Feldsteinco LLC



COVID 19: Successfully Managing the Long War


The End of the Beginning

As of August 2021 we are in a new phase of the war against COVID-19 where we are going to have to learn to live with it, at least for some time to come. The virus is not going to surrender unconditionally. There are many weapons in our arsenal but no one silver bullet. We won’t eradicate COVID-19. We will have to win every day. You need to think of it as the “Long War” and develop the right integrated fund-raising strategy and operational plan to succeed. Major donors are ready to step up as never before, but they need to be presented with the right institutional plan.

Having observed COVID-19 very closely since before the March 2020 lockdowns, it is clear that now we are in a period of great anxiety largely because of the surge in cases of the Delta variant in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and concern about further variants, some of which may be vaccine-resistant. The impact on not-for-profit institutions in this most demanding and highly complex environment cannot be overstated:

  • For performing arts institutions expecting a return to normal this Fall, there is new uncertainty about audience demand as COVID-19 optimism wanes.

  • Exhibit-based institutions that have been operating this summer at high levels of attendance are starting to express similar concerns.  

  • Youth and family support agencies and other social service organizations will continue to experience unprecedented demand for ongoing and emergency services.

  • Public charter schools and other schools of choice face extraordinary demands on their human and financial resources.


Almost all key assumptions about COVID-19 have been upended. The good news is that the focus has shifted to where it should have been all along—how do we live with the virus? This new reality has enormous impact on not-for-profit institutions, operationally and psychologically, as they realize that for the time being their own assumptions and projections concerning revenues and expenses need to be re-evaluated, and strategic plans looked at through a new lens to protect themselves and the stability of their operations. Fund-raising income needs to be optimized and operating models revised to maximize the impact of how philanthropic support is allocated.

Urgent action is required, and the Mindset and specialized knowledge needed now are very different from what was required in earlier phases of the Pandemic. Then, challenging as it was, it was at least binary in essence—you were either still in lockdown or you were starting the recovery and return to normal. The situation now is much more complex.

To help not-for-profit institutions manage and navigate the long game of Pandemic impact, Feldsteinco has developed new special services with specific focus on COVID-19:

  • Peak Performance Fund-Raising amidst great Pandemic uncertainty. 10X thoughts and actions. Goal setting and attainment.

  • Public Relations, Communications, Constituent Engagement and Donor Relations

  • Strategic Planning, Allocation of Resources, Budgeting, and other key decisions in this fluid world


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