How to Communicate with Donors, Members, and Online Community Right Now - #NPCOVID19

How to Communicate with Your Donors, Members, and Online Community Right Now – #NPCOVID19

Julia Claire Campbell Fundraising, Marketing, Nonprofits Leave a Comment

I’ve been thinking about you. I want you to be safe. You ARE social distancing, right? Ok. Just checking.

Many of you have reached out asking me what to do RIGHT NOW.

What to post on social media? Should we even post?

Should we talk about COVID-19? Or post happy things?

How much email to send? Should we fundraise?

First: Do not panic.

Do not react. This is a tough one.

But the key to being an effective nonprofit communicator during this crisis is to be proactive, not reactive.

Of course, Seth Godin wrote the perfect blog post on this – React, respond or initiate?

Second: Follow the 3 Cs. 

Right now, all communications need to be three things:

1) Clear. 

People are in fight-or-flight response. Brains are addled. Notifications are ringing.

In a “normal” time, it’s hard to grab attention and keep it. During a crisis period, it’s almost impossible. Almost.

Be crystal clear as to the purpose of your message. Why are you sending this? Why now? And what is the response that you want, if any?

Are you letting me know something or do you want me to do something? Keep the call to action at the top.

Amnesty UK Coronavirus

Amnesty UK Coronavirus tweet

2) Concise. 

What can you cut out? After writing a post or an email, see what you can delete.

Is this sentence or this image necessary? Less is always more but right now, get straight to the point.

Make the call-to-action prominent and very easy to see and to complete.

Virtual Shavee event

St. Baldrick’s Foundation promotes it’s Virtual Shavee event

3) Compassionate.

Once you’ve created your message, evaluate it to be sure that it shows true compassion for your audience. They are scared, unsure, and stressed.

These are your community members, your donors, the people who make your work possible. You care about them. Show it.

Kind Bury shares resources via Twitter and Facebook

Kind Bury shares resources via Twitter and Facebook

This is of UTMOST importance.

I saw a Facebook post yesterday from one of my favorite restaurants that unfortunately, came off pretty tone deaf, petulant, and indignant.

It blamed the Governor for closing in-person dining, accused it’s customers of being scared to come inside so that it now has to provide curbside service, and just showed an overall lack of empathy for what its customers are going through.

Not a good look.

I understand that you may be angry. That’s normal.

This is an unprecedented time. There is no rule book.

But we have to let these feelings of hopelessness and anger pass. They are not productive emotions.

What else might help you:

✅ Starting Tuesday March 24, Keela is putting together a free digital conference about nonprofit technology called Plugged In: Nonprofit Tech and Transformation. I’ll be with Maureen Wallbeoff and Nick Burne of GivePanel to give our scheduled session for #20NTC, Best Kept Secrets to Getting (And Using!) Facebook Fundraiser Data. Sign up here.

✅ Join me and my fellow #NonprofitNerd Josh Hirsch for a free webinar on Wednesday March 25thWe will give you strategies on how to post on social media and communicate with donors right now, sharing a case study of what Josh has done at Susan G. Komen Florida, as well as several examples from others in the trenches. Bring your questions and your examples to share. This will be recorded.Secure your spot here – open to 500 people.

✅ I’ve created a Google Drive filled with examples of nonprofit communications from social media to fundraising appeals to help you get ideas and inspiration for your own plans. You can access it here.

✅ The Nonprofit Coronavirus Resources page on my website – updated with blog posts, free webinars, and other resources for nonprofits to navigate this new reality.

We need to support each other through this.

Let me know how I can help, and I’ll do my best to direct you to the right place.

Stay strong, healthy, and kind.

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