A Better Way: How to Build a Brave New World of Giving

danoskypic14

By Sharon Danosky

For many years and in many presentations (including my own), fundraising experts have talked about the need to pivot to donor-centered fundraising.  However, it wasn’t until COVID-19 hit, and events were eliminated from our fundraising tactics, that nonprofits began to understand what that means.

It means making a real and honest connection with your donors.

The data has continuously shown us that donors want to engage.  They want to know that their contributions are received and being put to good use.  They want to know the difference they and you are making.  Some want to be considered partners; others want to be thought of as long-distance relatives.  None want to be ignored.  That is why the connection that many nonprofits have been making with their donors during this time is resonating.

As nonprofits have successfully used this time to call and reach out to their donors – they have been met with pleasant surprises.  Donors enjoy hearing how their nonprofit is doing.  They appreciate going on a zoom call to learn more about how the organization is faring and innovating.  They are grateful to learn how their money has been used.

So – what comes next? [Read more…]

Talk to your Donors

Covid-19 Info Banner for CC - 3-19-20 - D&A

By Sharon Danosky

What really good fundraisers know – is how to stay close to their donors.  Organizations that raise considerable money put their time and resources toward that purpose.

While people are sheltering at home and hungry for human interaction, it is an opportunity for you to allocate your time to building relationships with those who care about your organization.

We often refer to our donors as members of “our family.”  This is the time that families are connecting; making sure everyone is okay.  Taking time to re-connect.

Use this time to get closer to your donors.  Call them on the phone and have a conversation.  Call a few donors every single day.  First thing in the morning; right after lunch; mid-afternoon; last thing in the day.

When you call them – first ask how they are doing. Then share how you are doing.  Let them know what is happening with people who work at your organization and how your organization is doing.   How is everyone faring?  What is happening with your programs?  What are your organization’s immediate plans?  Be reassuring.  Be authentic.  Show empathy.  And ask them if they would mind if you checked in again in a few weeks.

If they aren’t there leave a message.  A nice one; that is kind and caring.  Not business like – but as you would a friend or a member of your family.

You will develop relationships with your donors in a way that you never have before, while significantly increasing future philanthropic support for your organization.

COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Covid-19 Info Banner for CC - 3-19-20 - D&A

The recent stimulus package included resources for Small Businesses, including nonprofits. They range from forgivable loans to bridge loans repayable in 12-18 months, to working capital loans at low interest rates. The links below take you to several sites which describe these loans and how to apply. Also, the Chambers of Commerce are hosting weekly and bi-weekly conference calls where the heads of various agencies provide greater insight. If you are a member of the Chamber, look for these opportunities.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance

Nonprofit Quarterly: How Nonprofits Can Utilize the New Federal Laws Dealing with COVID-19

RETENTION MATTERS

By Sharon Danosky

If I were to give two words of advice to nonprofits and their fundraising teams it would be this: RETENTION MATTERS!

After GIVING USA 2018’s report forecasted a long, hard road ahead for fundraisers, Non Profit Quarterly analyzed the data from last year’s Fundraising Effectiveness Project and noted “The study found that the number of people who gave in 2018 fell by 4.5 percent while the acquisition of new donors fell by 7.3 percent. For smaller nonprofits without connections to wealth, this trend should be considered a warning, especially within the context of slow or flat growth in individual giving overall.” [Read more…]