causes and organizations they know and love. Leverage your relationships and reputation to maintain and grow your longstanding partners and supporters.
- Develop virtual volunteer and awareness opportunities to steward your existing supporters and attract new ones. Donations will follow in 12-18 months.
- Communicate the local impact your mission can have before and after your solicitation, event, activation or partnership.
Knowing how important it is for nonprofits to understand their people, Accelerist has recently released our new, Audience Analytics platform. Within hours, you can understand your audience, their motivations, needs and opportunities for engagement. View the new platform features here, or schedule a demo with us to learn more about discounts and payment options to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on your nonprofit.