Fundraising Post Irma – 3 Key Steps to Take

By James A. Donovan • September 17th, 2017

1. Prepare a communications plan that includes an updated message. Keep in mind the social media is full of tweets/messages asking for relief donations. The challenge is to craft a message that gets attention and read.  Nothing helps more than a dramatic photo, especially of children who need help.  In addition to kids, this storm put many pets at risk.  Many horses were rescued and taken to higher ground. Also note that you have a good rating from the Better Business Bureau and other agencies that monitor nonprofits.

2. Emphasize how the hurricane impacted your organization. Did it require you to draw down your unrestricted fund? Do you have to cut certain programs for a few months and then find new funding to get them back on track?  What appeals to donors in times like this is how your organization shifts gears to addresses immediate needs.  Remind constituents that it’s a temporary situation.

3. Tell your supporters the Irma contributions you are seeking are above and beyond a regular annual gift? You don’t want them to use their storm gift in place of their regular gift.  You need both and you appreciate them doing both.  Tell donors you will post their Irma donation on your website, unless they prefer not to be listed.  Under the Thank You heading show a picture of a grateful donor receiving food, water, shelter or supplies due to their generosity.

Finally, be sure to let the media know you are available to comment on Post Irma efforts to raise funds for those in need.


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