Community fundraising; building relationships between community and cause with the people who give you money and support your aims.
Building community relationships during a pandemic is a little bit tricky – and that is definitely not a sentence I was expecting to write.
The advised way of finding and forming strategic relationships by meeting people face to face and developing lasting connections is made difficult when the socially conscious thing to do is stay home.
But we will get through this.
Faced with the prospect of months without wider interaction we’re making more effort to remain connected than ever before by utilising the tech and tools that are at our fingertips.
In the past week there have been more people FaceTiming and Zooming across the world as we retreat indoors and limit physical interaction – let’s jump on this new normal and connect with supporters in ways that have always seemed reserved for more personal relationships.
When all this is over I believe how we interact as a society will change.
We’ll be more open to digital connections and we’ll see more live streaming, online meetings and virtual events as the norm not an exception.
Community fundraising weaves into this beautifully.
At the bottom of this post you will find a link to download free community fundraising ideas to run during COVID-19 (and beyond!)
But first, let’s explore the tried and test methods of relationship building that can help in a crisis…
If you haven’t already, pick up the phone and call your supporters.
Have a chat, share your charity’s plans for getting through this, and show genuine interest in how they’re doing and, if it’s relevant for you or your cause, how you can help.
Use this extra time to delve into your database for people who have given more than usual, have upped their contribution or have been with you for a long time. We rarely get time as community fundraisers to stop and assess so use this opportunity to uncover potentials for deeper relationships when we get back to normal.
It’s especially important to call new supporters who sign up to something in the next few weeks. Something has happened that’s driven them to want to do something good during all of this uncertainty and that makes them special – find out more about them and build that connection now so it can continue to bloom.
It’s a misconception that people aren’t in the mood for giving as people search to do something positive to create good out of an out of control situation. And even if they don’t give, you’ll be in a better position post-pandemic to pick up where you left off.
Screen time is on the rise as supporters spend more time on social media to stay connected with friends, family, and the things they enjoy.
Use the search and advanced search functions to discover supporters online near you. Get involved in conversations, check on their well-being, and create a virtual connection.
To keep your own feed interesting share updates from your charity, good news stories, and little bits about you as a fundraiser than can humanise your account.
As parties and celebrations are cancelled, now is a great time to ask your supporters and volunteers to use their big day to fundraise for you instead. They can either donate the money they’d have spent on an evening out, or ask their friends to donate the cash they would have spent on a drink or present.
Use an app like huggg so you can send a little gift they can redeem then we’re back to normality and give them something to look forward to.
As more traditional events are transformed into virtual versions it won’t be long before regular online networking events become the norm (which makes it a bit easier for the 7am starts!).
Keep in touch with your local networking groups to find out if one is happening with networks near you – or host your own!
As corporate teams around the world move to virtual meetings use this opportunity to connect beyond your main contact and help revive their conversations as the novelty wears off.
Making plans for the future is known to boost morale as it focuses on hope and normality. Offer to drop into their next virtual meeting to meet the team and take part in their prep and planning for when things get back to normal.
You’ll get to build relationships with more staff and help give a shot of that community fundraiser enthusiasm that’s much needed during these unsure times.
FREE Infographic: 6 Community Fundraising Events to Run During COVID-19
I’ve been working with The Children’s Society on an exciting community fundraising project and when COVID-19 hit it definitely stopped us in our tracks.
How can we mobilise community supporters within their communities if they’re not allowed to meet and fundraise with their friends and family?
After the initial panic, my mind has been buzzing with free and easy ways you can continue to community fundraise during COVID-19.
All you need is your phone, a decent internet connection and that amazing community fundraiser spirit that you’re known and appreciated for.
Drop your name and email address in the boxes below and the FREE download will be instantly available for you (look out for the link appearing underneath).
If you’d like the infographic without signing up to my mailing list, get in touch and I’ll send it to you directly (I won’t be offended!).
And if you LOVE the ideas but feel uneasy about hosting live events or live streaming, get in touch. I run regular live and streaming events as part of my training and Fundraising Everywhere projects and would be happy to help!
Good luck and stay strong.
We’re all in this together.
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