Fundraising – Back to Basics

With COVID-19 disrupting fundraising events and development plans, it is my hope that nonprofits get back to basics. Fundraising events are just one part of a comprehensive fundraising strategy. Right now, you may not be able to have coffee or give tours to potential donors or celebrate the work that your organization is doing in-person. However, the following is a list of basic fundraising and donor stewardship strategies you can do now. 

  • Start cleaning up your contact lists. First, make sure you only have one entry per individual, and that it includes an email address, phone number, and house address. Then, consider segmenting your list or adding tags based on an individual’s interests and previous engagement (e.g., major donor, program alumni, donated to scholarship fund). 
  • Continue communicating with your network. No one has been immune from the impact of COVID-19. Be transparent with your supporters. Are you working harder to meet an increased need in your community? Did you adapt programming so you could continue helping clients virtually? Share what you’re doing and if you need any help. Your supporters want to know.
  • Check in with your donors. With the time you would have spent on your fall gala or donor breakfast, call your donors. See how they’re doing, and let them know how you’re doing. 
  • Implement a donor stewardship process. Ideally, much of the above is already part of your donor stewardship process. If not, now is a great time to create and execute such a process. When someone makes a gift, they should automatically receive a receipt of their gift and an email thank you. Consider following that up with a handwritten note or phone call. This, of course, is just the beginning. There should be regular touch points with supporters and donors throughout the year. Don’t let your donors become lapsed donors because they didn’t hear from you again after their gift a year ago. 

And now that it’s after Labor Day, it’s the perfect time to start incorporating some of these ideas into your end-of-year campaign! Cleaning up your contact list is imperative for sending out campaign emails and letters. Also, continue adding to your contacts by using your communications to direct individuals to sign up for your mailing list. Set up your automatic emails now instead of waiting until the busy holiday season!

Interested in learning more fundraising strategies? Check out our previous blogs, including 10 Tips for Your Year-End Giving Campaign! If you’re looking for support with this process, let us know. Our team at TCG is ready to help!

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