There’s no denying fundraising is a frontline profession.
While much of the work required to manage successful programs is completed behind the scenes, face-to-face engagement (including community events) is critical to fundraising outcomes.
Unfortunately for charities, in these current uncertain times, many fundraisers now find themselves in a working-from-home scenario with personal contact a government-advised no-no.
For charities of all sizes and scales, standard protocol will have changed immeasurably over recent weeks. These changes remain fluid into the immediate future so fundraising from home must now be implemented for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, raising funds from a home office is extremely achievable and may even help you build on existing fundraising programs into the future.
Here are our essential tips for successful fundraising from home.
Use video technology to meet with donors
While face-to-face is obviously the preferred method of meeting with higher-end donors and sponsors, we’re fortunate that in our digital age we have the option to meet personally without being in the same location.
Use Zoom, FaceTime or even Messenger calls to touch base with donors and see how they are without putting yours or their health at risk.
The golden rule is to never call unannounced. Schedule video meetings as you would any face-to-face appointment to increase donor’s confidence that it’s business as usual for your operations and your mutual relationship.
Brush up on professional development
It’s not uncommon in a busy fundraising office to overlook professional development in favour of more pressing priorities that keep the office running.
Now’s the time to seek out online courses, webinars and educational opportunities to brush up on your knowledge. Once this crisis is over, your newly developed skills will be critical to improving operations and strengthening your position into the future.
Plan for the future
While we don’t know how or when this time will be over, we do know with certainty that it WILL pass. This is, therefore, an ideal time to review internal systems and procedures that can help build fundraising efforts as your organisation moves forward.
Take advantage of free trials and sample systems which will help build capacity and streamline existing procedures. Without the distractions of a busy office, you can get a really clear picture of how you can make improvements into the year(s) ahead.
This is also a good time to review long-term data of how specific programs have performed to help make adjustments that will see you on the front foot when things return to normal.
Strengthen the monthly giving program
Monthly giving is possibly one of the most secure programs in the current climate. While donors may be less likely to make one-off donations, their monthly gift will likely already be included in any ongoing budgeting so is less likely to be cancelled.
Look at ways to strengthen this program such as contacting donors, providing incentives within your current capacity and letting members know why their support is so essential.
Monthly giving is a program that will help you forecast into the future so it’s critical this program receives the attention it deserves throughout this unstable time.
Investigate donor database capabilities
When you upgrade a donor database, it’s common to use the functionality which serves an immediate purpose and fail to explore existing capacity beyond this.
Use this time to explore the full functionality of your database and identify ways the features can improve current systems. Once this period of uncertainty is over, you’ll need to hit the ground running making this the ideal time to become as efficient as possible.
Keep communication consistent
The beauty of our current digital climate is that wherever you’re working from, you can stay in regular contact with donors using an email database. If you haven’t already done so, devise a communication strategy and automate regular emails to keep donors informed of operational updates including how their gifts are being used. This essential strategy can easily be implemented from the comfort of a home office and is critical now more than ever to maintain engagement and accountability with donors.
To help charities through this period of uncertainty, SupporterHub is currently offering extended trial periods to encourage charity leaders to use this time to become better prepared for the future from a technology and fundraising perspective. Reach out now for your free demo and arrange your free trial period.