When Drew Friedrich connected with Funraise, COVID-19 was a tiny speck on the horizon and the fundraising landscape was vastly different from what we've come to understand is our new normal.
Drew, Director of Marketing for Orphan's Promise, took some time out of his schedule to join Justin Wheeler, CEO and Co-founder of Funraise, for a lively, Funpraise-filled, account of fundraising and donor relations during those first chaotic COVID days.
One of the overarching themes that Drew returned to over and over was the need for transparency in building donor confidence, and its importance as we lean on one another for support. Below, we've gathered a few of the key points that Drew brought to the table in his expansive conversation with Justin.
Moving away from reliance on face-to-face donor relations
Orphan's Promise, a global nonprofit focused on uplifting the potential of orphaned and at-risk children, builds donor relationships through one-on-one conversations, in-person galas, and global trips to experience their fieldwork firsthand. COVID-19 has stripped all of those opportunities, but the team responded by opening up their communications, giving donors a view inside the organization unlike anything they've seen before.
Contrary to what Orphan's Promise initially expected, this ability to share vulnerability encouraged their core donor base to double down on their commitment to the nonprofit's mission and resulted in needs being not only fulfilled, but exceeded.
Opening new lines of donor communication
Without the usual ways to express their nonprofit love languages to their dedicated donor base, Orphan's Promise found themselves jumping on the Zoom bandwagon. And, again, contrary to their expectations, the Orphan's Promise leadership team made lemonade out of lemons, providing a place for their donors to connect on an emotional level with others dealing with the same stresses and worries. Drew described their first call for us...
"Nobody hung up for like seven minutes. They all were there kind of talking to each other. ...it was kind of one of those like high school relationships, like, I love you more. No, I love you more. You hang up first."
The Windex Effect
We're calling this The Windex Effect because it's the most inspiring transparency cause-effect factor that Drew shared with us. (Also, it sounds cool.)
Orphan's Promise had the happy result of deeper donor relationships and increased dedication to their organization and cause once they opened up. But instead of taking a beat and unshouldering the burden, their donors' support motivated Orphans Promise to double down and commit to working even harder, closing that transparency loop and affecting impact in a truly mighty way.
By letting the light shine through, even on the darkest days, you offer your donors something to invest their hearts in, not just their dollars.