Updated: August 31st (Updated & new content in orange)
Hitting on the verge of the spring events season, the COVID-19 outbreak is already having a dramatic negative impact for many of our organizations.
There are no easy ways to cope with this rapidly evolving crisis, but we’re confident that easy access to focused information can help you work smarter. This online resource center is designed to link you with data on 1) what others in our field are doing and 2) articles and tools on navigating this challenging terrain.
The rate at which the situation changes is truly astounding so we’ll update this frequently. If you have news to share or come across resources that others could benefit from, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News on Program Changes
Most large peer-to-peer programs have announced significant changes to their programs in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Follow this link (updated weekly) for more information on programs that have announced postponements, cancellations and/or program changes, such as switching to a virtual campaign. Reviewing their communications may help you in drafting your own messaging.
You can also check out this Forbes article by Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum President David Hessekiel that outlines some of the recent changes and what they mean for nonprofits — as well as this new piece that summarizes some of the latest developments.
P2P Forum Survey of Program Leaders
On March 9, we reached out to the leaders of the thirty largest programs in the United States and some top Canadian programs for a sense of how they were feeling and reacting to the outbreak. Among the 24 respondents, the top-line results were, not surprisingly, quite bleak.
And because many of the responses were provided right away, unfortunately we believe that a later poll would have shown even higher levels of postponements and cancellations and concern about revenue impact.
Below are responses to some key questions on the survey
Question: Have you canceled or postponed any of your P2P events as a result of the coronavirus?
We’ve canceled at least one event: 12.5%
We’ve postponed at least one event: 33.3%
No, but we’re closely monitoring the situation: 33.3%
No, and we have no plans to cancel or postpone any events: 4.2%
Question: Do you expect COVID-19 to negatively impact your P2P revenues in 2020?
Not sure: 25%
Useful Articles and Tools
In respect of your limited time, we’ve culled down what has been written about COVID-19’s impact on P2P to spare you from slogging through vague “big picture” posts and to connect you with materials that may be truly helpful to you.
Making Go/No Go Decisions
The coming days and weeks are forcing most organizations to make difficult decisions. Below are some resources to help guide your choices.
National MS Society Decision Tree
National Multiple Sclerosis Society executive vice president Jennifer Lee generously shared this decision-making tool that her team has been using to evaluate whether to cancel or postpone events.
It starts with a review of whether government or venue authorities have weighed in on whether mass events can be held. If none of those block the event, it then takes NMSS leaders through a series of other considerations to help reach a decision.
Interestingly it makes very explicitly “How much revenue the event generates or the fixed expenses that cannot be avoided in the event of a cancellation shall not be factors in determining what we need to do to keep people safe, but we do need to understand the financial implications of these decisions as part of the process.”
Cadence Sports Observations & Perspectives
Cadence President Gary Metcalf and his team touch 200 events annually and have been in touch with a great number of them since this crisis began. This document boils down some of what they have observed, provides helpful perspectives on approaching programming decisions and briefly lays out some technical subjects to consider such as insurance and contracts with suppliers.
DonorDrive: The Coronavirus Concern: What Nonprofits Need to Know
This blog post from DonorDrive suggests factors that nonprofits should consider when making decisions about the status of upcoming events, strategies to employ and important factors to consider when executing.
Clear, consistent communications is critical during a crisis. Here are some resources that are designed to help you with messaging during these uncertain times.
P2P Event Emergency Preparedness Checklist
Charity Dynamics has created a tactical ten-point plan for communicating with stakeholders about your decisions whether they are focused on shifting gears or moving ahead.
Communications During a Time of Crisis
Regardless of your mission, it’s important to remember to put your audiences and your mission first in all of your communications. This is especially true during a crisis.
Here are two articles from Peter Panepento, philanthropic practice leader of Turn Two Communications, offers insights on how to message effectively during the Covid-19 crisis:
How to Adjust Your Nonprofit’s Communication and Events
This article by MediaCause offers some excellent insights into how to adjust your communications strategy and handle messaging about canceling events.
Marketing Your Event During the Coronavirus Crisis
For when the show must go on, PCMA offers some useful tips on how to market your future events during this uncertain time.
