We’ve covered some creative ways to engage and entertain your donors during the pandemic (part 1), but it’s also really important to talk about how best to reach them during this time. As we’ve mentioned, your donor has not lost their passion for animals over these past few funky months, but they may have lost their jobs. If they are corporate sponsors, their budgets may have been cut significantly, impacting their ability to contribute to your organization the way they once did.
This is when it’s really important for you to continue to let your donors (past, present and future) know just how much you truly appreciate them. Those who are down now, will get back up and there are always untapped avenues, now is a great time to explore those.
To those currently on your donor roster, send an individual, personalized hand written note (yes, it’s still a thing!), pick up the phone and call them, and if neither of those options sound appealing, you can send a personal email. Not in bulk, but a one off. Check in, let them know, your organization is there when they are ready and, how thankful you are for all they have done up to this point.
To those whom you may be courting during this time, adding the personal touch could be the difference between a call or email that goes unanswered or a note unread, to a positive generous response. Do your homework as best you can, vet your potential new donors, be respectful and engage.
Review your Messaging
Review your messaging, there is a fine line between conveying urgency and sounding desperate, always aim for urgency. You are totally in the right to mention how COVID-19 has affected your fundraising efforts, speak in year-over-year percentages when illustrating the situation, be professional, informative, and specific in your ask.
Have a Backup Plan
This is not business as usual, this much we know. So err on the side of over preparedness when it comes to due diligence when researching potential donors and sponsors, and digging deep for the next potential partner. What you may well find is untapped resources which could become an incredible resource for your organization for years to come.
Thought is may sound like it goes without saying, thank you is still really important. Create a donor board on your website and on your social media platforms. Offer categories of donors such as “Great Dane Donors, Husky Donors, etc” and offer a donation range. Be sure to get the "OK" from your donor before including them in anything public, public appreciation isn’t for everyone.
Bottom line make sure your donors, supporters, sponsors and partners know just how much they mean to you.
If you like this, please share it!