Fundraising at the start of 2020 offered challenges. For nonprofits, those that were still able to glad-hand and attend a black-tie gala were aging out of donor lists faster than new donors are added. For large service organizations, memberships that come with donor support are waning, and the slow, creaking turn of the organizational ship feels outdated and depreciated.  Foundations and political candidates are raising funds a few dollars at a time, using a younger audience that trusts an online giving interaction.

But come February and March, just as the political advertising juggernaut was gaining momentum and the first quarter felt solid, the pandemic crushed the best-laid plans. So what now? What do you do in the immediate term to continue effective messaging and maintain relationships without the power of events or gatherings?

  • Clean up current databases, refreshing information and checking for accuracy
  • Segment current and lapsed donors, taking care to identify these audiences by affinities, characteristics or personas
  • Match these donors in online and social media environments, serving at a frequency that will influence
  • Using technology to identify lookalike audiences, build a bigger base with similar characteristics
  • Leverage content, images, and personal stories to connect with these donors across all channels
  • Identify the right mix of communication tactics
  • Consider your SEO plan and its long-term goals
  • Change your message to ensure an appropriate balance of give versus ask


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