Our community’s most frequent request has been for advice on successfully building virtual elements for traditionally “live” programs such as walks and rides. We don’t have a magic bullet to share, but we have begun to accumulate some useful information and gathering more is a priority.
A Look at Virtual Campaigns in Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Journal offers an interesting look at how nonprofits in that state are moving to virtual campaigns.
Moving Forward With a Virtual Event
Charity Dynamics’ Marcie Maxwell offers advice on how to make the important decisions needed to get your virtual event planning in high gear.
6 Ways to Engage Peer-to-Peer Participants and Increase Donations for Your Virtual Events
Cathexis Partners offers this look at how to get your virtual event participants more involved and ultimately increase donations.
7 Easy Steps to Move Any Fundraising Event to Virtual
Bloomerang offers this quick, seven-step guide to convert any nonprofit event into a virtual campaign.
Webinar: Creating Winning Virtual Programs In The COVID-19 Era
The Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum recently hosted a special webinar that provided advice on how to create an effective virtual event.
What Creates Virtual Event Success 2020
Blackbaud UK published this useful eBook in January suggesting three core pillars to focus on to maximize virtual event fundraising based on survey results and charity case studies.
Virtual P2P Events That Helped Define The Marketplace
At our request, Michael Johnston, president of Hewitt and Johnston Consultants, wrote this article examining a few existing virtual programs and offering advice on factors to consider when creating such an initiative.
Tips for Hosting a Virtual Peer-to-Peer Event
Qgiv has put together a useful post on how transition your fundraisers to virtual events.
PANCAN Virtual Strider Program
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has had a virtual strider program as a part of its PurpleStride walk series for some time and is now leveraging in light of its cancellation of in-person events in March and April.
Take a look at how the group promotes and activates this capability.
Are Virtual Events The Next Big P2P Trend?
This 2017 P2P Professional Forum article examines a number of existing programs and offers some advice on achieving success with these types of initiatives.
How To Hold A Virtual Event When Plans Change
This article by gofundme charity offers some elementary information on creating a virtual program.
St. Jude PLAY LIVE Hits Its Fundraising Goal Early
While many organizations have struggled to pivot from in-person events, this existing streaming program raised $3.3 million in May and exceeded its goals.
COVID-19 Amplifies the Need for Social Fundraising
Tiltify CEO Michael Wasserman offers some excellent advice for nonprofits that are looking to embrace livestreaming to raise funds during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.
What Are Gaming Fundraisers and How Can They Raise Donations for Your Nonprofit?
Nonprofit Tech for Good explores how gaming fundraisers work, how organizations have used them in the past and how your can use them to raise money.
COVID-19 What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know
In March the law firm Venable LLP conducted a valuable webinar on legal issues nonprofits should be considering in light of this crisis. The webinar recording and accompanying handout have excellent sections specifically focused on events.
Sponsorship During Times of Crisis: Cancelled Events, Postponing And Refunds
Sponsorship expert Chris Baylis has written an extremely practical post on how to best work with sponsors in the face of needing to cancel, postpone or move forward with a possibly quite diminished or altered event.
Alternative Fundraising Options
What To Do If You Have To Cancel Your Event Because of COVID-19
QGiv’s Shay Lessman provides some introductory thoughts on developing digital or what he calls “interactive fundraising campaigns” if you must cancel events.
COVID-19 disruptions will force us all to work and communicate internally and externally in new ways. Here are a few resources that may help you work smarter.
10 Tips For Giving Effective Virtual Presentations
Check out this great resource via Stanford University.
Take an in-depth look at how some nonprofits nonprofits are dealing with the outbreak.
Case Study: St. Baldrick’s Foundation
How does an organization that has traditionally held 40 percent of its events in March make a fast and successful pivot? Check out our interview with St. Baldrick’s Foundation CEO Kathleen Ruddy.
A Little Relief From All of the Stress
Bravo if you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this page of resources. You deserve a break!
The Best Shows to Binge-Watch If You’re in Quarantine
One writer’s suggestions for some great shows to check out when you need some downtime.
Have additional resources or news to share or questions? Please send them our way at email@example.com