Join Bloomerang’s Product Analyst, Heidi Atkinson, for a data-driven look at what other fundraisers have done differently in response to COVID-19 and what strategies worked.

Diana: All right. We’re at 11:01 right now. Thank you so much for joining us this morning, everyone. We’re so glad to have you joining us on Bloomerang Academy. Today, we’re talking about five fundraising trends from COVID-19. And to talk us through that, we have our product analyst, Heidi Atkinson. Hi, Heidi.

Heidi: Hi, everybody. Hi, Diana. 

Diana: Thanks for joining us today. I will let you take it away.

Heidi: Thanks. Thank you all for signing up and for coming today. The theme of this webinar like we’ve mentioned is going to be five fundraising trends from COVID-19. I’m optimistic that as we go through this, some things might sound pretty reasonable, but some things might be a little bit of that, like, oh, good, I’m doing something normal or, oh, I hadn’t thought of doing it that way. 

Our focus is really going to be today on different things that we were able to kind of track and see behaviors based on how people are using Bloomerang. So I’m not going to be getting into a lot of like, what is the messaging, what tone of voice, or necessarily the strategy behind a fundraising campaign but we do have a lot of resources that do touch on that. 

What we’re going to be looking at today is more in line of how are people using different communication channels differently than you were last year? What things are kind of working out in terms of communication. So what I’ve got planned today is we’re going to be talking about how email usage is changing, how phone call interactions have been changing, physical mail, virtual events, and the big one, online donations. 

If you have any questions today about the data, about Bloomerang, about anything, feel free to share them in the Q&A section. We might not get to all of them live while we’re talking through this, but we will be following up with all of you. 

So the first thing I wanted to do is if you all have like the Zoom chat available, if you just want to kind of share what’s going on for you, what changes have you had to make in reaction to the pandemic? Is anything going well? Is anything still a challenge? And just kind of give you all a moment to kind of share with each other on how that’s going.

Diana: Thanks for asking this question, Heidi. I know a lot of times we get some questions from customers about what other nonprofits might be doing. So we thought that we would put the question to everyone and let us know what or share with everyone what might be working for you or ask your questions if you have, or if you have questions about what other people might be doing. 

Heidi: And it looks like a few of you, you know, Sandra is mentioning that everything is online for communication channels right now. Lauren says that you had to cancel your planned programming and moved to virtual and moving your in-person gala to virtual. We’ll be talking about kind of virtual events a little bit today. 

It’s tough for us to not be able to meet with our donors in person. Zoom has been, you know, kind of a mixed bag because a lot of the donors aren’t comfortable with it. That is an excellent point, Dawn. Thank you. Meeting with donors isn’t happening, but you’re having more phone calls says Nicole and your virtual event went really well. That’s excellent. 

Miller says that what’s happening this week with the protests is really affecting your work as well. A lot of my presentation is prepared really focused on COVID and then this week things kind of moved forward in a different way. So I’m interested to see eventually like how we are all reacting to that. 

It’s been great to talk to folks on the phone says Larry. Yeah, phone calls are really up and we’ll be getting to that in just a moment. Laurie says our email news is going well, people want to hear the positive stories and positive difference you’re making. Excellent. Thank you all for sharing and for commenting, bunch more coming in.

Thank you so much for kind of responding and we’ll be kind of adapting what we know about what’s going on based on what we hear from all of you. I wanted to kind of move into our first section then kind of the first trend I wanted to touch on which is a big one, which is email usage. You know, email isn’t new. It’s been around for quite a while and we’ve all been using it. 

But what we’ve seen in the past three months is that nonprofits or something a lot more emails. We saw a 47% increase in the number of email campaigns sent from Bloomerang compared to the same time last year. And throughout the presentation, I’m going to have kind of like these little charts and data just to kind of methodology point. I’m using information from people who’ve been using Bloomerang for over a year. So we’ve kind of got an apples-to-apples comparison of like these are the people who were using it last year and here’s how you’re using it differently this year. 

So a big uptick in the number of email campaigns which many of you probably know because you’re the ones doing this, you’re the ones contributing. We’re going to see this kind of pattern here of like it was pretty consistent leading up to the first couple weeks of March, and then everything’s really taken off and changed since mid-March. 

