Fundraising is not something we are used to doing in isolation. It is a people business that thrives on personal connections and human interactions. So what do professional fundraisers and executive volunteers (particularly those working in major gifts, endowments, partnership initiatives and capital fundraising) do when face-to-face engagement is no longer an option?
Fortunately, we live in a technological age where we can remain connected while being physically apart. Mass isolation across the country has presented you with the perfect opportunity to explore and experiment with alternatives to face-to-face prospect and donor engagement.
Today, OKP Philanthropy & Marketing bring you some ideas to help you maintain momentum during the Coronavirus crisis and keep your most valuable people onside.
1) Absolute priority is to check in with your paid and volunteer team – Increase engagement over the phone via email, Zoom, text and social platforms.
2) Then do the same with your donors, key prospects, patrons, ambassadors, grant makers and other champion/influencers – if you already have a relationship established, this should be an easy transition. Make sure you ask donors for their contact preferences at this time and record them for future references.
3) Set yourself a contact target – Whether you track your daily phone bill, call minutes or number of contacts, setting yourself a target and incrementally raising the bar, will help keep you focussed on maintaining connections with your key stakeholders.
4) Dust off, priortise and move forward – we are all mourning the loss of our previous existence, but it is important not to get trapped in a cycle of grief. We need to accept change, uncertainty and the challenges ahead and focus on the things within our control.
5) Plan ahead – While we don’t know how long it will take, the Coronavirus crisis will pass and we will be able to return to more traditional forms of engagement. Why not use this period of isolation to plan and prepare activities for the future – ensuring you can hit the ground running when restrictions are lifted.
6) Prioritise prospect identification, research and assessment – Now is the perfect time to discover the benefits of prospect research, something that has been contributing to the success of our American fundraising colleagues for many years.
Now for the fundraiser – yes you:
- Breathe take 5, 10 or 15 mins to learn or practice meditation
- Download a great read
- Don’t forget the bigger picture – this time will pass and we will be back to our routine and our normal program demands
- Take the opportunity to try some new work practices like working more independently or from home
- Check in with a mentor or colleague