April 01, 2020
It has been months since the Covid pandemic began spreading throughout the world, impacting us all in ways we could not have foreseen. From a personal stance, we’re concerned about the health and safety of our families and friends. On a professional level, we’re worried about the impact on our organizations and foundations.
When Covid hit, things began changing quickly in our cities. All of the sudden our workplaces were disrupted and many fundraising norms were sent into upheaval: we can no longer conduct gatherings of any kind and many organizations, who depended on fundraising events and social gatherings to raise funds, are now needing to strategize new ways to reach their donors and keep their organizations alive. So what now?
Here at Mindful Creative we love what we do and, just as you’re passionate about your organization, we too are passionate about our contributions to your cause. We are dedicated to improving your fundraising efforts, helping you engage your audiences, and better communicating your impact to your community and donors. We hear your frustration, so we went to work and gathered some useful tips and resources to help your organization thrive during this pandemic.
One thing nonprofits do well is seeing a need and rising to meet it. In our current times, there is a need for continued fundraising, but in order to rise to meet that need, we have to create some new normals. One way to do this is to get creative in planning. Did you know that most nonprofits do not have a major donation strategy? According to a survey of 700 nonprofits in North America, nearly 60% of respondents said their organization has no major gift strategy. Having a strategy at this time is crucial. Nonprofits are finding it hard to fundraise due to the halt in operations by many of their donors. Currently, individuals and organizations that contribute to nonprofits are holding on to cash and have stopped in any giving activities.
It’s time to create some new normals! Coming up with a giving strategy will enable you to walk forward more successfully. While your donation strategy will be specific to your organization, we have some ideas that can help.
This is a time for all of us to come together and stand strong. It is a time of compassion and unification. Showing support for your donors goes a long way to convey a sense of community with them. There are several ways for nonprofit organizations to show support to their loyal donors. One way is to consistently engage donors via phone calls, emails, or video conferencing platforms to check on their welfare and encourage them to keep safe without pressuring them for donations. Secondly, develop a gift giving strategy that will enable you to reach out to your top donors. For example, Door Dash gift cards show care for your donor’s personal wellbeing while allowing them to order a meal safely. And lastly, send them a personalized video message or card to let them know that they are in your thoughts and that you genuinely care about them.
Even during these uncertain times your donors want to be part of something good in the world. Take this time to reach out to let them know that their help is needed and communicate how their donations make a difference.
One way to do this is by understanding donor motivations and tailoring messages that appeal to their values. For example, all of the content on the websites we develop is uniquely written for the audience it is serving. One of our recently designed websites for The Medical Center of the Americas not only speaks to local medical and biomedical professionals, but it also reaches out to leaders in healthcare on a national level. By communicating specifically to their motivations and values, donors will more quickly understand the importance of their contributions.
Understanding your donors and their preferences is essential to reaching them. If your donors are composed of a younger generation, social media is your best friend. Focus on formulating an aggressive fundraising strategy on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These can give you widespread impact at a rapid rate. A great example is creating a “Live” event and getting your audience actively involved. This is especially useful if you have a monetary goal that you need to meet in a short period of time.
If your donors are an older audience, then consider reaching them via email, direct mail, or phone call. Putting attention into the design of emails and printed mail can go a long way in making that communication feel specialized to them.
Nearly 10% of all donations come from mobile phones. Make sure that your website and donation forms are responsive for mobile devices. Text-to-Give is another mobile fundraising method that uses text messaging and keywords to allow supporters to give to the causes they care about.
And lastly, plan a virtual community event. Get to know your donors and allow them to feel like they're part of the big family that your organization is. Your donors want to see what good is being done with their donations. Give a virtual tour of your organization and those involved, as well as those who have benefited from their donations. Success stories and testimonials are a great affirmation of your organization.
Here at Mindful Creative, our goal is to help you achieve your goals. If you have any questions or topics you would like us to address, please contact us!
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Blanca is currently a business major learning the ropes of project management and account services at Mindful Creative through our internship program. Blanca loves the great outdoors, crafting and spending time with her family.