One doesn’t have to be glued to the news to sense the uncertainty that is gripping the stock market, our nation and even the world. As a nonprofit professional or volunteer, how do you continue to seek support for your mission while acknowledging the volatility of our political, economic and health landscape?
Start With Thanks
It’s never a bad time to say thanks, and it’s more important than ever to say it now. Share your gratitude – and the gratitude of your volunteers or people you served – generously and often. Help donors understand the continuing impact their past gifts have made.
Put the Donor First
Much is said in development circles about donor-centered fundraising. Times like this make that principle even more relevant. Before making an ask in the next few weeks or month, consider the donor’s professional and personal circumstances. If they have been particularly affected by recent economic changes, perhaps it would be wise to delay an ask for support.
If you don’t know if it’s a good time, ask for permission to ask (again). Don’t put the donor in the awkward position of having to say “no” when what they really mean is “now’s not a good time.”
Check Your Automatic Communications
Do you have pledge reminders that are sent automatically? Telephone bank nights? Pledge forms mailed en masse at the beginning of your annual campaign? Take a moment to consider if those messages are appropriate for current circumstances and tweak them if necessary.
Don’t Assume the Answer is No
As much as we encourage you to exercise prudence in making major asks during times of economic uncertainty, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask at all. Not every donor is impacted in the same way. More importantly: your mission still matters. Put your best case forward in a thoughtful way and let the donor choose how they will respond.
In times of uncertainty, we are certain about this: when you love up your donors when the market is down, you will be first in line when conditions improve.
Want more inspiration for finding certainty in uncertain times? Check out these other DBD blogs:
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