2017 has been an unusual year with the number of national disasters impacting our country. The hurricane and flooding that impacted Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region, the hurricanes that ravaged Florida and Puerto Rico and the wild fires that are still burning in California. Relief efforts and basic humanitarian efforts have been at an all time high, and national fundraising has been ongoing for weeks.
Donor fatigue is when people no longer donate to charities although they have in the past. On a larger scale, it can refer to a slowness of giving or decrease of giving because of unforeseen circumstances, like a national need for disaster relief funds. And several organizations are bracing for the impact this fatigue can have on their fundraising efforts as we inch closer to Giving Tuesday and end-of-year fundraising.
If you haven’t adjusted your current end-of-year fundraising strategy to account for donor fatigue, there are some quick steps you can take to ensure you don’t miss out on achieving your fundraising goals in 2017.
- Major Gifts/Donors: Make sure you know who your major gift and donors are within your database. And cater communication to them. Reach out to them personally or send them a personal note to talk about how important their continued support is for your organization not only this year, but every year. And remind them of the achievements your organization has been able to reach because of their generosity.
- Educate the donor on the increased need of localized funds: Local nonprofits will need your support more than ever in a year of heavy disaster relief. With people displaced and moving to new cities or towns, localized help will be in higher demand. Encourage them to keep giving local as local nonprofits will be needed more in the rebuilding efforts within communities across the country.
- Get past ASK fatigue: It’s more likely your donors are feeling ask fatigue over give fatigue. Make sure you educate them on how their donation will make a lasting impact on their community. Let them know how far their dollars will go and how long the impact will be felt.
- Freshen up your message: Take the time to get a new story from a new family or individual that has benefitted from your organization. And then push these stories out through email and social media. Make sure your donor is aware of how your organizational impact is spreading through the community. And how their dollars can make that impact grow.
- It’s all in the relationship: The donor/organization relationship is always important – but it’s especially important this year. Hopefully since the 2016 giving season, you have continued to cultivate your donors by various communication efforts. And since you have built a solid relationship with your donor base, keep that relationship going by being honest about what you need this year to support the people that need your organization.
Donor fatigue doesn’t mean you ask harder or more frequently, it means you need to target your communication, fine-tune your message and ensure your needs are heard. Look past all the asks and tell your nonprofit’s story and how donor dollars will support continued growth and better your community this year and the future.