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Sometimes it feels like the whole world is on fire. I have been trying not to emphasize it, but on the other hand, it might be useful to show you what NOT to do right now.

On a webinar recently, one person asked me what I thought the most cringe-worthy COVID-19 responses were.

Well, at first I didn’t know. Then I realized I had A LOT of them!

Lots from Universities like Harvard who, despite an endowment with millions, decided to lay off dining workers without pay. See the petition below, for the PR disaster this turned out to be for them.  And Good news! The Petition worked!

Harvard COVID PR Disaster

Then there’s the University of Dayton in OHIO- which caused a riot when it told students they had to leave the dorms, the lodging which they had already paid for for the semester! See riot police below.

Ohio University PR Disaster from COVID19

THEN there’s NYU, with the Dean of NYU’s Tisch School of the arts doing a dance: Losing My Tuition to the tune of Losing My Religion by REM, in which she tells students they are not getting their tuition back. Uhhhhhhh…… WTF

NYU Tisch School Dean Dance

From ANDREW YANG, former presidential candidate.

Just in case you missed it, Andrew Yang said that Asians now have to show their American-ness more than ever! So that Asians don’t become victims of hate crimes! YES! Go out and volunteer wrapped in an American flag! He really said this folks.  I don’t know where to begin.

Let’s be clear, I was never #yanggang to begin with, but now… this adds a whole new layer to who he thinks he is, and what he thinks Asian people should do to combat white racism. This Marina Fang tweet really says it all about Andrew Yang’s misguided attempt to try to curb anti-Asian racism right now.

marina fang tweet really says it all about andrew yang

 

What can you learn from the examples above?

1. Take care of the most vulnerable people right now. THAT is key. Whether it’s students, dining hall workers, or people who are getting discriminated against because the president of the united states keeps calling COVID19 the Chinese disease. If you have a PR disaster, work to remedy it quickly.

2. SHOW how you are taking care of the most vulnerable people right now. Share on social media, on your website, in enewsletters what you are doing to make sure everyone is safe, and financially protected.

3. If you have a budget shortfall right now because of COVID-19, if you can no longer do your event, for example, show the donors the need, and ask them to fill that urgent need right now. Show what you will do with the money.

 

Probably the MOST cringeworthy response?

Either sending out the same emails/letters you planned to send in the beginning of the year, WITHOUT mentioning what’s going on right now, OR nonprofits who think they can’t fundraise during this time.

YES absolutely you can and should fundraise during this time.

Got any more examples of cringeworthy responses to this COVID-19 mess?

Feel free to leave a comment!