Every day of 2020 felt like history was being made before our eyes. It seemed like each week we saw stories that inspired care and compassion like never before.
As monumental as this year was for everyone around the world, it was especially tumultuous for the nonprofit sector. Thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, programs ceased, volunteers vanished, and organizations had to pause or even shut down. And yet, at the same time, thousands of new nonprofits were born out of immense needs felt by communities globally, and donors were more generous than ever before.
While we’re looking forward to 2021 and the good news it will hopefully bring, we believe it’s important to remember the perspectives, empathy, and actions that inspired us throughout 2020.
With that in mind, let’s look at the ways the nonprofit community persevered in this—dare we say—unprecedented year.
With rising anxieties came an increase in generosity toward nonprofits.
As the provider of a nonprofit CRM that manages donations for thousands of nonprofits, we got a first-hand look at the groundbreaking generosity shown by donors this year. Even though events were canceled, races called off, galas postponed, and offices closed, nonprofits persisted in raising funds online and in other innovative ways.
Here’s an incredible look at what our nonprofit customers were able to accomplish this year:
- Kindful processed more than $1.07 billion in donations and more than 4.5 million gifts.
- Nonprofits using Kindful saw a 31% increase in individual gifts. Even amidst layoffs and a collapsing economy, more donors participated in charitable giving.
- Our customers added more than 4.86 million contacts, with a total of 1.68 million donors logged in Kindful. As more people participated in giving, nonprofits had even greater opportunities to nurture and steward their donor relationships.
- Our customers generated 22,391 mail merges and 104,844 reports. That made for incredible gains in relationship touchpoints, fundraising insights, and time saved through automated workflows.
- More than 12,800 users logged into Kindful this year. Growing and distributed teams thrive off a central, connected database.
- Customers made 1,814 new integration connections, connecting to top software tools like Mailchimp, QuickBooks, Eventbrite, and Classy.
When our way of life changed, we all came up with creative solutions to new problems.
Industries had to adapt and innovate this year—and that most certainly included the nonprofit sector. There was no program that went untouched by shelter-in-place orders, which meant nonprofits scrambled to come up with new ways to serve their constituents and carry out their missions.
That was true for the Kindful team as well. Here are a few of the updates we delivered this year:
- We launched our new events feature in March, giving customers the flexibility to save money and move their in-person events online. Our engineering team made quick and effective changes before launch to make our events feature even more flexible for virtual use. Instead of spending more to produce their online events, our customers were able to use our new feature to save money and carry on with their fundraising plans.
- To make tracking online touchpoints less tedious, we updated our email BCC and Contact Automerge features to make tracking online touchpoints less tedious. The world quickly became online first—and only. With that in mind, we prioritized updating our BCC tools to make email correspondence from development reps and admins sync to a donor’s record seamlessly. And with so many details coming in from digital interactions, our Contact Automerge streamlined record keeping so our customers had a reliable database to work off of.
- We updated our fundraising tools so donors could give with ease and confidence. In September, we prioritized adding ACH processing to Kindful’s Donation Plugin—a compact, embedded donation button and pop-up—to capture more donations with fewer fees. Then, in time for the year’s biggest giving season, we updated our Donation Pages with new styling and branding options, as well as the ability to accept donations via Apple Pay and Google Pay, inspiring confidence for donors at every step.
- Fundraise Up joined our list of industry-leading integrations, giving nonprofits even more flexibility when choosing their fundraising tools.
When next steps were unknown, we partnered with the best minds to walk forward together.
When our respective worlds got turned upside down, we followed your lead and offered hope and resources to support nonprofits in their new challenges.
We’re proud to stand behind and share these resources with you this year:
- We published 61 blog posts and four ebooks in 2020. Some of our favorites include:
- We launched our Nonprofit Glossary with 44 entries, our Nonprofit CRM Comparison Hub with eight different reports, and our revamped Referral Program for customers and affiliates.
- Partnering with a dozen different consultants and professionals, we hosted 10 webinars this year. Some of our favorites include:
Just like you showed up for your communities, we worked to show up for you in any way we could.
The nonprofit community came together in unbelievable ways to show camaraderie and offer support for each other. Our teams strived to be there alongside you as we supported your fundraising efforts.
This year, our support and success teams were proud to help you reach your goals in big ways.
- We resolved more than 18,000 support tickets.
- You called and we answered more than 9,000 calls from customers (P.S. all Kindful customers receive free phone support!).
