Learn strategies for keeping donor relationships strong during an unprecedented season. Earlier this year, nonprofits found themselves battling disruptions to...
Digital organizing software solutions like NationBuilder were designed to equip anyone anywhere to find, engage, and mobilize likeminded people both on and offline. At times, circumstances might demand that your strategy lean more heavily on your online work––and we want to make sure that in those moments you have access to the tools that can always bring your digital community together, and help it grow.
Optimize online fundraising
Fundraising is a critical element for anyone building a movement, managing a nonprofit, running a campaign, or even organizing to help their local community. NationBuilder’s customizable action pages are built to maximize and diversify the actions your supporters can take, and make it that much easier for them to donate again. But what’s even more important now is to optimize the steps you take before your supporters donate and the path you will put them on once they do.
For times when your communications are mostly online, it’s essential that you set up a tagging infrastructure on all your website’s pages and implement paths of engagement to ensure supporters are taken to the proper next step in their relationship with your organization. This way, you can continue to cater your requests to their individual experience as supporters of your cause, and make your communications that much more human in cases where in-person interaction is not an option.
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Engage your volunteers
If you’ve worked hard to build up a volunteer program and base, don’t let it fizzle out. This is an important time to make sure you’re staying in touch with your volunteers, letting them know exactly how they can help keep your work moving, and updating them on any new roles you may have created due to the current circumstances. You’ll want to highlight the digital roles your volunteers can take on––perhaps you can start recruiting more social ambassadors or new contributors for your weekly newsletter. Think about the roles that can be fulfilled online and how they can contribute to moving your cause forward, then conduct purposeful and thoughtful outreach to your volunteer base, as well as people who have shown interest but haven’t volunteered yet.
Make information easy to find
Easy access to accurate information becomes key when empowering your supporters online. Make sure that all the resources and tools you’d usually share across various settings (e.g. at an event, in the office) are readily and openly available for reading, downloading, and sharing––ideally on a dedicated page of your website.
You can keep supporters updated on these resources via social media, which makes sharing materials with their networks a simple click away, and through targeted email blasts to your supporter base, where you can customize your audience based on their role with your organization and send only what’s most relevant to each group. Consider encouraging supporters to share their own insights, strategic tips, and tools with one another through user-submitted blogs. A supporter might come across some helpful practices in their work, and making it easier for them to share that information with your community can have lasting ripple effects.
Drive quick action with petitions
Petitions are a great resource to quickly get people interested in and fired up about your cause. Organizations across diverse sectors use the petition format and approach to reach new supporters at a scale and speed not attainable through traditional group signup forms. What makes petitions so valuable is that they empower people to express a value-based affinity for your organization’s project or overall mission. And, research on successful mass movements shows that shared values fuel more expansive growth than simple demographic factors.
The moment a supporter signs your petition is powerful, but a signature should be just the first step of their journey. Built-in social sharing prompts can help signees spread your message swiftly throughout their networks, and when there’s a complete record of everyone who signed your petition in your database, you can easily send them a targeted message to take the next step, whether that’s by donating, receiving your newsletter, or other online actions.
In times of crisis, building relationships is more important than ever. During a period of mostly online interactions, you can get creative about how to deepen relationships between your supporters. Rely on the leaders within your organization, distribute leadership, and create a variety of spaces to make sure everyone’s voices are heard. These strategies for expanding the reach of your efforts are centered around a principle we prioritize at NationBuilder: Putting your people at the center.
The idea of “your people” doesn’t have to be limited by geography or proximity––reach beyond your local community, as people from all around the world might be more inclined to want to connect with one another and make an impact for the cause you most care about. Tapping into the community you create online is what will help you both weather these uncertain times, and grow your efforts in the long run.
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