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Donor communications are more critical than ever during the coronavirus disruption.

As the COVID-19 crisis rapidly evolves, you are likely bombarded with lots of decisions.

Your first priority is to follow the guidelines from the CDC.

For many of you, you are deciding to live stream an event, postpone it, or cancelled it altogether.

You have options. This is a time to get creative!

Additionally, here’s a top priority for all nonprofits during this virus crisis:

Donor Communications are More Critical Than Ever

With this disruption, every nonprofit is in jeopardy of losing contact with donors.

Don’t let this happen.

Also, you may have an opportunity for donors to step up and help you in this crunch.

Make sure donors know you are doing everything to continue to serve your audience.

With events in disarray, no donor visits, and possibly more restrictions to come on social distancing, you are at even greater risk of losing touch with your donors.

And that may result in greater revenue loss beyond canceled events.

You can prevent this significant disruption to your funding if you recognize the need for stronger and more intentional communications and take action now.

Here are three reasons you must ramp up donor communication during the virus disruption.

#1 Donors are Invested

Donors feel a strong intellectual and emotional association with your nonprofit they support…

Well-informed donors are more likely to give, give more often, and give more generously.

While we are in the midst of this virus crisis, it’s important that you share how you are adjusting at your organization.

For instance, are you offering programs through live or recorded videos?

Are you encouraging ticket holders of canceled events to direct 100% of their ticket to the program the event would have supported?

How will you sustain your organization’s impact in your community?

Most important, share how you are still serving your mission with strong donor communications.

Without question, donors want to know what is happening. And they want to hear it from you.

#2 Share Specifically How to Help

Donors want to help. But donors can only help you if you are specific in your needs. Donors, unlike you, don’t live the mission day in and day out as you do. If the virus crisis is causing a strain on your services, let donors know and know how to help. Of importance, be transparent and open about program budget concerns and how people can help. Certainly, give people an opportunity to provide support and ease the extra burden during this time.

#3 Stay Top of Mind with Donors

No doubt, you must avoid going silent during this time when we are pulling back socially. Just because fundraising activities have halted does not mean you stop communicating with your donors. Continue with your emails, newsletters, annual report, website postings, and social media postings. Even kick it up a notch! Now with your top donors, connect with them in a personal way. Stay in contact with them through phone calls, direct emails, or offering virtual, live forums to explain an urgent request.


In summary, share updates often on how you continue to serve your mission during the virus crisis. Make certain donors know exactly how they can help. You can increase (certainly maintain!) donor retention and giving during this crisis by communicating your needs and the impact of their giving.

Course Offering!

One more thing – with the coronavirus spreading and threatening fundraising efforts, I will open my fundraising course earlier than planned. This course is for you if your revenue streams are in jeopardy, you need to secure large gifts, or you need a fundraising system to bring in more money. It will help all nonprofits – certainly those threatened with losing funds from events, fees for service, ticket sales, or donor giving. I teach you how to raise money beyond event fundraising! Plan to join me inside my fundraising course. It’s an e-course. That means go at your own pace from your home or office. I provide a roadmap for you to raise more money through major gifts. To be notified of the course offering and grab my free fundraising plan, CLICK HERE. Everyone needs to have a fundraising system in place.

Nancy Rieves, Ed.D. is a fundraising coach. She provides executive and development directors with a roadmap to maximize and sustain major gift fundraising. She prepares leaders to be confident and successful in raising money. Reach her at nancy@nancyrieves.com.


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