Last week Connect360 conducted its fourth “Couch Conversation,” a virtual roundtable for nonprofits.  The open forum is simply an idea exchange where nonprofits can learn from peers facing the same difficulties during these challenging times.

Some of information shared included:  

EMAIL DATABASE.   One national organization shared they are sending 60+ emails in a two-month period to exceed fundraising goals.  Another talked about the best time of day to send emails during the pandemic. Initially they had success with early evening and late-night mailings, but now that people have adapted to working from home, they find that donors are “shutting down” at the end of the day and not checking email during those hours.   Also, she expressed the importance of “email hygiene” – cleaning donor databases and cited a rise in engagements once they cleaned the mailing list.  

PAID ADS.  Several organizations talked about their success with paid ads on social media platforms which brought in much-needed donations missing from cancelled events.    The key, one organization cited, is having the right message and the right targeting.   Another nonprofit said they had great success fundraising with in-app mobile advertising appearing during popular mobile games and apps.   The Director of Marketing quipped that she did not did not think Candy Crush players would be their niche, but was proven wrong raising over $30,000 with the campaign.  

OFFERING “FREE” ATTENDANCE TO VIRTUAL EVENTS.   Another organization noted that during ordinary times their galas and other in-person events were cost prohibitive for many to attend.   But in moving these events to virtual, they made the attendance free which opened them to new audiences and potential donors.

CREATING NEW CONTENT.   A health organization said they challenged patients to write a letter to their disease, “what would you say to your disease if it could talk,” which elicited some thought-provoking answers that they were able to use to drive engagement.  When it comes to video content, with employees prohibited from travelling for shoots, a nonprofit said they were still able to create new content by re-purposing existing video.

FREE PUBLICITY.  If your organization is able to create stories from people experiencing your brand in a good way, consider taking it publically by calling the local TV station where they can interview an interesting participant.  Of course, it’s important everyone is on board with the publicity. 

Our next Couch Conversation is scheduled for December 9th and we’ll be discussing low budget ideas that were successful.   Click here to attend.