How to serve donors in a pandemic

Polls of nonprofits keep showing us that revenue is down — way down — as the pandemic wears on.

Which keeps surprising me, because nearly every organization I’m working with has had a record-breaking fundraising year so far.

What’s doing on? Two things:

  1. No fundraising events. All those events cancelled. Organizations that rely on them are hurting. Though it’s worth noting that many organizations have made up for the lost revenue by taking events virtual, or even repurposing event budgets to solid direct-response fundraising. Some have even done much better without the old events.
  2. Self censorship. Guess what happens when you don’t as. You don’t receive. There’s nothing stopping us from sending mail or email, or making phone calls, or posting in social media. It’s a choice, and it’s devastating many organizations.

You don’t need to do this to yourself or your donors.

The Bloomerang Blog looks at this issue at Are You Leaving Contributions on the Table because it’s a Pandemic?

…too many nonprofits are not asking nearly as much as they should right now. And they’re falling back on the idea they’re being compassionate since they assume their donors have their own worries.

But making it ‘noble’ not to ask is a real cop out. It’s an excuse not to do the work that’s needed to keep your mission afloat. Worse still, it will leave those who rely on you out in the cold. People need you to do what you do – even if in a somewhat different form right now.

You’re not doing anyone a favor by going silent on your donors — least of all your donors!

Donors are donors because they want to make the world a better place.

Your donors are your donors because they believe your organization is a good way for them to help make the world a better place.

Don’t decide for them that they’ve lost interest just because times are hard!


Comments

4 responses to “How to serve donors in a pandemic”

  1. Do you have any stats on how much more these organizations are raising during the pandemic?
    Paul Landers
    http://www.verticalraise.com

  2. Do you have any stats on how much more these organizations are raising during the pandemic?
    Paul Landers
    http://www.verticalraise.com

  3. No data. Yet. My evidence for this is anecdotal, but extremely widespread. Most surveys paint a bleak picture because they don’t ask responders whether or not they cut back on fundraising during the pandemic, which many have. Those are the ones suffering, and there are a lot of them.

  4. No data. Yet. My evidence for this is anecdotal, but extremely widespread. Most surveys paint a bleak picture because they don’t ask responders whether or not they cut back on fundraising during the pandemic, which many have. Those are the ones suffering, and there are a lot of them.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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