Nonprofit Fundraising in the Age of Coronavirus

We know that it is a challenging and uncertain time to be a fundraiser…there is so much uncertainty. Your boss is stressed, and your team is on edge. Your 2020 fundraising plans have completely changed in ways you never could have imagined. 

But, the good news is donors are still giving, in some cases more than ever. Really. So what are the best steps forward?

1. First things first, don’t stop communicating with your donors. 

Donors want to hear from you. Always. Especially now in the middle of this crisis. And they want to help. Donating is one way people can help, and it gives them so much in return. It helps people find meaning and purpose, which is even more important in the middle of troubling times. 

Organizations that stopped mailing during the 2008 recession took years and years to recover. And some never did. We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep contact with your donors.

2. Make decisions based on the numbers, not based on what you personally think or feel. 

This is always important, but it is especially important now when it is easy to talk yourself in circles and let your own emotions take over. Don’t assume donors can’t give. Or they don’t want to give. Lean on the numbers and let them make the decisions for you. Test and test again. And learn from the results. The numbers don’t have feelings, so it’s a safe place to focus on. 

3. Be top of mind. 

In hard economic times, we know donors might give to fewer organizations, but they will keep giving. So keep sending nonprofit direct mail. Keep sending emails. Overcommunicate. Donors may be paying more attention to your mail or emails today. They have more time now and there is a lot less competition in their mail box. Make sure they are hearing from you. 

4. Personalize your communications. 

Whether you’re communicating via email or direct mail, sincerely show donors you care. Fundraising is about building relationships, and this is definitely a time to make it clear that you truly care about your donors and are concerned for their well being. 

6. Call your donors. 

This is a tremendous opportunity for telemarketing. Donors are home and will answer the phone. They want to talk and will be excited to hear from you. People want to know how you’re helping your cause and making the world a better place.

7. Grow your monthly giving program. 

If you weren’t a believer before, the COVID-19 pandemic coronavirus has certainly demonstrated the importance of monthly recurring giving.  It’s reliable ongoing revenue.  As you look toward the future, think about the ways you can build your monthly giving program so you have a steady source of income in times like these. Build a plan and be consistent with it moving forwardstick with it. 

8. Communicate to donors with a clear, compelling and urgent message to donors. 

Show relevance, be clear, and be compelling.  Explain how you have adapted your approach during these times. Be honest, authentic, and transparent about the challenges you are facing. Remember, donors want to help you!

9. Fundraise with confidence. 

If your mission was important three months ago, it is still important today. Donors cared before and they still care now, maybe even more than ever. How can you share your mission and values today to bring donors closer to your cause.

For more fundraising advice and news, check back for new posts on our nonprofit fundraising blog. If you’d like help with your direct mail fundraising, GivingMail offers nonprofit direct mail solutions. Here are some nonprofit fundraising ideas to get you started.

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