As online learning, working and socializing become the new normal and the current pandemic constantly presents new challenges, nonprofits must adapt to new strategies to maintain relationships and connect with donors.
With social distancing, unemployment and many other hardships attributed to COVID-19, donors may be experiencing high levels of stress and preoccupations. An article titled Remaining Relevant: Keeping Donors Engaged During a Crisis published by NonProfit Pro emphasizes the importance of staying connected with donors even in a crisis, specifically when your organization is not directly affected by the crisis itself.
There are many ways to continue your relationship with your donors and supporters and maintain relevance despite difficult times. Here are four ways you can start.
- Be sensitive, supportive, and communicative: One of the most significant ways to cultivate meaningful relationships with donors is to be sensitive to donor situations and offer support.
- In calls, emails and other communications to your donors, check in with them. Make sure that they are staying safe and healthy. A small sentiment goes a long way.
- If the pandemic has impacted your nonprofit, let your supporters know your plan of action and goals moving forward. Let them know if you are in need of support and how they can help.
- Communicate any changes your nonprofit has made in wake of the pandemic, such as updates and compliances to orders.
2. Keep up your online presence
As many supporters will be learning and working online during the pandemic, this medium is the best to communicate with them. Stay relevant through posts, newsletters and by updating your website often.
- Ensure that your website is accessible and easy to navigate as you welcome more traffic.
- Increase your posts on social media, using it as a tool to promote events but also boost morale and maintain a positive attitude in times of uncertainty. Make this content as shareable as possible.
3. Virtual events, activities and services
Giving your donors and supporters ways to virtually connect with your organization during this time is crucial; it will not only reduce shelter-in-place boredom but can also provide ways to fundraise.
- Offer a free service or activity online. Maybe this is a series of videos, a livestream, an educational module or a quiz. Encourage your target audience to engage with what your organization stands for and learn more.
- Hold virtual events to raise money or awareness for your organization. Popular examples of virtual fundraising include webinars, tournaments, auctions and even virtual races and 5ks. Sometimes, the event doesn’t have to be virtual—drive-in movies have been a great way to get out of the house, no germs involved. Get creative!
4. Stay in Touch
While many of your donors might not be able to donate now, they may in the future. This is your chance to strengthen your relationships and make an impact on donor perception of your organization. Continue to communicate with and thank your donors, and emphasize how much they mean to you.
In any crisis, remaining positive and open with donors is key. Providing multiple outlets for connecting will aid your organization during a crisis and in the future.
If you are interested in finding a network for support and creative problem solving in your development efforts during this time, check out our monthly Development Director Roundtable.