The Biggest Digital Fundraising Mistakes Nonprofits Should Avoid During the Coronavirus

The Biggest Digital Fundraising Mistakes Nonprofits Should Avoid During the Coronavirus

Mistake #1: Asking for Donations Without Sensitivity or Relevancy

Of course, you’re going to need to continue to solicit digital donations throughout the novel Coronavirus creatively. But when is it appropriate? Will it seem too opportunistic to donors? How do you ask, and should it be asked differently than “normal”? One mistake your nonprofit organization should avoid is communicating with your supporters only to ask for donations. Even if you have moved to a Livestream event, for example, you should still be mixing up your messaging to avoid donor fatigue. It’s appropriate to ask right now with urgency if: 

  • Your organization is on the line

  • You are providing emergency relief to your constituents

  • If it falls in line with your revised digital fundraising plan. 

It will only seem opportunistic if your need is not urgent, and it has no relevance to everything going on in the world right now.  So, if it’s appropriate, make you ask timely and relevant. It should be different than “normal” in that it addresses how the Coronavirus is impacting your organization.

Mistake #2: Drifting Away from Your Mission, Toward Strictly Coronavirus Messaging

After you are communicating sensitive and relevant information to your donors via text, email, phone calls, social media posts, and your website, it will be essential to remember not to drift away from your mission. Meaning, don’t begin to only share about the Coronavirus with news updates, handwashing videos, and social media quarantine memes. If you’re going to discuss the Coronavirus at all, it must be related in some way to the mission of your nonprofit organization. Otherwise, your supporters will begin to forget about why they love you.

Mistake #3: Launching a Digital Campaign for No Reason

If you don’t have a purpose for the funds raised, you really have no reason to launch a digital fundraising campaign. If you do, get! Go for it. Don’t fall into the traps of “panic-raising,” getting sucked into creating campaigns with no theme or reason.

Mistake #4: Forgetting About the Personal Connection

One of the most beautiful things about digital fundraising is how easy it makes it for nonprofits to send mass communications. The downside? Mass messages can get lost in spam folders and drown in the sea of social media’s abyss.

Don’t forget to keep personally reaching out to your core donor base. Email, text, call, video – whatever their preferred communication is – and check-in on them. See how your supporters are hanging in there right now. Reach out to build the relationship, not ask or anything in return. This will be especially critical for maintaining strong donor relationships with major donors and board members through this crisis.

Mistake #5: Neglecting Other Revenue Streams

It’s all too easy to get lost in digital fundraising strategies focused solely on individual donors. What about your Board of Directors? Foundations? Volunteers? Alumni? Nonprofit partners? Business partners? Government agency partners? Don’t neglect your other critical revenue streams as you focus on digital fundraising.  

Don’t Forget to Get Creative

Remember, when it comes to digital giving, there are tons of opportunities to get creative beyond the scope of traditional fundraising. Right now, thinking outside of the fundraising box is going to be more important than ever for standing out and rising above the noise.

ZGIVE Can Help with Your Fundraising Needs!\

If you have been struggling to raise funds during this pandemic, you can tap into ZGIVE, a digital auction platform for help. We offer various solutions for nonprofits including risk-free items and Ready-Auctions TM.