Keep Your Fundraising Relevant
Keep Your Fundraising Relevant
COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives, including fundraising. Major brands, television networks and entertainment personalities have come together to raise money for pandemic relief, often in direct competition with your organization.
So, when the world turns upside down, how do you make sure your fundraising messages remain relevant?
One, Ask the Right People:
It takes the same time, money and energy to gather large donations as it does for small ones. When your organizations are stretched so thin, you must focus on what will provide the best return on investment – so you can continue to serve those in need.
That means asking the right people. Your current high-value donors – both individuals and corporations – are your first line of support. Have your development team run $250+ donor reports. Then look to those who have supported you in the past, lapsed donors and emergency or disaster only donors. These are the people who have responded in ways that matter to your mission.
Two, Ask in the Right Way:
Organizations that fundraise strategically and compassionately during this time will be in the best position when this nightmare is over. It’s not easy but checking on your donor’s well-being is a true sign of a great friend – and building strong relationships and treating donors as part of the family is essential in any environment and even more significant now. Politicians and statistics make the headlines, but heroes like them make the difference.
Use this time to demonstrate to your donors that you care about them and that you aren’t just calling to ask for money but are there to help them as well.
Recruit others – retired staff, volunteers or other office personnel – to assist in your development team making phone calls, sending emails and writing personal notes. Remind them as they reach out to their caseload donors to communicate about what is happening on the front lines.
Make sure storytelling is a priority. Ensure everyone in the organization is hearing and sharing the same stories of lives changed and impacted by the programs and services you provide.
Also, utilize your social media platforms to share current information. Create relevant and informative posts that keep donors in the know about what you are doing. The tone of your posts should be positive and optimistic — not depressing.
Three, Ask for the Right Amount:
People are still fearful and anxious and may be reluctant to put their fears aside. Your conversations should be sincere, authentic and respectful of their individual situations.
Do your homework, understand their previous giving history. Know if they have a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). Then, when the time is right, be specific and make an ask that is appropriate to their giving history. Now is not the time to be meek but rather to speak boldly and be specific.
While our current situation seems overwhelming most days, there is time now to create and share relevant content about your organization and to strategically build stronger personal relationships with your donors.
This too shall pass. And when it does, your relationships with your donors will be stronger for it.