Tools for you- This too shall pass…now would be good

by Marcy Heim on April 8, 2020

This too shall pass!

TOOLS for you to USE Right now!

I. Say these affirmations out loud every day!

“Something Gooooooodds Gonna Happen to Me!”

“I Create My Life!”

“We become what we think about!”

“People love to give me money!”

Your biggest tool to get through this comes from within.  Monitor everything you read and hear and see.  If you feel that sinking feeling – push it out of your life unless you must hear it for your work or family.  Surround yourself with actions, people and experiences that lift you up and watch your own words. Don’t make yourself sick! (you can, you know)


If you don’t have authentic relationships with your donors now, asking for their help will be difficult. Don’t blame the virus. It’s time to start down a different path. This from Jerry Panas, my mentor and friend, says it all…. 

“It’s a puzzling phenomenon. It may seem counterintuitive, but in tough financial times people actually give more. But they give to organizations they care about. Those organizations that have done an outstanding job of thanking them properly and often, and where they feel their gift has been celebrated and used effectively.”  Jerry Panas

I shared a coaching call with Christi Rossi, Director of Development at Diabetes-Youth-Families in Concord, California. She was working with her board to reach out to their major donors and wanted some help with a script.  Here are a few easy sentences that helped her and perhaps will help you, too.

Script for board members or development staff – WHAT YOU SAY is BOLD Italics

How are you and how are you managing this?

VERY important – SHUT UP and Listen for the answer. Leave a large pause.

If they say “fine.” Ask them

What has been the most significant challenge you have dealt with?

VERY important – SHUT UP and Listen for the answer. Leave a large pause.

Thank you for sharing this. And thank you for being part of our DYF family. (your organization here)

Tell them 2-3 actions you are taking:

  1. The importance of our work has not changed. We don’t have all the answers here, we only know we have to figure this out.
  2. We are creating new ways to do our remarkable work.
  3. We are experiencing these challenges – laying off staff etc – BUT focus on what you ARE doing to continue to serve others, not “poor me.”

Depending on their answers, or if you prefer to do this as a two-call process (depends on the depth of your relationships – if you were calling your mother you’d ask for help right now!) the call may STOP HERE –

BE SURE TO LAY OUT A NEXT STEP – We will be back in touch in 2 weeks to check in on you.


1. So many of you have asked us how you can help us during this time.

a. Ask for advice on your new actions.

b. Ask for support, prayers, encouragement for your staff, recipients of your services, etc.

c. Ask for financial support using my 3-sentence ask (get your worksheet here

HAVE ONE WRITTEN For these times:

You have been our valuable and dependable friend, supporter and partner.

You understand how COVID-19 is challenging how we can (provide service)

Would you consider a gift of $______ to sustain our important work and team now?

2. Pause and Listen

3. Have two Next Step options at the ready.

a. If they are favorable – Thank you for this important help – (how to give)

b. If they want to think about it or no. – Thank you for considering this. I’ll be in touch again in a few weeks to see how you are getting along in this challenging time.

It is important to establish that they are important to you regardless of this giving decision.

III. Keep everyone informed – here’s a story using Call Multiplier

On a call with Olivia Mayer, Director of Donor Relations at Christian Living Communities and Cappella Living Solutions in Denver, Colorado, she shared they are using staff to record message updates about the care challenges in their facilities and what they are doing. Then, using Call Multiplier with an excel spreadsheet, they are reaching everyone in the “family” by phone to share giving updates, videos from the Chaplin, town hall meetings and how they can help.

Stay connected

Of course recipients of the calls can unsubscribe, but LESS THAN 1% have chosen to opt out.  In addition they are emailing and calling their major donors – the most often heard response, “Gosh it’s good to hear from you.”

IV. ASK moving forward – in addition to COVID-19 support

Working with VIP client, Betsy Warburton, and her team, a $50,000 gift was received NOW to name a new bus for this senior living facility in Story City, Iowa.  We are continuing to secure the remaining money needed.  While the bus won’t be on the road until all this is past, asking for this NOW helps your donors “get to the other side” of COVID-19.

In addition – with any campaigns or other big projects in the works…continue to ask for these, set up pledges with future start dates, remind donors of outstanding pledges, offer to combine COVID-19 giving as part of a longer pledge – basically anything that addresses today AND TOMORROW is inspiring now.

Remember, as overwhelmed, devastated, or disoriented as you might feel right now, the disruption to your life is real, but it will end.

Lift yourself up as a leader. Be someone your donors trust they can count on to channel their giving with focus and strength to get to the other side.

Chocolate bunny and flowers

May the coming weeks be filled with chocolate bunnies, gardening, virtual church or synagogue, and face time. This too shall pass, my friend, and you will get to the other side. I appreciate you. 

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