The COVID-19 pandemic is now almost a year old. In the span of less than 12 months, it has affected almost every aspect of life, making even the simplest routine tasks seem herculean.
The approaching holiday season is the time when your nonprofit would usually increase engagement with donors by scheduling fundraising events. The pandemic doesn’t have to prevent you from interacting with donors. You just have to find more creative ways to do so safely. This may involve taking greater advantage of tools such as nonprofit management software.
Engage on Social Media
Social media can be a very effective way to stay connected to others even when you need to keep your distance. If you don’t yet have social media accounts set up for your organization, now may be the perfect time to do so. Accounts are free to start up on most platforms although you can access extra features if you upgrade.
If you already have social media accounts, now may be a good time to increase engagement. One of the most popular ways to connect with people is through videos. Even if you don’t have the means to produce a highly polished professional video message, it is easy to record and post a brief explanatory video with a smartphone. No one expects really high quality, especially given the circumstances. A simple explanation about your organization and your goals can be really effective at reaching new donors, 57% of whom typically go on to make a donation after watching a video from a nonprofit.
Some social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, allow you to livestream special events. Therefore, instead of canceling your planned fundraising events, you may be able to conduct them virtually instead.
Make Online Donations Easy and Accessible for Everyone
When in-person fundraising methods are not practical, online donation becomes an even more valuable resource. Your donors are already committed to your mission and want to help you succeed. However, if the donation process is difficult, confusing, or involves seemingly unnecessary steps, your donors may get frustrated with the process and give up. The easier it is to make donations through your website, the more you are likely to receive.
Online payment systems, such as PayPal, can help you set up tools that can allow you to receive online donations quickly and easily from your website. If you decide to take advantage of this, you may also need to use database integration software to keep track of your donors’ information for purposes of reporting and future engagement.
Another option for collecting online donations during COVID-19 is to start a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding platforms include GoFundMe and Kickstarter. An advantage of crowdfunding is that it allows you to offer incentives to your donors for giving certain dollar amounts. A disadvantage is that if you don’t meet your fundraising goal, you will not receive anything at all. This makes it even more important to integrate nonprofits donor data so that you can alert your existing supporters to the crowdfunding campaign.
This year, your donors may be facing unprecedented challenges, financially and otherwise. People who have lost jobs and sources of income are nevertheless finding ways to support the causes they believe in. Try to show extra appreciation for their efforts in your communications with them, and take advantage of the tools available to make the process as painless as possible.