As fundraisers, we tend to be social people. We get to know people over a cup of coffee and attend social events hosted by our volunteers and donors. COVID-19 has put a halt to those interactions, but as fundraisers we cannot just sit back and wait for the doors to open. Our nonprofits depend on us to continue to bring in revenue for services that may be most critical at times like these.
While people are at home surfing the internet on their electronic devices, you want to be sure the information up on your website is accurate. Display prominently ways to reach your organization during the pandemic. Delete past or canceled events from your site.
Assess your ability to accept online donations. If you’re unable to, it’s time to get that capability on your website — especially because staff are not in the office to receive donations in-person, retrieve the mail and make a bank deposit.
The online environment is crowded, especially now as every nonprofit and small and large businesses are dedicating their marketing efforts to the digital platform to attract their audiences. Search engine optimization (SEO) can improve your online visibility. Invest time in the creation of blogs, videos and infographics and put them online to boost your online discoverability. A study by Google found 57% of people who watch fundraising videos will go on to donate to that cause. Facebook also reports that posts that include videos have the highest level of engagement.
Being active on social media shows your organization is continuing to serve its constituents and can mobilize current supporters as well as attract new people to your cause. Consider a presence on multiple social media platforms:
- Facebook and Twitter are invaluable for furthering the engagement of key influencers.
- Instagram enables you to tell great stories or share current activities.
- LinkedIn targets a corporate audience, which can translate to sponsorship support and volunteers.
Post updates on social media platforms often with a simple call to action. Respond to comments and questions posed to your organization promptly. It’s essential to show that you want to engage with your followers and demonstrate it’s a two-way conversation.
COVID-19 is changing many industry practices, including fundraising tactics. Increased use of digital fundraising strategies will help organizations transition to raising funds in a new way.