COVID-19 has affected all of us around the world in all kinds of ways, and nonprofits have borne a heavy load of the consequences—reduced funding, more people in crisis, and a whole new set of needs that our world hasn't seen before.
Orphan's Promise addressed those same issues as COVID-19 progressed, at one point facing a $75,000 shortfall in funding. The child-focused organization had always aggressively pursued empowering programming through a three-fold model focusing on community, children, and families—alongside a die-hard base of long-term donors.
But now... the big question loomed: How could they ask their loyal, committed donors for additional funding during a time that so many were experiencing loss and volatility?
The answer to that question came after a sleepless night for a donor couple who had recently given a large gift. These donors woke in the middle of the night, consumed with the spirit of giving, determined to do more. And, without knowing of the funding gap Orphan's Promise was about to hit, they wrote a check for $35,000 and asked that it be used to kickstart a matching campaign.
Maxing out that break, the team at Orphan's Promise was thisclose to bridging the gap, so they nervously decided to appeal to their core donors during one of the regular Zoom calls they had been hosting since the pandemic began.
That transparency was the best choice they could have made. As soon as the leadership team at Orphan's Promise highlighted the (greatly reduced) funding need and the story behind it, their supporters chipped in, not just providing excess funding, but also offering their commitment to fulfill upcoming needs and reaffirming their investments in the life-changing work Orphan's Promise makes possible.
And this group of donors only asked one thing in return. As Drew Friedrich, Director of Marketing for Orphan's Promise, recounts the story,
"One of them said, listen, don't ever let yourself get to a place where you're short on money and not tell us. We'll be more upset that you didn't tell us than we will if we find out that you're short on money. ...These are folks that really want to be sure we succeed. They've made investments in our organization over the last 15 years. They don't want to see it go down any more than we do."
So, in response to that earlier question, "How could Orphan's Promise ask their donors to give more?"... the answer was, "How could they not?"