Get the picture?
Many organizations have a wonderful library of images that are chock full of photographs of staff, volunteers, and those you serve. These images are used for everything from community impact reports, to annual appeals. However, unlike in previous years, your organization has probably had to change how you deliver your programs.
- Are your staff and volunteers wearing masks or face shields?
- Are you delivering or performing services curbside?
- Are you delivering anything virtually via Zoom??
If you have made changes to how you deliver your services, you need to consider updating your photos to reflect this new reality. Donors expect to see how their dollars are being used. Using old photos will not only send the wrong message, but it could open you up to criticism about how you are responding to the ongoing pandemic. With a little planning, you can use new photos that more accurately reflect the current environment surrounding your organization.
Recognize the current reality of your donors.
In the midst of this pandemic, it is important that nonprofits make sure their messaging conveys empathy. While your organization has been impacted by the pandemic, it is essential to recognize that your donors have been impacted as well. More than 40 million Americans are currently unemployed, parents are worried about their kids returning to school, business owners are fighting for their survival and many have just about finished the entire Netflix library. The same old messaging that you have always used fails to reflect the new reality of your donors.
Take the time to recognize that everyone has been impacted by the effects of COVID-19. By recognizing that your organization is not the only one that is impacted, you will help build trust and credibility with your constituents.
Speed up your approval process.
It is important that your messaging is relevant and recognizes the realities of today. One of the challenges with recognizing the realities of “today”, is that the world is now constantly changing. Let’s face it, “Tiger King” seems like it was a Netflix hit years ago. You can’t write copy and expect that it will still be relevant in four months’ time. Think about how much has changed over the course of the last several months. It is critical to rethink your internal workflow so that approvals can be done in a few days rather than many weeks. Align key stakeholders and set expectation for a speedy approval process.
Fulfillment will take longer.
This is an election year, and we all have the pleasure of having our mailboxes stuffed with political mailings through the Fall. All that mail creates strain on the postal system. This means that until the second week of November, you should expect that your mail will take longer to arrive to your donors. This is particularly true if you are using a nonprofit indicia to get postal discounts. Be sure to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to get through the mail system.
Many experts are suggesting that this year, you should time the first touch of your annual appeal to hit the week following the election. While many organizations have traditionally mailed earlier, this year you should consider mailing after the noise of the Presidential election has passed.
Most people agree that fundraising in 2020 will be unlike any other year in our lifetime. While there may be some challenges, there is also tremendous opportunity. Remember, the $1,000 donor from last year probably didn’t take their family vacation this year, so they may have the ability to give at a higher level. Take the time to carefully analyze your donor database and look for additional opportunities. Plan early, and get all stakeholders aligned around your goals.