COVID-19 is changing the entire landscape of fundraising for all of us in the sector. As communities are being shut down to everything other than essential services, our fundraising mix is more limited – but our creativity knows no bounds and our collective hive brain is in full gear. So here is what we are working on right now:
Fundraising continues and it needs to. But what you do and how you do it is changing. We are focused on three things:
- Emergency Response – For organizations on the front line, this means digital, print and the phone. For organizations whose missions are removed from the immediate crisis, it means smart & strategic donor communications with a transparent and authentic tone which helps you continue to connect with your donors – especially your high-value donor groups (ie monthly, mid-level & legacy).
- Contingency Planning – we are formally addressing the bigger questions that you, your leadership teams and boards need to answer. These include (but aren’t limited to):
- Email communications strategy for the next few weeks, which can be revised and updated as the situation changes – some clients have amazing content to share, so planning how and when fundraising asks are done up against the overall comms strategy, is key.
- Digital media strategy including acquisition (integrated with the above if applicable).
- Both may include an assessment of your current digital program (including tracking and reporting abilities) and capabilities for tactics such as email collection/lead generation and getting the most from search.
- Channel mix strategies – direct mail and print, TM, email, digital and how video can support.
- Budget scenarios for 3-, 6-, 9-, 12- & 16-months that can help inform where to make investments & where revenue could be driven from.
- Revenue replacement for major giving, events, or face-to-face with budget redeployment strategies that help you in the short term.
- Recovery Planning – We’re not there yet, but we are beginning to consider and plan for life after COVID-19. We’re exploring how the channel mix might look at that point, revenue recovery strategies where needed, and strategies to address shifts in giving and donor behaviour moving forward. Recovery planning will be about building your programs for the future – and the new opportunities and donor journeys that will evolve.
As we move from emergency response into contingency planning – we’ve got two immediate projects we’re working on to support you.
First, we are conducting research on donor attitudes towards charitable giving in this climate.
Second, we’re putting together a webinar on Contingency Planning 101 scheduled for March 31st at 2:00 pm EST via Zoom. We hope you’ll join us! You can register here
Like you, we’re monitoring the situation closely and will be keeping you posted as we move through this uncharted territory together. Our belief that more brains at the table are better, and our role as an extension of your team, is more important today than ever. We also believe that donors need to hear your voice and be engaged and supported more than ever before in order to build a positive future.
Our teams are here to talk contingency, recovery and everything in between. We encourage you to reach out and chat (on a video call of course!).