Nonprofits Evolving Through The Pandemic

Alexis Ali

Professor Riley  

INTS 331

04 Ma

            In the last year of 2020, the spread of Coronavirus was detrimental to all societies, creating a worldwide pandemic that affected many affairs. One in particular and the main focus of this essay are nonprofits. These nonprofits faced major difficulties during the crisis and had to learn how to evolve and adapt through virtual accommodations. They had to find effective ways to get out of the negative surroundings that were occurring to many organizations. However, some might argue that the pandemic has been pernicious to nonprofits. It is in fact, the opposite because instead they have found ways to evolve during the pandemic by creating new ways of communication, marketing and volunteering methods.

            Everyone during the pandemic has been home and has had some type of mental break from reality. There were halts in all forms of in person communication due to the spread of covid. For safety precautions there needed to be different methods of communication to continue day to day life. Author Valerie Canady points out how, “Everybody had to pick up their technology game” and explains the importance of communicating through it. She also states how new uses of technology were prominent during this time, such as Webex, google hangouts, zoom and many more to continue nonprofit work. That said, nonprofits had to learn new tactics to inform their audiences with these new technology platforms by using new handout guidelines to address their work. For example, in the Nonprofits Communication Report it addresses five steps for nonprofits to follow during the pandemic. The first one is putting a “risk communication plan in action, knowing who is speaking and about what, appointing a designated person in charge, communicating early and often and lastly having a list of FAQs in a central place that gets updated as needed” (McMakin). Following these steps help ensure great messages of their work throughout the pandemic and allows the head of the nonprofit to be more successful due to updating their technological skills. If you have organizations that have websites that are easy to follow and display adequate information then more people are going to be willing to join, help and act in the NPO.

The guidelines also ensure activity that will not create a negative downfall but instead will keep the organization afloat because they are evolving their communication tools. In contrast, there are difficulties that could be suggested but can be overlooked due to the evolution of virtual uses that has formed during the pandemic.  There is also data that states how, “more than two-thirds or 71 percent said the impact of the pandemic was neutral or positive when asked if their organization is more viable in early 2021 versus a year ago” (Sherri). Although some have said it was a neutral experience it still shows that the pandemic was not fully negative.  The 71 percent that was referred still exemplifies the success rates NPOs have had during the pandemic when switching to remote. For example, if there are people around the world that cannot join the nonprofits through events or meetings, they instead could be virtually present. This year has shown that there can be more flexibility than ever before and that nonprofits can continue their work successfully online.

            Nonprofits had to learn how to market during the pandemic and quickly or they would lose out on their audiences. Many have already faced a decrease of fundraising and marketing by 18 percent ( Forbes). Nonprofits had to shift to different marketing strategies and rely heavier on social media than ever before to boost their funding. The uses of facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, OneCause and other social media apps were vital for organizational successes. In particular, OneCause helps nonprofits teach new virtual fundraising services by demonstrating new ideas to try out online ( Jameson). A few of these techniques to increase funding is having online auctions, online donations, peer virtual events that have DIY challenges, all of these are forms of in-person events that have simply transitioned to online (Jameson,2020). When these nonprofits follow tips that were provided they were able to stay strong during the pandemic. A prime example is the organization ForKids, they tried the tactics OneCause provided and did a virtual event that allowed the people to participate through Facebook Live in an auction and raffle game that returned more than $980,000 for homeless services, all during a pandemic ( Jameson). They were able to try fundraising through online services while incorporating other big platforms such as Facebook, which allowed more engagement and participation to raise money.

Another example that nonprofits flourished in marketing was simply using the hottest social media platforms. Tik Tok being one of them, is an app that became widely used with “over 1.1 billion active monthly users, TikTok is a video-sharing social platform for short-form videos. It has become enormously popular with Generation Z” ( Forbes). This app was extremely popular over the pandemic and many used the short video clips to advertise their organization beliefs. For example, The American Heart Association was able to communicate to all ages through the app by creating and marketing a trend called “keep the beat” that then allowed multiple people to do this activity and help bring awareness to the organization (Forbes).  They also had clear details on how to join the challenge by communicating steps on how to use a hashtag or tag the dance video and what their marketing goal was for this dance, which created fundraising and donations to the profit. The usage of social media during the pandemic was an evolving experience because they learned how to market and fundraise in profitable ways that allowed nonprofits to gain more attention to a wider audience than before.

In addition to evolving methods of communication and marketing, there was also a growth in volunteers during the pandemic that allowed nonprofits to be active. Now, having volunteers during the pandemic has been challenging and originally had about “ 76 percent of respondents were concerned about the current pandemic and the impact of volunteering programs but about two monts later that concern number dropped to 61 percent” (Volunteer Match 3).

but in a good way because of the new engagement that has been discovered when having virtual settings.

Work Cited

  Sherri Welch. “Report: Pandemic’s Impact on Nonprofits Not as Bad as Projected.” Crain’s Detroit Business, vol. 37, no. 8, Crain Communications, Inc, 2021, p. 3–.

  “Reach Your Key Audiences During a Pandemic.” Nonprofit Communications Report, vol. 18, no. 6, 2020, pp. 3–3, doi:10.1002/npcr.31479.

  “OneCause Helps Nonprofits Shift to Virtual Fundraising During COVID-19 Pandemic.” PR Newswire, PR Newswire Association LLC, 2020.