During these uncertain and unprecedented times, fundraising takes on new challenges while communication and branding become more important than ever. Have you canceled your annual fundraising event? Are you questioning how and even whether to engage donors? Here are some suggestions from Cavanaugh Creative:
• Express concern – Connect with donors and stakeholders. Offer genuine concern for their well-being while recommitting to your mission. Initial communication should come from your leadership, whether CEO, board chair, or executive director, but, not the development lead.
• Increase communication – Create a 90-day action plan to engage and motivate both donors and internal and external audiences.
• Resist canceling fundraising plans – Instead, modify the messaging of current strategies and create new goals as needed.
• Leverage social media and email – Social medial channels and email marketing are your best communication tools during a crisis. You can quickly combine content with visuals to engage and motivate.
• Communicate financial impact – Communicate the impact COVID-19 is having financially on the organization, as well as on programming, and the steps you are taking to mitigate the impact. Transparency is critical.
• Utilize video conferencing – Hold special briefings with donors, boards, special interest groups, and community partners. Video conferencing connects people in a way that a call does not.
• Launch a new campaign for urgent needs – Hold a special fundraising effort around the most urgent needs of your organization. Add a temporary pop-up banner to your website for donations that will have an immediate impact on the community.
• Foster stewardship – Tell stories that demonstrate to donors that their previous and current donations are making a difference. Thank donors by making personal calls and adding notes to all donor communications.
• Maintain capital campaigns – Recommit to your campaign in a bold way and reassure donors it is progressing, but it may just take a little longer.
• Re-assess budgets – Do not cut costs at the expense of generating revenue. Invest in the future, ask for new resources from your donor base, and shift dollars from one initiative to another where it may have a greater impact.
Across the country, we are seeing resilience and creativity among nonprofits, not only demonstrating meeting the needs of the community but in some cases, even expanding services. And please remember, we are in a temporary situation. As challenging as this crisis is in our daily lives, we will get through this as a community. Please reach out if you’d like to connect.