4 Powerfully Simple Ways to Keep Donors Engaged – Even During a Pandemic

Tactics to Keep Donors EngagedWhen each day feels like the same as the day before, it can take more brain power to keep our donor communications fresh.

Before I share my four powerfully simple ways to keep donors engaged – even during a pandemic, let’s talk about a few important communication reminders:

• Now is the time to deepen your relationship with those giving regularly. They are overwhelmed, busy, and navigating a lot.

Your short check-in call, voicemail or email can be a welcome diversion from the hours of time spent being “on” web camera or parenting children while navigating working from home.

• Make the most of technology. If you or someone on your staff has said, I’m not good with technology – you are limiting your reach. You may be leaving money on the table by not using technology in fun, short, useful updates.

• Keep your communication short. Our attention spans have shortened these past few months.


ignited fundraising communication checklistThe question is where to spend your precious commodity of time amongst the long to do list staring back at you?

On four powerfully simple tactics.

Please don’t discount how powerful each of these can be to your bottom line AND to donor retention.

Each day, as you craft emails, make calls, attend meetings, and draft appeals or enews updates make certain your communication allows you to:

1. Really Know Key Supporters

When a contributor feels seen and remembered as a person who cares, they feel a deeper connection to your mission. And more importantly, they give more.

Recommendation: Spend 15 to 30 minutes making donor calls to thank for a contribution, check-in on them, and listen. It’s okay if you only get to one call because your supporter just wants to chat.

True story: A colleague of mine just told me she spent 40 minutes on the phone with a $50 a month donor, named Carla, back in June. A few weeks later, Carla’s monthly gift had increased to $300!

Time well spent, I’d say.

2. Share Clear Messages

The words you choose are the seeds to your outcome. In fundraising, and in life, words really do matter. People who chose to financially support your organization do so because you ask them to. They’ll give $100 if you ask for $100. They’ll give more when you are clear why it takes more.

Recommendation: Be thoughtful about what you say and make every word count. For the best results choose possibility language vs. scarcity language.

3. Hold Yourself & Others Accountable.

This means, if you say you’ll keep in touch you do it. If your board agrees to make donor thank you calls, you provide them with the tools, lists, timeline AND you report back about the effects of their hard work.

Recommendation: Provide enough details & fast follow-up that you keep your staff & board engaged and doing exactly what they agreed to do.

4. Continually Invite Participation

It’s no surprise that when you ask you receive. Just don’t beg or use language like: we need your help, or help us meet our goal. You’ll hear me say this often, you don’t NEED anything. The people you walk alongside and support – they NEED something. And it takes money to deliver that.

If you aren’t inspiring your community with your messages it’s much more difficult to secure the volunteers, dollars, new building, and better equipment. Your supporters may go elsewhere if they don’t understand the value of what impact their contribution will have.

Recommendation: Be clear about what more there is to do. And remember: Fundraising is fulfilling the aspirations of your supporters.

Download the infographic in this post from the Fire Starters archives with the four powerful simple ways to keep your donors engaged. Always.

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