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As life under lockdown continues and the impact of Covid-19 widens, protecting charities’ fundraising income has never been so important.
We’ve put together some tips that will can help safeguard your regular giving:
Making sure your supporters fully know what’s going on at your charity and keeping them updated with any changes to your organisation is key during this time.
That can be a simple good news story at this time, or just being open about sharing the challenges you face, and how it’s more important than ever to continue your work.
Sensitive stewardship and demonstrating the value of giving and the impact of their donation will still go a long way during this time.
And of course, having a digital presence is key so you can communicate quickly. Whether that’s being proactive or reactive on your social channels, it’s more likely supporters will be online during this time, to see your messages and get involved with your campaigns.
As we know, some supporters are reviewing their financial circumstances and may look at cancelling their regular giving payments as they look to the next few months of lock down.
What can you be doing to help them continue to support you?
If donors do cancel their Direct Debit, perhaps giving them a call to thank them and if the conversation allows it, offer alternative options such as skipping payments for a few months, taking a payment holiday or adjusting their donation amount to just a few pounds. These options may help soften the risk to your fundraising income.
With more people working remotely and more likely to be online, you can make sure that your online giving form is there when they’re looking to give.
Make sure it’s easily visible from your website and emails, that it’s optimised for mobile and has few distractions that could divert people away from giving.
Give a clear range of giving amounts and test them on a regular basis to make sure that you’re not asking too much or too little.
Make it consistent too with the rest of your online presence, so donors have peace of mind to give through it.
With the volume of content out there, there’s lots of options to help staff work remotely, however it’s still worth reiterating that your systems and software for donations and regular giving must be set up for this.
And crucially that your staff are trained and know how to use them remotely.
Making sure that staff can change messages quickly depending on evolving event, and being agile to external and internal changes on both online and postal communications can make all the different to your Direct Debt cancellations.
If your charity processes Direct Debit donations in-house and you’re managing these systems remotely, this may cause problems in the long-run, such as system errors, processing problems and reduced visibility of payments coming in.
To alleviate the short term pressure and avoid possible errors or delays, it might be worth looking at a temporary Direct Debit service taking over the processing while you manage your other priorities.
This will give you peace of mind that someone else is looking after this, giving you have more time to focus on your service delivery. Once you’re in a more stable position, you can take management of Direct Debits back.
It has been seen that people are still committed to giving to their favourite causes if they can, and while there is much uncertainty, staff are still dedicated to their roles, no matter where they are.
The key at the moment is for both supporters and staff to help your charity or not for profit run as best it can in these challenging times.