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How to Steward Donors During COVID-19

Top five fundraising tips to help manage your current donor relationships

Fundraising can be challenging, even more so during times of uncertainty. Fundraising consultant Kay Sprinkel Grace once said, “In good times and bad, we know that people give because you meet needs, not because you have needs.”

Here are five tips from our expert staff to help you navigate fundraising and manage your donor relationships.

1. Call your donors

Not only is it important for you to find out how your donors are doing, but donors want to know how your organization is doing as well.

Find out how your donors are feeling. What are they most concerned about? Talk about what your organization is doing. Share how things are holding up. Empathize and engage with them to strengthen your relationship.

2. Focus on stewardship

Take time to thank your donors for all they’ve done to support your organization. Let them know how grateful you are for their generosity. Kind words can mean a lot to someone, especially during this time.

3. Engage your board

Consider asking board members to make thank you calls or send out thank you emails to donors. Moceanic, a website for fundraising professionals, has a helpful video offering tips on what your board can do to support your work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Host a virtual event

Creating a virtual event is a big task, but can be a great way to engage your donors and reach a larger audience. Highlight the work you are doing around the pandemic, or focus on the innovative ways you continue to support the communities you serve. Check out how Bloomerang suggests nonprofits run an online event, including their tips on technology and platforms to use.

5. Make communications personal

Make your donor feel special by being sincere, succinct and mindful in how you communicate. Focus on what they want to talk about, and find ways to tie in your goals and mission, whether it be supporting your latest fund in response to COVID-19 or plans for promoting a new initiative.

We hope these tips inspire you to come up with other inventive ways to keep your donors engaged in fundraising. For more fundraising tips, checkout our nonprofit endowment toolkit.

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