How to Fundraise during this Security Crisis

By Danny Oberman, Ofir Shaer and Smadar Kupietzky

The atmosphere in Israel is incredibly tense with people connected to multiple news sources. The daily terrorist attacks are highlighting hospitals, Magen David Adom & ZAKA, who are all doing amazing work. Inevitably these organizations will leverage the situation to strengthen their fundraising abilities.

The majority of Israeli nonprofits are not seeing their logos and spokesperson on TV every night. How are they able to maintain and improve their fundraising?

One of the primary goals of terrorism is to spread panic, thereby disrupting everyday life. Fewer people on the streets, constant concern for family and friends and an economic slowdown are stressful and damaging.

Yet the vast majority of Israelis know that they must maintain their routines and force themselves to get on with their lives.

This approach should be adopted by Israeli nonprofits in their dialogue with donors. It is critical that those who are benefiting from the services of the nonprofit, be unaffected by the current crisis. The nonprofit must attempt to provide a “business as usual” approach, and be proactive in providing their staff and “clientele” the support necessary to maintain normalcy.

The CEO of the nonprofit should be in touch with the Board and outline the steps being taken to maintain the level of service, while taking into account security needs. He must advise the board of the financial implications of the current situation, including expenses that are being incurred, changes in budget and possible fundraising projections. Together, the Board and CEO must agree on an action plan.

Donors should be approached and presented with the efforts being taken by the nonprofit in maintaining “business as usual.” It should be stressed that this is the most important response to terrorism in Israel, and the donors should participate in the effort. It is not enough for the donors to recognize the efforts being made by the NGO – they must feel that they are participating in these efforts.

We wish everyone a Shavua Tov.

Danny Oberman, Ofir Shaer, and Smadar Kupietzky are with The NGO Best Practices Clinic.