Covid-19 lockdowns have been tough. They’ve disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable in our communities and have massively disrupted relief efforts.
Each nation, community, and individual has experienced different challenges due to the lockdowns. Malawi never implemented lockdowns while other countries are still restricting activity. Some medical projects have been able to continue while other education programs have completely gone on hold. Because of this breath of experiences, these are general tips that might only be partially applicable to your circumstance.
How do you effectively resume your work after lockdowns?
1. Harness Empathy
Focus on relevant needs that people will understand due to the experience they just went through. For the first time in their lives, some donors have personally felt what it means to live a restricted life. Mobility has been limited, job security has been shattered, and people have discovered shopping markets sold out of necessities. Donors have been suck inside their home, fearful of their health and future.
For some, this is the fist time they’ve ever actually considered their mortality. This has helped cultivate greater empathy for the global poor – who suffer all those things and more!
In response, donors are looking to help! They want to give to people who are suffering and asking for help. Post personal stories of families who are in need. Ask big – as some donors are looking to give big! If you are able, get out into your community and share the stories of those who have been hardest hit. The DonorSee community wants to join you in helping the poorest people in the world on the worst days of their lives.
Nutrition projects are particularly relevant to donors right now. DonorSee has been working hard to express the dire need for food support to our community of donors. If you have nutrition based projects that need help, let us help you get them in front of more donors!
2. Explain Context
As you emerge from Lockdown, take time to provide context. Lockdowns in your country might look vastly different than in another country. For example, some donors might be confused why you are in videos with others without masks.
Are conditions worse than usual? Donors might not realize exactly how much worse things are unless you tell them. When explaining context, you can assume everyone knows what COVID-19 is – but perhaps not what that has looked like in your community.
If you’ve not been able to post since lockdowns started, you might be making a first introduction to donors who’ve never seen your work before. DonorSee has been growing despite lockdown and it would be helpful for donors to understand what you’ve been doing these past months.
3. Revamp suspended projects
Over lockdown, some of your projects may have slowed down or stopped entirely. But, that doesn’t mean that donors are no longer interested. If the need is still there, post an update!
Save yourself a bunch of effort by recording brief update videos to any of your outstanding projects. Some donors might have held off on giving because they were uncertain if the project was still active. Check out What To Do When a DonorSee Project Stagnates for some great suggestions.
If your ability to implement the project will be delayed, that’s fine – and we encourage you to simply say so. Donors want to know what’s going on. They are giving through DonorSee because they want to be directly involved.
4. Watch for burnout
While it might be tempting to launch back into the fray with the same energy you had before lockdown, be careful. Just like a runner who has to ease back into their running regime after an extended break, you need to avoid pushing yourself too hard too soon. Jumping back into your work from a restrictive lockdown is not the same as coming back well-rested from a vacation.
Your community needs you for the long haul. Burnout can come from physical, emotional, and spiritual over-extension. In addition, stress is a known to directly impact your physical health – which can lead to a compromised immune system.
Only you will know what you need to prevent burnout. If at any time you need to talk with someone, remember your DonorSee Partner Coordinator is here to help! We do more than simply review and edit projects – we truly want to be partnering with you in your work.
Got your own tip for other DonorSee Partners? I’d love to hear it. Or, do you want some advice on reopening after a restrictive lockdown? Our team would be happy to talk. Just email me at Chadwyck (at) donorsee.com