Photo Credit: Berkeley Communications
You are in a relationship with your donors and the key to any successful relationship is communication. It is important that you let them know how your organization is weathering the COVID-19 pandemic storm. Here are some tips to help engage and retain your current donors in this new normal.
Give an Update
If you have not sent out an update to your donors in the last couple of months, you are well overdue. Begin by providing an update on the status of your programs and services as well as the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on your ability to meet your mission.
Some organizations, like those focused on hunger and domestic violence, have experienced an increasing need for their services in the last couple of months. If your organization falls into this category, describing the impact the pandemic is having on your organization with data and anecdotes will be very compelling. Remind your donors that times like these are the reason why you exist.
If your organization has had to reduce any programs or services communicate this change to your donors. Explain the reason for the reduction as well as if the changes are permanent or temporary. If you have a plan to bring back programs or services let your donors know, if not inform them that you are in the process of developing a plan, and will let them know when it is complete.
Be mindful not to send out too many messages. Having a consistent cadence like biweekly emails is a great way to keep your donors engaged without turning your communication into white noise.
Pick Up the Phone
In a time of uncertainty, like the present, picking up the phone is a great way to cultivate relationships with donors. You can approach these calls a few ways.
The first, is to call your supporters just to simply say hello and let them know you are thinking of them. This is a simple check in call.
A second approach is to call your donors to thank them for supporting you. Give them a very brief update on your organization and make an ask.
A third method is designed to get recurring donors to increase their support. With this approach, you call the donor, thank them for their recurring contribution. Then tell them how their generosity has made a positive impact on your organization and ask them to donate at the next level.
Make an Ask
Although this has been a financially challenging time for many Americans, people are still giving. This is a time to be bold and make an ask. It is important to inform your donors of your organization’s needs at this time and make an ask for support.
Get Your Board Members to Call Donors
This is also a great time to get your board involved. Having board members participate in calls keeps them engaged in your cause and organization. Remember, calls don’t always have to come from your Executive Director or fundraising team.
Host a Virtual Town Hall Meeting
Life as we know it has shifted from in-person meetings and events to the virtual world. Hosting a virtual town hall meeting for your supporters is a great way to give a high-level update. It is important to highlight any work your organization is involved in for COVID-19 relief. Discuss any organizational changes that may impact your operations, outline your needs, and create a call to action.
This is time where communication is key.
If you have any questions about engaging your current donors reach out to Auxilia to find out how we can help!