Everyone’s attention seems to be commanded by the current fears around COVID-19. As someone with a trip coming up to a badly affected nation and a new baby on the way, I must admit, it’s been a focus for me as well.

The big takeaway from all I read from experts (versus the doomsayers out there) is to stick to the basics of preventing infection: wash your hands; stay away from people if you’re unwell; don’t touch your face; cover coughs and sneezes. These are all simple things that we should do regularly but often forget because we lose touch with the impact.

I link this behaviour to what I’ve seen in fundraising. Frequently, something new and exciting comes up, and your manager may want you to use your time to investigate this latest, greatest way to fundraise. Maybe it’s crowdfunding, getting that next viral video, or trying to get in touch with a billionaire philanthropist with no connection to your non-profit or its mission. It can be time-consuming and counterproductive and take you away from the work you should be doing.

There are known ways to be successful as a fundraiser, and it’s important for us to remember to stick to the basics:

Thank your donors promptly and frequently

  • Get receipts out within 48 hours

Report back on impact

  • Use stories, images, and videos to bring your work to life

Provide regular touchpoints

  • The next time your donor hears from you after making a gift should not be for a gift
  • Have you made them feel appreciated and in the loop?

Focus your communications on the donor

  • Rather than telling them how great your organisation is, tell them how they can and have made a difference through their giving

Ask for and respect their personal preferences

  • Provide opt-outs for communications
  • Use the name they provided in future communications
  • Ask how frequently and in what method they would like to hear from you and then follow through!

Please take care of yourself and stick to basic best practices in health and fundraising to care for yourself, your donors, and your non-profit organisation.