Barbara Newhouse, CEO of the ALS Association had only been in her position several months when the ice bucket challenge “erupted” in Boston and spread around the globe. She shared what ALS learned from this phenomenon at the Booz Allen Hamilton Nonprofit Speaker Series on October 30, 2014 entitled “When You’ve Hit the Lottery: Turning One-Time Participants Into Long-Term Organizational Supporters.”
Newhouse recommended that, in terms of handling huge unexpected influxes of funding, your organizations should:
- Integrate your mission in your responses
- Be clear about what you will be doing with the money
- Coordinate and prepare multiple messages for your various audiences
- Be authentic
- Be cautious
- Communicate constantly
- Leverage influencers
- Develop new donors
- Learn how to navigate the new normal
- Manage expectations
- Expect scrutiny at all levels
She also noted that having thick skin was helpful! Everyone has an opinion when money is involved.
The session also featured Whitney Klinke, Director of Individual Giving, American Red Cross, and a panel with representatives from Little Lights, For Love of Children, Homeward Trails, and Wider Opportunities for Women. A recording of the complete session can be heard here.
One unusual take-away from the session was the recommendation that in addition to having a rainy day plan, nonprofits should also have a "what if we won the lottery" plan!