5 Strategies for Successful Fundraising During the Pandemic


Turnstone, a Ft. Wayne, Indiana-based nonprofit providing a continuum of supportive services for people with disabilities and their families, recently launched their #ItsOurTurn fundraising campaign with an initial goal of $25,000. With dedicated efforts from their team, Turnstone raised more than $57,000, surpassing their goal by more than 100 percent! As one of their directors noted, “Even COVID-19 cannot stop us from doing what we do best – ‘Creating Possibilities.'”

Below, we take a look at 5 strategies that helped Turnstone surpass its fundraising goal despite the challenging environment we all find ourselves in due to COVID-19.

  1. Engage the board of directors in matching gifts – Turnstone’s board of directors raised over $15,000 to be used as a triple match opportunity for GivingTuesdayNow! By utilizing the national giving day to culminate the campaign with the triple match, Turnstone raised over $15,000 in additional gifts in just one day.
  2. Friends asking friends to support the cause  – Turnstone employees created personal fundraising pages and asked those in their social circles, their friends and family, to help support virtual services and programming for people with disabilities during the pandemic. The friends-asking-friends approach resulted in more than a 50 percent increase in new donors to Turnstone. There was an even greater response when supporters shared a post requesting donations than when the agency shared a post before GivingTuesdayNow!
  3. Set small goals to achieve larger milestones – Each week, the development team set small goals for the organization to achieve. These small goals kept the Turnstone team on-pace for achieving its overall goal. Depending on the week-over-week changes they saw in the campaign, the team would plan and adapt, setting more small goals until the ultimate goal was reached. The end result of setting these small goals far exceeded their expectations for the first-ever agency-wide P2P (peer-to-peer) giving campaign.
  4. Use storytelling to share the request for support – People want to support other people. Telling the right story to connect with donors is important to any campaign’s success. Throughout this campaign, the organization focused storytelling on what employees are doing virtually from home to support people with disabilities, while also telling stories of why they love working at Turnstone.
  5. Invest in the right fundraising technology – Earlier this year, Turnstone took the leap and invested in a fundraising platform that would allow for more efficient online fundraising. After using three different event auction platforms, the new online giving platform streamlined the fundraising processes. The new tool is multi-faceted and supports multiple strategies. The return on investment paid off! As giving trends move more toward online gifting strategies, this giving vehicle will become even more valuable.

Thank you to Turnstone’s Chief Development Officer Rena Shown for sharing her top takeaways from the #ItsOurTurn campaign! How have you engaged your supporters and donors in the past couple months? Because of the current environment have you found yourself needing to implement new and creative fundraising strategies? Share with us in the comments below!

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