Key strategies for nonprofit fundraising during election cycles. Highlighting data from past elections, Shanna Birky, VP with, reassures nonprofits that fundraising can thrive even amid the political frenzy. Shanna outlines the importance of adapting communication and event timing to avoid clashing with major political events, advocating for rapid response strategies and proactive donor engagement to capitalize on increased public interest during elections. Her expert advice encourages nonprofits to maintain confidence in their missions and strategically navigate the heightened media landscape to boost donor outreach and impact.

With over 15 years at Classy, a platform supporting digital fundraising for nonprofits, Shanna offered deep insights into navigating fundraising strategies during election cycles, a period typically viewed with trepidation by nonprofit organizations.

Shanna spoke to the resilience of fundraising activities during election years, noting that data from the past eight election cycles, excluding the Great Recession period, showed consistent growth in fundraising. This historical perspective helps alleviate the fear that elections might stifle donor contributions. She describes that while elections might dominate media attention, nonprofits should not shy away from their missions. Instead, they should adjust their communication strategies and timing to maintain donor engagement.

A key aspect of Shanna’s discussion centered on the tactical adjustments nonprofits might consider during election years. She advises avoiding launching major campaigns or events close to election dates due to the intense competition for public attention. Instead, she suggests focusing on periods less cluttered with political events, potentially leveraging the heightened public engagement for positive impact.

Shanna also introduced the concept of “rapid response strategies” which are crucial during high-visibility periods like elections. These strategies enable organizations to quickly mobilize resources and capture the surge in public interest that elections often generate. Such responsiveness ensures that nonprofits remain relevant and effective in their missions, despite the external noise.

Another key strategy discussed was addressing the shifts in donor behavior during elections. Nonprofits might observe that donors allocate funds differently, splitting between charitable causes and political contributions. Early and ongoing engagement with donors, especially high net worth individuals, is crucial to securing their support before they commit funds elsewhere.

Shanna encapsulated her message with a powerful quote: “It’s so important to still feel confident in your message. But maybe even go a step further. How are you communicating that impact? What is that story that you are telling?” . . . . .underscoring the need for nonprofits to communicate effectively and compellingly during politically charged times, ensuring their message resonates deeply with both existing and potential donors.