This week, I’m sharing a recording of a webinar we recently hosted for our past Angel Award honorees (we refer to them as “Wings”) on virtual fundraising.

The speakers – Jennifer Maggio of The Life of a Single Mom and Alicia Wiensneth of the Make-A-Wish Foundation — shared some illuminating best practices from their experiences with successful fundraising in the era of social distancing. The content is excellent and worth a watch!

I’ve heard a multiple points of view about nonprofit messaging and fundraising right now. It’s been a topic of debate among our own staff as we try to figure out where we should lean in to elevate important messages. All of us have been laid low some days with Zoomitis, bombarded by the constant invitations to this virtual conference or that webinar on top of everything else going on in our lives. It’s hard to know exactly when and where to push and if our messages will resonate and cut through.

I’m reminded of the old saying “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right!” We wrote about limiting beliefs in January, and also there is a fantastic article by David Burkus about why motivation doesn’t last. The gist both is this: right now, living as we are in a constant state of anxiety, our brain’s amygdala is wired to speak loudest. It’s the center of fear, fight or flight and long-term patterned behaviors. Our amygdala highjacks our prefrontal cortex, the home of executive function. It does this without asking permission – and the process isn’t wired in reverse, meaning that we have to consciously invoke the powers of our executive function to meet fear and push us forward.

There are a million reasons to write off doing something big, different or experimental to try and solve a problem. And there are a million messages tell ourselves about we definitely don’t need to put our idea out in the world (“No one cares,” “There’s too much noise,” or “This will fail.”) As a colleague of mine likes to say, whoever it is your organization serves, remember – they deserve our best, and our best has no room for ego.

Our thoughts are with everyone as we move through this week of storms and this ongoing challenge. As our team can be of support to you today or in the days to come, please let us know! Stay safe and well,

Michael Tipton
President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
Head of Community Relations


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