When large-scale quarantining measures were put into place, one of the first things everyone did was to check up on family and friends. The way we treat our donors should be no different; they are, after all, our friends! Despite the distance, here are some simple ways you can nurture your donor friendships and show them you care.
Reach out and empathize with them. Call, message, or email your donors to empathize with them and their families, and what they may be going through. With the coronavirus and lockdowns in place, many of your donors may be facing a variety of difficulties. They may be juggling their career life with their family life – some may have school-age children or elderly parents that they need to care for. They may be struggling to continue their businesses or they may be affected by their company layoffs. Showing genuine compassion during this crisis is a simple way to reciprocate the compassion they have shown to your cause and beneficiaries in the past.
Keep them posted. Inform your donors about updates within your organization. Some examples include the measures you are taking to safeguard the well-being of your beneficiaries, what you are doing to support the health and safety of your staff, and how you are planning to implement your programs during the pandemic.
Although a lot is going on, donors care about your cause – that's why they supported you in the first place! Being transparent now will say a lot about how your organization is responding to the crisis and this can boost your donors' trust and confidence in your organization. In addition, this can help them gain a better understanding of your organization's needs when you do ask for their support later on.
Show them the impact of their donations. Let your donors know how their generous gifts have made a difference in people's lives, especially during this time. Make sure you have sufficient documentation of what their donations have helped you achieve, like the repacking and distribution of relief goods, the creation of community soup kitchens, provision of personal protective equipment (PPEs), or any other activities that your organization is undertaking. Share your documentation with your donors - whether through an email, newsletter, video, or photo album - and make sure to highlight their role in the entire endeavor. Last but not the least, don't forget to thank them!
Offer them other ways to help. Many of your donors may wish to do more for your cause but are unsure of how they can help. Inform your donors about the different ways they can be part of your organization aside from just giving. One simple way is to ask them to keep your beneficiaries and your organization in their thoughts and prayers. Donors who are active on social media can be asked to react to and share your organization's social media posts to help increase your online reach. Donors who are looking for deeper engagement can be offered opportunities to volunteer at your organization from the safety of their homes, or even set up an online fund raising campaign for you. Identify the priority needs of your organization and which types of activities you can offer your supporters, then spread the word far and wide!
The most important thing to remember now is that we are all in this together. Let's show the same empathy, compassion, and concern for our donors that they have shown our causes, even from afar. When this crisis ends, we will come out stronger together.