Before the pandemic, the thought in our industry was that the only REAL way to connect with donors was through a face-to-face visit. We knew at Veritus that this was just not the case. It wasn’t about face-to-face necessarily; it was about creating meaningful connections with donors – and that could be done through video, text, phone, etc. as long as there was two-way engagement that deepened the relationship.
When the pandemic hit, non-profits, fundraisers, and donors all became much more comfortable with different ways of connecting. Zoom seemed to be the solution that most fundraisers used. But the truth is, connecting with donors isn’t just about Zoom calls. (Tweet it!)
There are some excellent new tools and strategies at your disposal that don’t require a fancy platform to digitally connect with your donors. Here are four simple ideas you can try today:
- Send a video — of you (or a program staff person) sharing a quick update on your program related to your donor’s gift. You can send this by text, e-mail or even a free messaging app like Voxer.
- Send short emails or text messages — linking to a recent social media post put out for your organization or a third party that speaks to the work you are doing.
- Use a Facebook or LinkedIn group — to connect with your donors on social media and highlight information they might be interested in. You may also want to connect donors by interest area too, so that there is a cross-sharing of information between the donors as well.
- Text a link — to a recent program update or CEO report with a note for the donor to listen to a certain segment that they would find particularly interested in.
The point is, be creative and tune in to how your donor wants to be communicated with. And don’t make assumptions that donors are locked into the same communication preferences they used to have. The pandemic has changed how people connect. Creating meaningful connections with your donors has been opened because of this pandemic. Your job is to use the new tools available to you to make them.
PS — If you want more ideas on how to create meaningful connections with your donors using digital touch points, download our free white paper here!
I would be interested in how others feel about text messaging from their personal phones. Texting donors from a personal phone breaks down any disconnection from work. Do others use staff phones so they are not asking staff to use their personal devices? How do you build in time away from technology and boundaries with donors and the team?