Like many other sectors, philanthropy is affected by the health crisis. Indeed, in order to comply with health measures, several charities and foundations have cancelled their fundraising events. As a result, organizations must work harder to find other ways to engage their donors.
In addition to making a profit, traditional fundraising events cover several goals related to building donor loyalty. Since events can no longer be held as they were before the pandemic, how can we renew ourselves to keep meeting these goals?
Maintain relationships with your donorS
Since the pandemic, public events need to be rethought and you need to reach out to donors in a different way. Let them know that they are still important to your organization. Despite the physical distance, you are not forgetting them!
In your fundraising campaigns, you will have to prioritize other approaches: use social networks, digital and telephone campaigns or direct mail. Don't hesitate to use these tools to inform your donors and to keep in touch with them. By maintaining ongoing contact, you will help them develop a sense of belonging.
The approach with major donors should be done through "face-to-face" meetings. During these individual or small group meetings, while respecting public health guidelines, allow them quality time.
Take every opportunity to inform your donors of the impact of their donations and to thank them. Communicate your organization's financial results virtually in various ways: broadcast videos, post testimonials, write success stories, share your activity report, etc.
Be creative in event planning
In the future, it will be difficult to predict whether the health measures will allow the organization of an event that will be able to admit a large number of people in one place. Since these large fundraising events require extensive organization and planning, it is best not to plan such events.
Recreate, in a different way, highlights of participants' experiences at specific fundraising events. For example, as long as government guidelines permit, offer smaller events exclusive to a group of donors.
Plan a "brainstorming session" with your team to find the best ideas for virtual events. Webinars, webcasting conferences, exclusive live art performances, sporting challenges with peer-to-peer fundraising, online auctions, etc.
In addition, networking opportunities for donors at events should be considered. Consider connecting donors through other means: virtual discussion forums, live video meetings for a small number of donors, closed Facebook groups...
Adapt and contextualize discourse
Everyone is affected in one way or another by the pandemic. Although donors would like an event that would bring them together in person, they will understand why this is not possible.
The pandemic is surely affecting your cause: be transparent with your donors. Remind them that your organization's needs remain the same and in some cases are greater.
Diversify sources of income
For some organizations, fundraising events represent a significant source of income. If this income decreases, you must seek funding through other means.
Major, planned and in memoriam donations, private foundations, partnerships, corporate sponsorships, online peer-to-peer campaigns, goods and services donations: these are all interesting avenues for your organization to explore.
Towards a new philanthropy?
In the face of an economic downturn, there is a risk that donation volumes may decline. However, the current situation could create the opposite effect. Quebecers' solidarity resurfaces in times of crisis; people continue to be generous. Those who have kept their jobs, those who because of confinement, have fewer opportunities to spend on outings and travel, remain loyal donors.
Without large gatherings, the pandemic will undoubtedly cause you to think outside the box. You will certainly have to be creative and original to stand out and retain your donors.
You’d like to get sound advice in terms of philanthropic marketing to maximize your actions and communications? The donna Interactive Suite’s team is there to help you guide your efforts with tools and advice tailored to your reality.