Commentators predicted going in that 2020 would be a year of emerging crises globally, but few of us here in Australia suspected that we would lack even the luxury of taking each new crisis one at a time.
Australia’s 2019-2020 bushfire season was catastrophic. Over 2500 homes were lost, the greatest number lost to bushfires in Australia to date. The major fires began during winter and the blazes weren’t fully extinguished or contained until March 2020. Meanwhile, by January 25, Australia had already reported its first cases of COVID-19.
2020 was a year spent leaping from crisis to crisis. However, fundraising is a vocation in which experts are accustomed to embracing challenges, and in 2020 unexpected—and unprecedented—adversity showcased their incredible adaptability.
The year may have started with a clear vision and a locked-in strategy for many fundraisers, but it changed in the blink of an eye. We had debilitating limits on events capacity, non-essential businesses closed or limited—and, in some areas, even workers unable to leave their homes at all. Fundraisers knew they had to pivot to continue bringing vital services to their communities. In response, they changed everything from their broad marketing strategies to the most minute details of execution on the fly.
The changes that have had to be made can’t be understated—one report from a survey of 1,997 non-profit professionals tells us that 98% of non-profits usually host a fundraising event. In 2020, 48% of respondents had to cancel an event, and 40% had to postpone one.
Crisis is a tremendous driver of innovation. In 2020, we saw some incredible pivots globally: marathons were taken online, morning teas were hosted creatively (and one set a new Guinness World Record for virtual tea party attendance), and comedians livestreamed playing dungeons and dragons.
At home in Australia, we’ve also had to adapt to lived experiences that are different, and which have profoundly affected the work of our fundraisers. In 2020 DCA was proud to work with Children’s Cancer Institute on their Dare to Cure campaign, enabling them to take a digital-first approach to connect with Australian CEOs, MDs and other business leaders.
DCA is a national sponsor of the Fundraising Institute of Australia, the national peak body for fundraisers in our country, and we also support their data management needs and email communications with their members in our role as FIA’s ongoing data partner.
2020 was the year of the necessary pivot, and at this year’s FIA conference DCA is proud to be sponsoring the Best Pivot Campaign or Initiative Award.
This award recognises fundraising campaigns that have been pivoted in response to a crisis situation. It celebrates the ingenuity and adaptability of professionals in the fundraising sphere, and shines a light on their remarkable flexibility and determination.
Like many organisations, FIA has had to adapt to new challenges, which is why this year the FIA Conference has also moved online—which means you can still get tickets for it here. We look forward to seeing you there.
About the Author
Hanzel Nillo is Customer Engagement & Partner Lead for DCA’s technology agnostic Data Services Division. Hanzel’s strategic partnerships and breadth of experience across best of breed automation tools ensures DCA’s clients receive the right solution to optimise their marketing success.