Boost Donor Communications

Over the past two weeks our community, and our world, has shifted; and today more than ever the nonprofit sector must not retreat but advance their missions.

Our sector has been the driving force through times of crisis, economic stress, and natural disasters and there are lessons we have learned throughout the years. First and foremost, you must continue – and possibly increase – your communication and engagement with stakeholders and donors. Donors who feel engaged and connected will continue to support those organizations that are near and dear to their heart, especially in times of crisis.

Below are some tips to help develop a short-term communications plan and boost donor engagement:

1. Create & Send a Mix of Postcards.  Most nonprofits have a stockpile of great photos that showcase your mission, but are never shared. Pull these treasures out and create a series of postcards on VistaPrint or other inexpensive print site. Keep them generic on the back so you, or your Board members, can add handwritten special messages to your donors.

2. Write Extra Special Letters.  Spend a little extra time writing and sending handwritten notes / letters to your donors and share how their gift impacts the people, animals, or community you serve. 

3. Leverage Your Program Staff.  Ask your program staff to get involved to send personalized emails. Write three or four different emails that can be used and then ask them to add a special story to each. Be sure to have them talk about how philanthropy directly impacts their work.

4. Place Updates on Your Website.  Designate a special place on your website that your CEO / Executive Director can add brief updates and messages during this time. Drive individuals to this section as you send personalized emails, postcards and emails.

5. Embrace Technology: Find ways to incorporate video conferencing and virtual briefings from your CEO/Executive Director. Through your iPhone you can provide mission-impact stories, updates, and news from your nonprofit’s perspective about the crisis.  

6. Motivate Your Volunteer Leadership: Motivate your Board members by reminding them of how your organization and/or the philanthropic sector has weathered previous storms and been resilient in difficult times.

7. Show Empathy and Concern: Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way. Be donor centric and let donors know you value them and are concerned about their welfare. If appropriate, offer any resources that might be helpful to them.

Cramer & Associates has learned that it is those nonprofit organizations who stay the course and engage extensively with their donors and stakeholders during times of crisis that emerge successfully.

About Cramer: Cramer & Associates is a strategic fundraising and communications consulting firm serving nonprofits, foundations & corporations. If you have questions, contact Michelle Cramer, CFRE, President & CEO, Cramer & Associates, Inc. michelle@cramerphilanthropy.com or (614) 766-4483

Download tips to boost your donor communications.

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