There’s no arguing that the introduction of a global pandemic has uprooted the status quo of many businesses and day-to-day operations as we knew them. More and more people are finding themselves without work and subsequently able to donate less in these difficult times. However, you just because you may be seeing a decline does not mean you should neglect those once loyal donors. Although we don’t know how long the effects of COVID-19 are going to last, the economy will certainly rebound and with it the many generous donors that you previously relied on. It is critical that you take the time to continue to nurture these relationships and keep your audiences engaged so that you remain in the forefront of their minds when they are able and willing to donate once again.
We’ve discussed previously the importance of celebrating your donors and showing thanks for their contributions. Don’t shy away from this strategy just because there may be a dip. Continue to show your appreciation for those who have donated previously and celebrate what your non-profit has accomplished with their contributions in the past. Showing the impact of their commitment and participation will give them a sense of inclusion and achievement that may influence them to continue supporting your cause. Communicate your future plans and goals that your audience can rally behind and get enthusiastic about supporting. If they cannot donate today, hopefully they will remember those ideas when they are able to further down the road.
Encourage Smaller Contributions
If you relied on mid-level donors in the past that are lapsing, continue to reach out to them and nurture these relationships. You may also want to acknowledge that you understand the difficulty of donating during an economic recession and suggest alternative ways they can contribute. For individuals who donate regularly, it may not necessarily occur to them to simply decrease the donation size rather than rescinding it altogether. Make it clear that any contribution will make a difference to your organization and have a lasting impact, especially during this crisis. Casting a wider net for smaller donations may help close the gap in this area of income. Having a good CRM solution like Studio Enterprise from DonorDirect will help you identify which donors are active and which have lapsed and make it easy for you to adjust gift arrays with a few simple steps.
However difficult an economic downturn can be in society, there will always be an overwhelming desire for communities to band together and help one another. Share the positive stories from the successes of your organization through testimonials and showing them the genuine need for solutions that you provide. Nobody is unaffected from this pandemic and it is a rare opportunity to elicit an emotional response and connect with a wider audience.
Take Advantage of Recurring Giving
For some donors, the inability to give right now is simply due to the limited giving options available. Having a recurring giving option is an easy way to boost donations month after month and have a more reliable and steady influx of donations. It was found that givers who set up recurring donations actually gave 42% more than one-time givers each year. Don’t suffer lost donations just because your donors are not physically in front of you to hand you a check! Make it easy for donors to “shop” for what their gifts will go towards when you attribute different pricing tiers to specific items or expenses that are contributing to the success of your organization’s mission. Being upfront and clear about what they are donating towards is more meaningful for the donor and the transparency assures them that their gift is going towards solutions happening today, not just in the pipeline.
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