Your life has been turned upside down. Uncertainty is currently certain. It’s easy to go down a dark path and become incredibly anxious and depressed about what’s happening in our world, country, and communities today.
But in tragedy and crisis, there’s always hope, and there are sparks of joy. (Tweet it!)
I asked our Client Experience Leaders at Veritus to tell me how MGOs are doing, the ones they’ve been working with. What are their donors saying to them? How are they doing working remotely? And what stories do they have?
I have to tell you, this is the most hopeful I’ve been in the last week. And I want to share with you what’s happening around the country with MGOs who are trying to connect with donors. I’m sharing this with you to give you hope and inspiration to reach out to all of your donors. They do want to hear from you. Here is what’s happening:
An MGO wrote to us saying,
“This week, I wanted to be mindful and compassionate to what people may be going through at this time. It’s not about us, it’s about families, friends, work family… we have no idea the weight people are carrying. First thing this morning I emailed each of my portfolio donors and sent them a little prayer. No mass email, but a personal email from me to my A’s, B’s and C-level donors. It’s the most-responded touch point I’ve ever had. Donors were so thankful.”
A number of Veritus Client Experience Leaders wrote to me:
“One of my MGOs reached out to a donor with a compelling video from the President of the organization, and the MGO asked for a significant gift. The donor responded on the spot with a gift of $25,000.
“Another MGO called their donors to check in and ask softly, and two donors are giving $2,000 and $10,000.”
“A mid-level/major gift officer had a scheduled meeting with a donor who wanted to keep the meeting. She asked for $15,000 and the donor teared up and said, ‘not right now,’ but yes when things turn around. Then the donor thanked the MGO for asking him in the midst of the chaos!”
“I was talking to my donor, and at the end of the conversation he said, ‘thank you for doing a great job keeping us up to date. I want to continue my support so send me something and I’ll send you something back.’ I asked, ‘a letter or email?’ and he said, ‘No, No, just text me’, so I’ll be getting a gift from a text. First time that has ever happened to me.”
“I have MGOs who are calling to check on their elderly donors, just to see how they’re doing.”
“I have MGOs who are calling to check on their donors who work in large corporations who have been shut down, like Ford, GM and Chrysler, where folks can’t always work from home, just to see how they’re doing.”
“I have MGOs who brought home stacks of Annual Reports from the office with pre-printed postage labels ready to go to mail with a personalized thank you note.”
“Last week I had an MGO ask me what the secret to qualifying was. I said, ‘call, call, call and don’t spread it out over months, move through the remaining 5 qualification steps. Now she’s working from home, close to the Canadian border with super spotty cell service and she qualified 3 donors today sitting on her patio in 46-degree weather. She was chilly but encouraged.”
“The non-profit I’m working with – their board chair just set up a challenge grant for all other major donors to help fill the deficit left by the cancelling of two events in the coming month. Solicitations start next week.”
“One of my MGOs called a 94-year old donor who give $25,000. She called just to check in with her. The donor said, ‘Thank you so much for checking in on me. Out of all the organizations I support you were the only one to check in on me.’”
“Working from home is giving MGOs a new freedom to make phone calls in an environment where they can talk freely to donors and be more comfortable. Two of my MGOs qualified 10 donors last week because most were home and were happy to talk.”
“What I’m finding is the overarching theme of the week is that donors are actually really happy to connect with people. They are answering their phones, much more willing to have a longer conversation and really appreciate that MGOs are reaching out just to check on them. I can’t tell you how many MGOs have been surprised by the number of donors who have answered the phone this week.”
These are all great stories. Your donors want to connect with you. They want to hear from you. They want to give. This should give you inspiration as you’re working from home today.