Berwick Partners were delighted to host our latest Fundraising Leadership Online Forum to discuss how charity leaders can keep supporters loyal in times of hardship and change. We arranged for Grahame Darnell to speak at the event and he offered his insight and perspective on key themes such as understanding supporters, making them feel actively involved in the mission and giving them a clear sense of how they are making a difference.
We were joined by 30 guests from across a range of charities including Missing People, Oxfam, British Red Cross, National Autistic Society, UJIA and Carers Trust to name but a few.
Grahame is a fundraising and marketing strategist with broad expertise. He has a mix of over 20 years' experience in the not for profit sector and prior to that worked in a marketing agency on major accounts such as Microsoft and BT. He spoke about communication, really knowing your audience and looking for ways to stand out with a personal touch. Offering flexibility was also key and a useful tactic to give the supporter control, enable them to adjust their giving (either pausing or dropping the amount they give) but without losing them totally.
A question around whether legacy asks were insensitive or inappropriate came up but the general consensus was that legacy fundraising is still considered acceptable during the pandemic. Research has found that far more deem this appropriate than people would initially think. Charities need to stay front of mind if they are to be able to continue their vital work. Fundraisers should continue to remind supporters about the importance of legacy giving, as long as it is done sensitively.
A lot of this thinking isn’t new, but it is needed now more than ever before. What did we take away from the discussion? Don’t stop asking. Stopping the ask is the worst thing you can do. Being brave, creative and sensitive will help you weather the storm.