Your biggest fundraiser has been cancelled.
Your donors are disappointed.
Your team is now working remotely.
And you still have a cause to support and funds to raise.
Any crisis is a major period of adjustment for you and your organization. Staying on top of nonprofit communications with your team, supporters and other stakeholders is more important than ever.
Recently, I’ve been connecting with other professionals, marketers and executives in Slack groups, over Twitter, and on LinkedIn to see how we’re all coping and managing. Everyone is experiencing disruptions, facing uncertainties and roadblocks to their 2020 goals. But that just means we need to work a little harder.
While your nonprofit communication and fundraising plans have taken a hit, you can still win. You just need a clear, focused approach to developing your new strategy and carrying it out.
I’ve put together a set of templates and resources to help you do exactly that. These resources will support your nonprofit communication, whether it’s with your team, organization, donors and other supporters over the next few months.
I’ve broken them down into the following categories. Click on the links to jump ahead!
- Social distancing, self isolation and remote work
- Nonprofit communication and proactive outreach
- Nonprofit marketing, virtual fundraising and goal setting
First, you’ll need to prepare your team and organization to understand the current situation, work remotely, get aligned strategically, keep their spirits up and stay productive!
1. Social distancing, self isolation and remote work
There’s a lot of information coming to us all from every direction. News bulletins, press conferences, online articles, op-eds, chain-messages and more. Naturally, there’s quite a bit of misinformation, too.
Never assume your entire team is clear on exactly what’s going on and what comes next. With so much change in such a short period of time, your team will need a lot of support and reassurance. When it comes to remote team communication, expect to over-communicate and plan accordingly.
For concepts like social distancing and self-isolation, it’s helpful to share a simple guide on what they mean. We put together a social distancing Instagram carousel template to share with our own team, our online followers and Venngage community. You can customize this template to share this template with your own organization and audience.
Create social distancing social media infographics
Take advantage of content formats on different social media platforms. On Instagram and LinkedIn for example, you can post image carousels or slides in a single post. This Social Distancing Instagram Carousel Template does just that.
Provide a self-isolation infographic guide on how to cope at home
Staying at home for days at a time is not something we’re all used to. People get restless, irritable, and bored. You can make a list infographic to help your team understand how to stay at home in a healthy, engaging and constructive way. Our leadership team created an infographic for us as a handy resource that we’ve made available to you!
Design a work-from-home infographic guide to support the team
Not everyone has a home office, or feels like their home is an ideal work environment. I’ve just started week two of working from home and keeping a routine has certainly helped. But I’m also touching base with colleagues who have always worked remotely, and looking for advice online from remote professionals.
Our designers created a guide for the Venngage team to help keep us all accountable and on top of our tasks.
You also want to get your hands on video call and conferencing tools to facilitate remote meetings. One of the most popular options right now is Zoom. You can also check out FreeConferenceCall, Microsoft Teams, or BlueJeans. In some cases, even Google Hangouts will meet your needs.
2. Nonprofit communication and proactive outreach
Having to cancel a major fundraiser can be disappointing for your organization and all its supporters. All the hard work, the momentum, and the excitement that was building leading up to the event has just fizzled out.
Canceling or postponing meetings with board members is also disruptive. You miss the opportunity to have discussions, and make important decisions.
What’s next? That’s what everyone is wondering. Communicating the current situation, what your organization is doing about it, and what to expect is crucial. Be clear and transparent, connecting with your community as often as needed. Your nonprofit communication plan needs to multi-faceted, connecting with all your different stakeholders/supporters.
This is also a great opportunity to restate your nonprofit’s mission, the work it does, and how donor contributions support the cause and community you serve. Remind board members why they are part of the organization, the value for their work and how you will continue to move forward.
Create event update newsletters and event update social media posts
Design event update newsletters that are clear. Be open and transparent with your supports, and reassure them of your continued mission. Be sure to communicate often so that they are always up to date with what your organization is doing.
Complement your email newsletter updates with social media posts. Repurpose the visual style of your newsletter for easy social media content that can be posted right away! Or use our complementary social media templates (like this Instagram post template) for a head start on design work.
Julia Campbell recently shared a drive folder of nonprofit communication examples for anyone to view. You can check out the original Tweet here. You should also visit her blog for more nonprofit resources.
Prepare for virtual board member presentations
Important meetings can’t just be canceled or postponed. In times of crisis, it’s essential that you’re communicating with board members and other stakeholders to determine the right steps your nonprofit has to take. First, you’ll need the right platform.
With the right platform in place, prepare your presentation deck. You want to design visually-engaging presentation decks that complement and guide the content of your virtual meeting.
Joan Garry also put together a great post for running a virtual meeting with board members. She breaks down how to rethink the entire format of your meeting and still make it a productive one. Check it out here.
3. Nonprofit marketing, virtual fundraising, and goal setting
In just a few weeks, things have changed drastically. Your work is cut out for you. You need to get organized, be impactful and plan for the next few months. Make the most of all your digital marketing channels (blogs, social media, email, video, etc), to keep your audience informed and engaged.
Create a detailed digital marketing checklist to keep the team aligned
Start with a clear digital marketing checklist. A digital marketing checklist provides you with an overview of how different channels operate. Now is the time to revisit best practices with your team, making sure everyone is on the same page.
This nonprofit digital marketing checklist is ready to customize, download and print off. We’ve designed the same digital marketing checklist as an infographic, making it easy to share and refer to online. Check it below.
Create a fundraising strategy timeline for your team
Your fundraising plans have taken a hit. Now’s the time to reassess things and reassure your team that there’s a plan moving forward. Consider what are realistic goals for upcoming events, the next few weeks, and for the coming months. What is your communication and marketing strategy? Consider a variety of virtual events to experiment with to get your fundraising back on track.
Laying out your plan in the format of a timeline can help orient your team. It provides a sense of structure and order that is often missing during a crisis. It can also be a way to keep your donors and other supporters informed on what to expect and how they can help.
Rather than just the next month, you may be planning for the rest of the year. A comprehensive fundraising strategy timeline would be necessary. With a detailed strategy timeline, your help break down large, organizational efforts into smaller, manageable objectives.
Create checklists and guides for new platforms your organization decides to use
When you introduce new event formats like a virtual meeting or event, review every component with your team. What do you need to launch a successful virtual meeting or event? What are the roles and responsibilities of different team members? What is the communication strategy to convey this change for attendees?
A virtual event checklist (or virtual meeting checklist) for your organization will help with planning, provides reassurance and is a great resource for everyone to have access to.
Once you’ve communicated these details to your own team, you’ll need to communicate these changes to your stakeholders. What can they expect? How do they participate? How do they even join the virtual event? A virtual event meeting checklist is an effective way to keep people informed.
An infographic on how your virtual event will run helps your audience understand these changes and plan accordingly. It also reassures your supporters that the event well-planned, thought out, comprehensive, and substantial in value.
Finally, everyone appreciates a stunning event program that details the entire event schedule. Event programs are helpful, informative resources that highlight the contributions of your partners, influencers, vendors and more. Like for any event, create a handy virtual event program for your virtual fundraising event!
Visual communication is invaluable, especially when all your communications happens online. For the next few weeks or months, you can expect to communicate a tremendous amount of information. As situations change, as trends change, or new developments arise, you will have to constantly respond in a prompt, professional and engaging way. Highly visual content will help you get your message across loud and clear.
Check out these additional resources to support your visual communication and design needs.
Join Venngage’s CEO, Eugene Woo, to learn how you can design impactful infographics that will help maintain trust, increase productivity and inspire action in your team.