This is part 2 of 3 in a series. For the previous post, go here.
Some in your organization might be saying things like: “Our major donors’ investment portfolios have been decimated. There’s no way they’ll give.” I want to help you quash this negative train of thought right now.
First, while that might be true for some of them, you’ll want to remember that many wealthy people didn’t get there by being stupid. It’s very likely that they planned for such an event by balancing their financial portfolios properly.
Second, how can you possibly assume what anyone will or won’t do without first engaging, surveying or talking to them. Follow the steps for engaging supporters found later in this guide, and gauge their mindset while you are offering empathy and a listening ear.
Third, if you’re going to assume anything, assume that they will give and were simply waiting for your outreach.
And lastly, if you don’t reach out to them, other fundraisers at competing organizations probably will! So stop doubting, start calling.
Did you have to cancel your big event or gala? Are in-person meetings off the table with travel restrictions and social distancing measures? We know that a lapse in engagement correlates to a lapse in giving, so it is important to start thinking about how you can keep your major supporters engaged when you can no longer rely on face-to-face interactions.
Digital communications hold the answer, and they can be implemented at scale to make you more efficient than ever.
Whether you are a digital newbie or a seasoned veteran, now is the time to broaden your horizons and go big with technology to cost-efficiently reach your most important donors on the fastest timeline possible, at scale, and in the most personalized and relevant ways. However, it’s very unlikely that your digital team will know how to implement a strategy for major donors.
Unfortunately, most internal teams focus on populist digital marketing aimed at the low-dollar masses, not aimed at the wealthy and super-wealthy who are likely to be considering making a transformational impact for your organization. Most of your team’s experience will be around gaining quick conversions for low-dollar, transactional gifts.
Those tactics won’t work for major gifts. So as you implement a digital strategy for engaging your major donors, keep these tips in mind:
Give them the opportunity to share their insights and opinions. Give them the opportunity to share their story and connection to your organization. Give them the opportunity to access special reports and information. Give them invites to virtual events. Give them the VIP, insider scoop on what’s going on. Think about what you can offer that will spark joy for that donor based on their interests and lead with that. Especially think about what your donors need right now and how it dovetails with what you do. Some great examples I’ve seen are:
Tomorrow, we’ll wrap it up with the final post in the series.
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right on! I'[m a retired fundraiser…and those are exactly the points I would push right now..’ask your major donors…:”are you ok?” care about them!!! thanks!
Margie McCurry The McCurry Group
I sent a two page letter to my bequestors last week. It was simply a “care/check in letter”. Majority of my bequestors are elderly, may live alone I didn’t want them to feel any more isolated. I provided my direct line, email and address if they wanted to engage. I gave them an update on the actions the Society had taken in the COVD-19 climate and assured them we are still providing a service to those in need since we have back in 1854. Cheers Sharon
Good for you Sharon. Well done!