Seven ways charities can overcome the challenges of snap lockdowns to minimise the impact on fundraising outcomes

If you’re currently in, facing, or preparing for lockdown, here are seven tips to overcome the challenges to minimise the impact on fundraising outcomes.

As you read this, the chances are you’re one of the 13.7 million people currently in lockdown in Australia.

As states close down with a moment’s notice, charities that traditionally rely on face-to-face contact for fundraising income are bearing the brunt.

The not-for-profit sector is currently experiencing rapid changes. Once again, charities face the need to operate reactively rather than strategically. But now is the time to respond to obstacles – in this case, lockdowns – and shift perspective to enjoy overcoming challenges, rather than becoming frustrated.

Move raffles, auctions, and even concerts and major fundraisers online. Entertainers and your ambassadors are in lockdown too. Perhaps the faces of your charity will have more time to make and share videos allowing you to showcase new material. If supporters can’t come to you, it’s time to reach them in their homes, where they’ll be for the duration.

Draw on the creativity of your donors and encourage them to suggest novel online events. You might get some workable ideas that you can take forward into the future.

2) Build your online presence

A structured online presence is essential for successful fundraising in a lockdown. Make sure your website is clear, concise, user-friendly and highlights key charity messaging. Social media is hugely competitive. Create content that will captivate someone enough for them to stop scrolling and engage. Always use images and copy that are of the highest quality.

3) Create clear fundraising campaigns

Charities often have various fundraising campaigns running concurrently as well as the general appeal. Each campaign should be readily identifiable with links that take the reader to the correct page to donate rather than pointing to a general admin page.

With the amount of competing information available online, people don’t always have the time to find the correct location to donate to a specific appeal. Often, donations are a spur of the moment, heartfelt act based on a particular story you have chosen to showcase. If you lose the attention of the supporter because it’s too complex for them to donate, the charity will be impacted financially.

4) Continue to build the database

Your loyal donors have supported your charity through some difficult times over the past 18 months, but it’s essential to keep exploring new avenues to prospect new support.

Can you run an online competition? Perhaps you can provide a valuable piece of content that will encourage someone to sign up for a newsletter?

Continue to organise the CRM so you can target a group of contacts as prospect supporters and communicate with them appropriately.

5) Create accurate donor records

With a team likely to be working remotely during the lockdown, it’s essential that everyone has access to up-to-date donor records. Without being able to rely on inter-office conversations, or overhearing phone calls, the database must be accurate so every member of the team can check the donor history and relevant notes before communicating with supporters.

6) Stay in touch

We understand it can be overwhelming to continue ‘business as usual’ in the middle of a lockdown, but it’s now more important than ever that your donors have access to you.

Donor confidence in a charities ability to spend funds in the most responsible way during times of crisis will lead to them continuing to support you into the future. Send emails addressing the lockdown and any potential impact on operations. Use video technology to attend donor meetings that would ordinarily have been face-to-face and make sure supporters are kept informed every step of the way.

7) Integrate systems

Systems that were effective when the charity launched may no longer be effective as the organisation grows.

Make sure you have a seamlessly integrated system rather than having to pay various providers for specific platforms.

SupporterHub bypasses the need to pay for a variety of software packages for specific functions. The platform is specifically designed for not-for-profits and integrates email campaigns, fundraising pages, online raffles and auction modules and a CRM. This level of integration helps improve efficiencies within the fundraising office, provide a better supporter experience with a charity to help build better relationships. To find out about our FREE trial (no credit card required) and learn how SupporterHub can help take your charity to the next level, book a demo

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