Maintaining Relationships With Donors From a Distance | Sharpe Group
Posted March 17th, 2020

Maintaining Relationships With Donors From a Distance

The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is spreading around the world at an alarming pace. With the uncertainty of its progression, anxiety amongst all is a huge factor. Social distancing has become a popular mechanism to help limit exposure between all of us. It is important to maintain a close relationship with your donors during these uncertain times, even if that means from a distance. We all want to keep others and ourselves safe by making difficult decisions not to travel by plane, congregate in large crowds, and remain at home.

Your donors are likely taking every precaution to stay well. This means visiting donors should be put on hold for the foreseeable future to ensure their health is the utmost priority. Calling your donors to check in on them will show how much you truly care. A simple phone call can go a long way. Remember also that even if your donor isn’t sick, he or she may be feeling particularly lonely and isolated, so phone calls may be just as important to remind them they are not alone.

When it comes to reaching out to your donors, time sensitivity is key, and everyone is different. Some may talk for an hour; some may only want to talk for less than a minute. Keep that in mind when initiating the call. Be sure and leave a message if you get voicemail or an answering machine. The important thing is that your donors know you’re checking on them, even if they don’t pick up the phone.

Here are a few more tips for staying in touch with your donors, especially those who are most vulnerable at this time:

  • Send an ecard for a birthday or other occasion
  • Forward a “feel-good” article with a “Thinking of You” note
  • Invite them to try FaceTime or Skype

In addition to checking in with donors over email, FaceTime or Skype, don’t forget about regular mail. With most people staying at home, reaching out to donors through one of these channels is essential for maintaining the relationship, keeping them informed and letting them know that you are here for them during these uneasy times.


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By Jana Lawyer, Sharpe Group Senior Consultant

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