Fundraising Success in Times of COVID-19:
When our clients and friends asked us if they should continue with their fundraising in the early days of COVID-19, our team’s collective sentiments were:
“If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.”
“If and when you do ask, be sensitive to the situation we’re all in and create your messaging accordingly.”
“Hold your donors close. Do everything in your capacity to show them how grateful you are. Call them to check in on them, even if they haven’t given to you recently.”
“Stay fluid and switch gears as the pandemic and climate evolves.”
“Be honest. Tell your donors if you’re struggling to meet the needs of your beneficiaries due to cancelled events and other lost income. Tell them if the people you help have greater needs due to the pandemic.”
A food bank client saw a dramatic increase in mail and online revenue over March and April. Their house and prospect mailings that were sent days before the pandemic was announced surpassed targets. Their timely decision to re-launch a Virtual Food Drive in March of 2020 raised 42% more income than all of 2019 in just 4 months’ time. In April they received 38 requests from donors asking for more information about leaving gifts in their Wills. These donors had received a COVID-19 impact report newsletter that also featured information on Free Wills that seemed to inspire their requests. These requests account for 31% of the total requests for the year. We applaud their ability to switch gears and turn their Spring Appeal and Summer Newsletter into COVID-19 themed pieces all while putting a high priority on gift processing and thanking donors. Great work!
One of our hospital clients saw incredible results to an Unaddressed COVID-19 Emergency Appeal. The short letter asked donors to help buy 3 things: Masks, Gowns and a Ventilator. The results were stunning. The campaign raised 180% higher gross revenue than projected, 21% more gifts than projected and a 131% higher average gift than projected.
Another health client sent an urgent mailing and e-mail series to all donors letting them know about lost revenue due to cancelled events and the increased need of the patients they serve. The mailing raised 50% more than its usual performance. And the e-mails raised five times more than they typically raise through their year end e-mails, which until now have been their best performing e-mails. Kudos to them for the wonderful job they did thanking every donor who gave with a personal e-mail, call or thank you letter.
And a university client sent an urgent e-mail series asking donors to support a Student Emergency Fund. The e-mails generated close to $16,000 from 76 donors. Fifty-one of these donors were new donors. And one gift was for $10,000!
We’re so proud of our clients for their hard work and dedication to their donors during a difficult time.