My heart and best wishes go out to the victims of the terrible hurricanes that hurtled through Caribbean countries and Gulf states over the past few weeks.
In terms of fundraising after the disaster, there are two ‘types’ of charities: Those working to assist in the disaster and those whose work is not at all related to the disaster.
Here are my essential tips for whichever you are:
Working in the disaster area?
Thank donors fast. Tell them what you are doing with their donation.
Make sure you follow up new donors with a second ask, quickly, by phone when you can, email when you can’t. This will get the best response EVER from this new group of donors and helps with on-boarding them to your cause.
Follow up again, before the disaster is off the news to ask for a monthly gift.
If you are working for a charity running disaster campaigns, check out this quick video on how to follow up:
Not working in the disaster area?
Don’t commit ‘tsunami suicide’.
Following the 2004 tsunami many charities who weren’t helping tsunami victims held back their fundraising campaigns. This was because of fear they wouldn’t perform well with all the tsunami media coverage.
They were right – they didn’t perform well. But mostly because they held back.
Do you have questions about fundraising after the disaster? Or would you like to share your own experience? If you’re working in disaster recovery or not, please post your questions and feedback on the Moceanic Blog.
If you would like to talk to me more about your disaster fundraising, I’d love to help. Book a free 25-minute chat and get even more great tips!
after 28 years working in overseas aid fundraising, i’ve found timing in response to emergency is critical. that is, the sooner you talk to your supporters to when they are seeing it in the media, the greater their response will be. our aim is to be in the mail within 48 hours, with email beforehand telling supporters, communication is on the way. therefore, i have envelopes and stationery set up, printer and mailhouse organised, Programs people aware we will go out without all response details locked down etc etc. quick response enables supporters to feel part of the action, and that your agency is relevant to world news. which makes them feel proud. which builds loyalty.
Thanks, Jonathan. I think more and more charities are getting this right now. And I think speedy follow-up and discussing monthly giving is essential too.