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Transparency during COVID-19: How to build trust with supporters to improve fundraising outcomes

There's no denying that 2020 has seen many twists and turns in relationships between charities and donors.

Regardless of how long someone has supported a not-for-profit, the onset of the global pandemic and ensuing economic uncertainty have left many donors revisiting their giving habits. For many charities, the current climate is unfortunately having a critical impact on fundraising activities.

But much as fundraising might have become more challenging in 2020, one thing we know for sure is that (at the time of publishing) donors are still supporting their favourite charities.

Relationships that have already been built between donors and charities are withstanding current challenges and fundraising is still as effective as it always has been.

One of the reasons for this is transparency between charities and their supporters.

Donors appreciate being kept up to date with fundraising activities and the evolving situation. And the proof is in the income pudding.

Here's how to remain transparent through COVID-19 to build trust with supporters and maximise their giving potential.

Swap face-to-face meetings for video calls

We're fortunate that in today's digital era, video calling is a viable option. Many donors may not feel comfortable meeting unnecessarily during a pandemic, but as a crucial component of successful fundraising, face-to-face contact is still a must.

Give donors the option to swap regular meetings with video calls for the interim. This allows you to continue communicating where funds have been allocated while still treating the needs of your donor as a priority.

Update social media and website

Your website and social media must be updated to highlight the COVID-19 crisis. Regardless of how operations have been impacted in 2020, many donors have been left wondering if their previous gifts have been used in the purpose for which they were intended.

Update your website and social media so donors don't have to guess. Explain how things have changed but add clear statements letting supporters know that funds have been used exactly as directed.

Personalise all correspondence

It's now more important than ever that your donor feels like you know them. The integrity of your data is paramount to this. Always use donor's names and personal details which should, of course, all be up to date and spelt correctly.

All correspondence sent through SupporterHub can be personalised to suit the supporter. You can choose to address them by their title, given name or preferred names. At a time where so many charities are vying for the donated dollar, this personalisation continues to offer transparency to donors and give them the confidence that you know who they are.

Don't deviate from core messaging

While it might be easy to talk about the impact COVID-19 has had on your charity, donors still want to hear how their giving is making a difference to your wider mission.

Continue to highlight the impact of fundraising regardless of how operations have been impacted. By focussing too heavily on the unfolding economic crisis, you risk giving donors the impression that their gifts are simply being used to keep operations afloat rather than contributing to the wider mission.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with this if this is what the appeal was centred around, but transparency in this area will help build the trust required for fundraising success.

Refer to giving history

During these times, it's wise to remind donors of their past support. Not only to show your gratitude but also to remind them of their history with you and hopefully encourage donations of a similar amount.

SupporterHub allows you to tailor communication to include specific donation information (for example, past gift, total gift and date of the last donation) to give donors a really clear picture of their long-term relationship with you.

To find out how SupporterHub can help charities remain transparent through uncertain times, contact us today and ask about our FREE trial.