I have written many blog posts about building relationships with donors and using donor-centered principles with donors. For me, this is the right thing to do, to treat donors as people, people who care about your impact, and not like an ATM machine.
It always pays off. It especially pays off in times like this. Your big fundraising dinner has been canceled. The revenue attached to the dinner impact all of your programs. In some cases, it’s your biggest fundraiser of the year and your entire program relies on it being a success. And now it’s not happening.
But wait. This is not a great position to be in and at the same time you are not alone. Your donors are with you. Many of them not only understand the impact you will have with the revenue from the canceled event, they are in fact in a position to still support you. Ask them to let you keep the sponsorship donation of the price of the tickets they purchased. You have nothing to lose, and my experience so far last week has been that many people are saying yes.
Some nonprofits have an online auction attached with their event. No need to cancel that. Get the word out through an email blast and your social media platforms. Consider keeping the auction up longer than you had planned. The difficult times we’re having will pass, and people like me will be excited to take the weekend getaway to a super sweet resort they won.
Phone calls to your supporters are always a great idea. Personal notes. A video from a program person showing the impact of the continued giving. Take the time. Time with and for donors is not only the way to go, it always pays off. Remember to check in with your donors about how they are as well.
I have weekly video tips I post on my YouTube channel as well as on the AltruiConsulting Instagram page.
Thanks for reading!