- We delivered more than 1,000 success and training hours, filling the gaps for strapped teams.
- We shared more than 145 training webinars to provide ongoing learning.
Most of all, we looked to you for inspiring stories to keep us going.
It was your stories of impact and change that showed us we can still stand up and make a difference. They kept us going. You kept us going.
Some of our customers sent us these inspiring stories, which we’ll share in their own words.
San Francisco 49ers Academy:
“We support middle and high school students to stay on track and be successful in school and life. The students and their families in our program have been hit hard by the pandemic. We’ve pivoted our services to focus on their basic need support as well as offering virtual case management.
One of our seniors got accepted to her dream college, UC Berkeley!
Our supporters are amazing and have helped us raise over $49,000 for our emergency fund, so we created this Some Good News Segment. Our program remains open and will be able to support our families during this crisis.”
“In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Prichard Committee began hosting virtual cafes with parents across Kentucky as a way to provide self-reflection and social connection.
Parents lead other parents through discussions related to being a parent and openly talk about ways to address difficulties and strengthen families. This is an opportunity for participants to learn from one another and support each other. Agreements are established prior to the conversation to allow for safety in sharing. The overall goals of the café are to promote protective factors and deepen self-reflection and peer-to-peer learning.”
Mill Community Ministries:
“We have expanded our FoodShare program, a weekly box of fresh food that goes to struggling families, during this COVID-19 crisis. We went from 250 boxes every other week to 650 boxes each week! Here is a story and a picture of one of our clients!
The church was praying for ways to help feed their congregation and community members since so many were out of work. They had no idea how they were going to help feed them. One of their members called and said she heard about Mill Village Farms’ FoodShare program. The church quickly ordered 40 food boxes and distributed them to families in need.
One woman was out of work, out of food, and did not receive her stimulus check yet. She cried when she received the boxes! Another family with young children was ecstatic to receive the box of food because they had not had fresh fruit since the COVID-19 crisis began. By the time one of the young boys came running out to get the second food box, he already had some fruit in his mouth!”
Amagansett Food Institute:
“The COVID-19 crisis has certainly put a spotlight on food systems across the United States and the world. On eastern Long Island, the closure of restaurants and retail establishments has had a significant impact on the numerous local producers of food and beverage products.
East End Food Institute in Southampton, NY, is proudly partnering with East Hampton-based Honest Man Catering to employ restaurant workers and provide ready-to-heat meals for our neighbors in need. These meals supplement the great work of our food pantry partners, Heart of the Hamptons and Springs Food Pantry, who are dealing with an unprecedented demand. Ingredients are purchased from local farmers, fishmongers, oyster farmers, and more, who have lost a significant portion of their market due to the closure of many restaurants.
This project is an extension of our year-round farm-to-community program and is made possible by the generosity of our donors.”
Heart for Africa:
“On April 18, Heart for Africa launched our first campaign through Kindful to help our workers in Eswatini, a small country in southern Africa. Due to the government-mandated lockdown in Eswatini, nearly 170 of our employees—those considered non-essential by the government—have been unable to work. Without work, they’ve been unable to earn wages to provide food for their families. On average, each worker feeds eight to 13 people with their monthly salary.
“We needed to provide food for them and their families during this lockdown.
“After some planning, we figured we could feed a family of eight for one month for $75. These food packs include sugar, beans, maize, cooking oil, eggs, butternut squash, fresh milk, papaya fruit, MannaPack (from our partner, Feed My Starving Children), and soap for routine hand washing. Food is also being provided from our Project Canaan Farm to help feed our workers’ families.
“We launched this campaign online (on a Saturday morning around 7 AM) with a goal to raise $25,000 to provide food to our workers and their families for two months. In less than 12 hours, we exceeded our goal. We are so grateful for the Kindful platform and the campaign features that we were able to use so we could raise these funds! We were blown away at the generosity of our followers and others who had never even heard of us. We know that God is the ultimate provider and He blew us away with His goodness and provision for this campaign.
“As of 10 days later, we have received nearly $33,000 for this campaign.”
Do good. Be Kindful.
We are blown away by what our customers have made of this year. Our sincerest gratitude goes out to all nonprofit professionals and volunteers who made the world a better place despite the dire circumstances we all faced. We need you now, more than ever, and we can’t wait to see what you do in 2021!
Keep up all the good work, and we’ll see you in the new year.
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