Navigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Library Giving Day 2020 Fundraising

Because news and information about coronavirus (COVID-19) changes daily, you’re probably thinking about how to position fundraising around Library Giving Day. Should you still promote Library Giving Day in the current environment? If so, what shifts in strategy should you be making? What are the best ways to get your message out? The list goes on.

Carl Bloom Associates (CBA) is here to help. We, along with the help of a number of fundraising experts, have come up with a list of thoughts and actions that you can implement right now:

1. Stay the course. The most important piece of advice is to not abandon your fundraising. You should still fundraise around Library Giving Day. Even if results turn out to be low, any and all engagement is vital towards future fundraising. CBA’s experience fundraising during times of crisis tells us that organizations who cancel fundraising efforts have much harder time recovering when times get better, as a result of donor file attrition.

2. Communicate your value. Now more than ever, your fundraising messaging must make it clear how your library is essential to the communities you serve. Is your library providing educational resources while schools are closed? If so, make sure families know about it. Is your library conducting virtual book readings? Provide your community with details regarding how to participate in the readings. Share these efforts and your value with your community within Library Giving Day print and online promotions.

3. Be open and honest. Times are tough — the more open and honest you are with your supporters, the stronger your connection will be. Communicate with the purpose of forging a connection with them during this difficult time and they will be with you in the future.

4. Be timely and fluid. Stay up-to-date with current news and information. Generate and update messaging regularly. Check your messages before they go out to make sure they are still relevant. If you have emails already planned as part of your campaign? Reread them before you send. Don’t let anything you send go out without a timely and sensitive eye – things are changing quickly these days.

5. Humans talking to humans. Think about the communications you have received in the last few days. Did they make you feel better? Did you feel a sense of urgency? Have you received messages that appeared to be insensitive or tone-deaf? We’re humans talking to humans so put yourself in the donors’ mind and adjust your messages accordingly.

If you have any thoughts or ideas you wish to share, please don’t hesitate to send a message to

Stay healthy, stay hopeful, stay home.

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Together, we can make it a success!