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Nine tips to raise fundraising results during a pandemic

So far this year, most charities have abandoned their original 2020 goals and made it a mission merely to survive.

From the onset of the global pandemic in February, social distancing became the new norm, events have all but been cancelled, a recession looms and donors are - rightly so - assessing their luxury spending.

But while it might seem like a downward slope from the outside, it's not all doom and gloom for fundraising. By utilising developments in technology, innovation has helped many charities thrive in 2020.

If your fundraising income is feeling the impact, it might be time to assess your strategy. Here are our top nine tips to increase fundraising results during a pandemic.

1) Ask for support

As an experienced fundraiser knows, the main reason people donate is because they were asked.

Now we understand things might be tough for your donors, but don't assume that financial support won't be forthcoming. Continue to ask donors just as you always have.

Of course, you should respect supporters who have asked you not to contact them for a while, but for those who haven't, assume your appeals are just as welcome as they've always been.

Donors have their own giving needs, and it's the role of the fundraiser to help meet them. Continue highlighting the urgency surrounding your mission and the results might surprise you.

2) Don't focus on the pandemic

Your mission is as important now as it was before the pandemic. Using the changing social and economic situation as a reason to request support is unlikely to captivate donors and compel them to give. Nor will it build long-lasting relationships.

By all means acknowledge the changing circumstances and the impact on your donor, but don't deviate from your core mission. This is why supporters give to you and is the reason they'll continue to do so.

3) Utilise the capability of email marketing

While direct mail is undoubtedly an effective way to run a successful appeal, with disruptions to postal services likely, consider changing your primary communication to email.

Email is faster, more cost effective and provides concise donor data to help charities get to know supporters and their giving habits on a deeper level.

SupporterHub has a dedicated email marketing platform which allows users to send campaigns, create onboarding sequences, carry out split testing and analyse comprehensive data to maximise the impact of upcoming campaigns.

4) Create a fundraising page

While a website serves as a platform to receive donations, a dedicated fundraising page will make sure the current appeal isn’t diluted by broader organisational messaging.

The appeal landing page should tell the story of your recent appeal clearly and concisely. It should be easy to navigate and include a 'donate now' button as soon as the viewer's eye hits the page. Instructions should leave the website visitor in no doubt how they can help and why their support is so crucial at this time.

To find out how to create an effective fundraising page using SupporterHub, click here.

5) Utilise social media

Throughout the pandemic, people are glued to online news and social media. Take advantage of a captive audience and use online platforms to raise awareness, share your story and ask for support where it's needed the most.

6) Take it to the airwaves

Running a radio campaign will generate extra exposure and let those in your area know you need support. We understand that radio advertising can be costly but draw on local connections to garner pro bono support.

In times of a global pandemic, many people are willing to extend an extra helping hand where needed. There's never been a better time to think outside the box!

7) Pick up the phone

While face-to-face visits might be out, phone and video calls are very much in.

Don't use the pandemic as a reason to avoid your existing donors. These are the people whose support you'll rely on once the pandemic is over and the world returns to normal.

To maintain long-lasting relationships moving forward, you must keep existing supporters informed of the current situation within your charity. And yes, this includes letting them know why their support is so crucial at this time.

8) Rely on data

We can't stress enough the importance of data during a pandemic. Identifying giving habits and determining who's likely to donate and how, could be the key to a charity’s survival. When every single contact is of paramount importance, now is not the time to spell names incorrectly or email someone who has indicated they'd rather be contacted by phone (or vice versa). Analyse existing data gathered from previous appeals and get a comprehensive understanding of who you're contacting and why.

SupporterHub allows you to personalise correspondence and tailor campaigns based on data to get the best results.

9) Take auctions and raffles online

We understand that while events are on hold, charities aren't only losing income but also valuable community support.

When you choose SupporterHub, you can take auctions and raffles online to extend your reach! Sell virtual raffle tickets, allow supporters to bid against each other for auction lots online, provide live data in real-time and create a strong campaign around prizes.

People are home more than ever and, in many cases, looking for ways to spend money. Create a campaign that gets your auction or raffle in front of their screens to maximise income.

SupporterHub wants to help charities thrive during the pandemic. Our integrated SaaS platform is designed to increase fundraising efforts and raise income for less output and cost. To find out about our FREE trial, contact us today.