Rick Happy, Principal and Managing Director of CCS Fundraising, sits down with Lindsay to share insights on philanthropy and relevant advice for every nonprofit around the globe.

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How to keep your nonprofit standing with communication, strategy, and confidence.

“In this time, it is critical to communicate constantly with your donors, your stakeholders, your friends... the people that you care about, and the people that care about you.” Click To Tweet

The initial shock of the COVID-19 outbreak is over, even though the world is still paralyzed. Now what? Keep going! The most important lesson from our past experience with crises is that it is crucial for nonprofits to keep going rather than stopping fundraising efforts to sustain themselves and keep their doors open — figuratively and literally. With an economic crisis around the corner, fundraisers are tuning in to figure out ways to count on their donors’ support. Today, Rick Happy, Principal and Managing Director of CCS Fundraising, sits down with Lindsay to share insights on philanthropy and relevant advice for every nonprofit around the globe.

As a philanthropy expert, mentor, and friend, Rick has shaped Lindsay’s way of thinking about consulting, fundraising, board management, and communications over the years. During her time as a Vice President at CCS Fundraising for nearly a decade under Rick’s management, she provided professional counsel to numerous educational, healthcare, civic, environmental, and religious institutions, and directed dozens of capital campaigns, which have raised a combined total exceeding $1 billion.

In this episode, Rick shares compelling data, resources, and advice for anyone in nonprofit leadership who is considering the financial implications of this crisis on their organization’s future. From creative virtual donor visits to nurturing phonations, to reserve funds campaigns, and more, this episode will guide you with ways to fortify your donor relationships and financial stability.  Listen now for enlightening action steps you and your organization can take today to face the current health emergency (and how to be prepared for the next in line).

Key Takeaways: 

  • (02:22) – Some of Rick’s key takeaways from the CCS webinars on the COVID-19 national crisis. 
  • (07:55) – How this situation compares to the economic recession in 2008 and to other national crises he’s seen as a philanthropic advisor.
  • (11:27) – How UCSF Medical Center’s 2007 vision for advancing health worldwide was actualized through ambitious donor engagement, even amidst the Great Recession. And the celebrated ability to now serve COVID-19 patients today.  
  • (14:37) – Rick’s advice for nonprofits that are not in the health or emergency relief space  (such as the arts, education, environment, and others). 
  • (19:16) – The importance of reserve funds and anticipation for nonprofits prior to impactful economic events.
  • (22:24) – Overhead as a limiting factor of nonprofits: why being loyal to your mission is more important.
  • (24:46) – His perspective on middle-class donors and the risks of losing them after the crisis.
  • (27:09) – The cultivation mode campaigns and effective virtual solicitations taking place. 
  • (29:49) – Guiding donors while they support during COVID-19 and how it will impact your organization in the long term.
  • (32:14) – His predictions on how philanthropy will be impacted during the upcoming months and years.

Connect with Rick

Rick’s LinkedIn Page

Explore CCS Fundraising Website

Fundraising Strategies During COVID-19

CCS Philantropic Climate Survey Results

Episode Resources

An update on our COVID-19 response by Larry Kramer


National Jewish Health 


Ted Talk addressing nonprofit overhead