The Right COVID-19 Donor Message and Timing

April 24, 2020
4 minutes

We're in this coronavirus crisis pretty deep. And literally every communication that we write or receive has a chewy COVID core. Do you feel it, too?

Right now, this crisis affects everything. That goes for your donors, too—they want to know how your organization has responded to the global health crisis. Have you shared how you're pivoting or stabilizing your programs to ensure the needs of your clients?

Your organization has a unique and vital role to play in the response to and recovery from the current crisis. Do your donors see that role? Use the messaging points and outline below to share your response to COVID-19's most urgent needs and thank your donors who have made your response possible.

COVID-19 Response Messaging Tips

Your normal donor messaging may not work in this pandemic, but your brand and mission will. As you communicate with your donors during this time, keep the focus on your clients and how their needs are being met. Show your donors that your organization has a plan and is solidly delivering impact, whether it's something you would normally be doing or a brand-new avenue.

Finally, make sure to thank the supporters who donated before the crisis began as well as the ones who have donated during the crisis—your entire donor base has had a hand in building a strong organization that can withstand a crisis as deep and wide-ranging as COVID-19.

COVID-19 Response Outline

Address these points as you update your supporters on your organization's response to COVID-19. Please note: the strategy below may not apply to your organization—if you want to talk specific strategy for your audience, reach out to a Funraise representative.

Tell your donors:

  1. Here’s how COVID-19 is affecting our clients.
  2. Here are some of the stories from our clients.
  3. Here’s how we’ve responded quickly to our clients’ greatest needs.
  4. Your donation has helped build an organization that’s able to quickly respond to our community’s needs.
  5. Thank you for making this organization strong; you’re making our response possible.
  6. We can do more to increase our response. If you can, donate so we can take it further.

COVID-19 Response Timing

Um... we're already well into the crisis, but there are still nonprofits who haven't reached out to their supporter base for a variety of reasons—short on staff, fear of sounding insensitive, no access to technology, lack of funding, and so on. And even if you reached out earlier, it may be time to provide an update. Check out this segmented delivery process—it gets the message (above) to the right people in the right order.

Deliver your message and answer donor questions by segment, in this order:

  1. Set up a Zoom call with your top 10 donors
  2. Set up a Zoom call with your next top 50 donors
  3. Host a webinar for all of your supporters
  4. Email the recorded webinar to your supporters
  5. Publish a blog post with recorded webinar on your website

To further support Funraise customers, we've added a Campaign Site template with COVID-19-driven language and imagery in Funraise's platform. If you don't have a campaign running right now, consider this template as your starting point; just configure the images and content to fit your response and go!

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