Proven Strategies

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The Best Friends Podcast Episode 44

Fundraising During COVID-19
December 17th, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of our lives, it meant overcoming obstacles to every aspect of our work - including fundraising. The cancelation of in-person events, for example, required quick thinking to ensure the projected revenue from those annual events wasn’t lost.

It’s also been a good reminder of how we must take advantage of every opportunity, and this year’s GivingTuesday is a perfect example. Since its inception in 2012, GivingTuesday has become a worldwide phenomenon inspiring billions of dollars of charitable giving each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. With our communities in lockdown, effective online engagement and digital fundraising efforts are more important than ever before.

What was the outcome of GivingTuesday this year? Amid the economic crisis, are donors stepping up when we need them now more than ever?

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This week's guests

Amy Starnes Best Friends Animal Society

Amy Starnes

Senior Director, Digital Engagement at Best Friends

Amy oversees the strategies and campaigns that incorporate email, social media, website, apps and emerging channels to drive engagement for digital audiences at Best Friends. She loves using technology to create experiences that are both data-driven and meaningful for people.

Amy has worked in technology for nearly 20 years. Before joining Best Friends, she led the digital program at MSPCA-Angell in Boston, working to grow financial support and donor engagement for the organization through all digital channels.

Amy started her career working in web hosting and internet services before moving into the healthcare sector, where she developed IT solutions for Boston area hospitals, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Later, she worked for a boutique digital agency managing web development projects and client relationships.

Amy lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband, Elias, and their two dogs, Polly and Stella.

Sarah Cano Humane Society of Harlingen

Sarah Cano

Community Engagement Coordinator, Humane Society of Harlingen

Sarah Cano is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Humane Society of Harlingen (HSH), located in the Rio Grande Valley in deep south Texas. Sarah started with HSH in January 2020 as a communications coordinator, but when COVID-19 made fundraising events, calendars, and most planning impractical and/or impossible, Sarah pivoted and refocused her energy on broader community engagement.

At HSH, Sarah is responsible for donor tracking, stewardship, volunteer recruitment, social media, and even regularly jumps in to vaccinate, bottle feed, and microchip incoming and outgoing shelter pets. Through COVID-19, hurricane season, and all of the other unexpected twists and turns of 2020, she has been able to use her imagination and adaptability to help build out the development arm of HSH.

Sarah is forever looking for new and exciting ways to connect with the community and to keep Harlingen a safe place for pets.

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