Five Ways Nonprofits Can Stay Engaged with Donors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For nonprofit organizations, communicating needs to major donors or funders typically involves in-person interactions. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for social distancing, engaging with key individuals who help support organizations has become a challenge.

Now more than ever, maintaining relationships and communications with major donors and funders remains critical to ensuring that key programs and services will continue, and that the organization can resume operations once life returns to normal. The following are five ways nonprofits can stay connected and engaged with donors during this challenging time.

Craft a formal message. All nonprofits should consider sending major donors a formal message from an executive board member or the nonprofit’s president or CEO that presents the organization’s perspective on the crisis, as well as plans for moving forward during the pandemic. A personalized message serves a vital purpose by providing key individuals and institutions with a more in-depth perspective on how the organization is managing financially and operationally.

Get virtual. When an in-person conversation isn’t possible, a webinar or virtual conference can be the next best way to engage major benefactors. This can serve as a way to present new gift opportunities for donors and as a presentation on how specific funds were utilized. Get as many people as possible involved in the webinar/conference — including volunteers.

Maintain active social media channels. Social media is a free, easy and time-effective way to keep an organization’s mission in front of existing and prospective donors. This type of task can easily be managed by a staff member or volunteer working from home without a great deal of supervision.

Send updates via email. It may sound simple, but with the pandemic limiting physical contact and the fact that mail sent via the U.S. Postal Service may cause concern, email can be a great way to stay engaged with donors. It allows the organization to safely keep benefactors informed and updated, and can allow them to respond with any questions they have.  

Add a website notification/announcement bar. A notification/announcement bar appears throughout the organization’s website. It is essentially a customized message that communicates key information and updates for visitors. If formal messages, webinars, social media posts and email notices aren’t options, at the very least organizations should consider a notification/announcement bar to present updates relating to the pandemic to keep major benefactors informed.

In these unprecedented and uncertain times, the entire team at Charity First remains committed to providing our retail partners across the country with best-in-class underwriting, consistent and responsive service, and risk management services. To learn more about our products and services, please contact us at 800-352-2761 or