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How to remodel your donor strategy during a crisis


Fundraising during a crisis can be a delicate task. It is also a tremendous opportunity for innovation. With COVID-19 upending the way not-for-profit organizations interact with their donors, the time to elevate your strategy is now.

To help you remodel your donor strategy, we've identified four tactics that not-for-profit organizations can use to respond to the crisis, prepare for the next normal, and build better relationships.

Read our infographic to help you remodel your donor strategy and share it with your board members and fundraisers to enable your not-for-profit organization to emerge stronger than ever.

How to remodel your donor strategy during a crisis

When everything feels urgent, it can be difficult for not-for-profit fundraisers to know what and when to communicate, how to prioritize, and which donors to focus on. These tactics will help you remodel your donor strategy and overcome some of the social and economic constraints of a crisis.

  • Assess your donation revenue needs today and for the next two years.
  • Identify key donors who have the highest capacity to give (e.g. directed donations and specific in-kind).
  • Consider the needs of your mission, the messages you want to convey to constituents, how to communicate, and the timing. 
  • Re-evaluate your fundraising priorities, events, and plans. What events can you reschedule, postpone or host online?
  • Do you have the right method to reach a broader audience?

  • Reframe the tone and delivery of your ask. Is it empathetic, appropriate, and specific to your cause? Is it timely, and will your donors appreciate it?
  • Use technology to communicate with your constituents in their preferred method and engage donors virtually (e.g. online auctions, webinars, video conferencing, email, and social media). 
  • Follow the trends of key demographics and adapt to modern gifting methods and platforms.

  • Activate and significantly increase your social media presence. Monitor all platforms and respond thoughtfully and quickly in real-time.
  • Build wider donor trust and continued involvement in the new normal through transparency, honesty, and authenticity.
  • Shift to reaching a broader demographic by expanding your methods of receiving donations.

  • Show donor appreciation in creative ways (e.g. donor threshold gifts).
  • Consider innovative fundraising campaigns to make up for missed revenue (e.g. ask donors who work remotely to donate their commute).
  • Invest in making yourself stronger by deploying the right digital tools to optimize growth, sustainability, and donor experience.

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