Change is difficult in the most ideal of circumstances, but the circumstances we find ourselves in now during the COVID-19 pandemic are far from ideal. Everyone is adjusting to the new normal in unprecedented ways.
Our friends at MINDset direct provided this excellent article on suggestions for how to pivot from live events, auctions, galas and walks and do it while maintaining revenue. It got us thinking at Raise HECK about additional ways nonprofits can make changes during this uncertain time.
Many organizations are considering livestreaming galas. MINDset provided some great information around this concept in their article. Here are a few additional things to consider:
- Asking celebrities with a known affinity to your cause to dial in and share thoughts…since most are at home social distancing as well.
- Including games like trivia or buzzword bingo…especially if trivia can be done via a platform and people can compete.
In addition to pivoting to virtual events, now is a good time to consider these other fundraising suggestions:
- Pivot canvassing budgeted funds (since they have likely canceled the programs for now) to a telemarketing, text or peer to peer campaign.
- Ask more of your most loyal supporters such as your board or major donors. You could ask your board to make fundraising calls. Ask major donors for an additional gift or ask them to call their friends and ask for their support.
- It is also a good time to focus on your sustainers!
- Thank your current sustainers and impress upon them how important their continued support is right now.
- Pre-select the monthly gift option on your main donation form.
- If that is too bold for some organizations, use a sustainer gift upsell lightbox.
- Ask people who have given 2+ gifts in the past year to consider becoming a sustainer.
- Get your digital house in order and focus on improving adoption of your technology investments. For example:
- Revisit your welcome series, look at how it is performing and possibly change the language or cadence of communications.
- Encourage your team to dedicate time to training, especially around new features that may have been released and not adopted.
- Make it a game. Ask your fundraising, IT team or consultants to come up with a new, creative way to better utilize your technology solutions…maybe there is marketing automation they haven’t tried, additional ways to personalize communications, etc. You can incentivize team members by having a friendly competition and provide a social distanced-approved reward to the winner.
We know these are uncertain times and uncharted waters. And while this sudden change is certainly not easy, it has forced us all to look at how we are doing things in our personal and professional lives and see if there are opportunities for better efficiencies and creative thinking. We have no doubt that new and exciting ways will emerge that will help you in the short and long term to communicate with supporters and maintain your revenue.
Guest author: Charlotte Kresse
Co-founder, Raise Heck