While we are amid an unprecedented pandemic, organizations need to take steps to stay in contact with their supporters now more than ever. During these difficult times, your organization can provide a much needed distraction and ray of hope for what to look forward to when we’re on the other side. Plus, efforts today will keep your organization top of mind in the future and can help you raise critical funds now!
Here are 10 ways you can spark some inspiration and continue your organization’s growth during this challenging time:
- Host Tele-Town Halls. A Tele-Town Hall offers a single, large-scale opportunity for audience connection and fundraising. Here’s how it works: a representative from your organization—your CEO, a senior leader, or curator/affiliate of your organization—leads a one-hour phone or video call where audience members ask pre-screened questions. Certain vendors even provide a professional fundraising moderator to include asks throughout the call.
- Use Facebook Live. If a Tele-Town Hall investment is beyond your organization’s budget, Facebook Live is a useful alternative to speak directly to your supporters. The livestream should be limited to 10-15 minutes, and be sure to include an ask of support.
- Make a video message. Utilize your smart phone to create a direct personal message from a senior leader, long-time employee or supporter, or curator/affiliate of your organization. The message can be emailed to your internal lists and posted on your social media platforms. You can also get creative with your video messaging by making it into a series.
- Initiate text campaigns. Send texts to your lists that include SMS texts and MMS texts with video. Messages can include a fundraising video from your CEO or a senior leader to engage supporters with an ask.
- Reach out with a sustainer ask. If the funds are available, consider getting on the phones with a sustainer ask. Obtain monthly givers to sustain the organization through this time and beyond.
- Create a relief fund. Monetize a short-term fundraising goal and emergency relief fund either through a donation page or GoFundMe page.
- Pay it forward. Ask supporters to pay it forward by purchasing a gift membership or making an honorary gift, whether it be one-time or monthly. This is a great way to approach giving as a united community.
- Conduct surveys. Administer a survey via email or social media to find out what your organization can do to help supporters during this time, what content is of interest, and what they miss most about your organization. And always include an ask, even if it’s soft.
- Develop viral messaging. Craft a viral message and hashtag to create brand awareness and engage your supporters in a fun way. Consider challenging a sports team in your area or a corporate partner to a specific fundraising goal, such as a particular number of gift memberships or $10 donations.
- Engage from the couch. With everyone stuck at home, kids included, digital programming meets your supporters right where they are—online! Get your audience engaged by creating a behind-the-scene social media series based on your current collections to bring them right to people’s homes. Send e-newsletters with new content including interesting updates, facts, and knowledge about your organization. You can even highlight your preexisting resources and activities to keep both adults and kids engaged.
We are all figuring out how to adjust as COVID-19 developments rapidly evolve every day, and we’re confident that we will be successful in doing so by working together.
Looking for more information?
For more information or assistance in executing any of these ideas, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, check out the resources below to help you navigate through this new climate.
- Statement from the USPS on the Safety of Mail
- Statement from the CDC on the Safety of Mail
- Future Fundraising Now blog: COVID-19 Survival Tips for Arts Organizations
- Effects of Coronavirus on the Economy and Philanthropy from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
- DMAW blog: Gratitude in Uncertain Times – 12 Tips to Show Donors They Matter