And as you see, like emails is the gap is continuing get wider, we’re just continuing to send more and more emails compared to where we were last year. Some of the common themes we’ve been seeing subjects in emails last in the past few weeks are nonprofits are emailing their donors about how their past donations are making a difference today. There’s a lot of very nice clear revenue goal setting of like our goal is 15,000 by the end of the month to do this. 

So a lot of really achievable things that donors can feel that see how they’re making a difference in your work. We’ve been seeing emails that talk about the changing processes and how to donate especially for those of you who collect in-kind donations, like what are your drop-off procedures? What kinds of things are you trying to get? Can they order stuff for you online and have it shipped straight to you?

And then for those of you who are also kind of communicating with your program recipients and your donors in the same batch, like how your services have changed. You know, a lot of this has just been kind of evolving over the past couple of months. One interesting thing we’ve seen too is some organizations are offering phone calls with your staff to like get in touch with your monthly donors with your major donors, so kind of tying into the phone call channel and really getting a more personal contact in the relationship. 

We did a research project, I think at the end of March, on which organizations were sending email campaigns and who is seeing kind of the most positive outcomes in the revenue. And we reached out and talked to a bunch of those organizations and you shared your experiences with us. 

So if you want to see those, we have nice little short recorded interviews where a handful of different organizations talk through, what was their email strategy? What was their email messaging? How did they segment? How did that fit in with everything else going on? So I definitely recommend watching those case studies. 

One of them that I really enjoyed is Willamette Humane Society, they generated 227% increase in revenue compared to the same time last year. And so it’s kind of this interesting situation of like a lot of people are struggling, but finding a way to support each other and support their community through the nonprofit work seems to be a really positive channel for a lot of donors, a way for them to feel good about themselves. 

So in the interview, the fundraiser at Willamette Humane Society kind of shared like how important it was that these people care about your mission, they care about what you do. And this was an opportunity for joy for them to support that. She also had a really great example of these how they had a segmented communication with their monthly donors. 

And they’d realized that the amount of money they received from their monthly donors was approximately the same as how much it costs us to run their utilities every month. So they let them know that their monthly support was so vital and so useful to keep the organization running. It’s just a really great example. And we’ve got several more online, I’ve got a link at the end of the slides that you’ll be able to get later. 

But if you’re really interested in kind of like a little, you know, nugget of what worked well and how did that go, those are great resources to see how other fundraisers have been reacting and how they’re running their email campaign. One thing we did on our end at Bloomerang was we made a couple of new templates in the email editor. 

So when you go and click the new button, when you’re creating emails, we drafted up some of those different topics like how are you doing? Touch base. We’d love to chat like, do you want to talk on the phone? Here’s an update on how our processes are changing. They’re all templates or, you know, change it to fit you but if you’re looking to for kind of like, you know, maybe some wording ideas or some topic ideas of what those emails could look like. We tried to get a couple of those built into the database for you.

Like I mentioned, we were kind of doing some analysis on what email patterns were succeeding or were correlated with improved revenue compared to last year. And one of the trends we saw is that directly addressing the pandemic in your subject lines was effective. Organizations that were sending emails out of Bloomerang we could see what you wrote in the subject line and we could kind of crunch those. So we look for keywords, like, did you mention the virus? Did you mention that you had to close your offices or work from home? 

And what we saw, especially in the first couple of weeks of the pandemic were like the trends still kind of continuing is that the more clearly those subject lines were related to the current situation, those organizations also had better revenue outcomes. So sending emails in general, sending communications in general was still good. Sending really clear relevant communications is even better. And then kind of at the tail end over here on the right week. 

If you’re sending your emails through some other platform or not sending emails, it’s hard to see that in our data of what kinds of communications you might be doing. So a lot of the trends we were seeing there is that the organizations who are communicating and communicating clearly are doing the best. 

That’s all kind of talking about mass emails, you know, the like pretty design incentive, you know, 500, 5,000 people. We’ve also been seeing a similar trend with personal emails, you know. “Hey Jane, how’s it going? Thanks for the gift last week,” you know, very much from you to them. These might be coming up your Outlook, out of your Gmail account. 

We’ve seen 46% more personal emails recorded Bloomerang than in the same time last year. Once again, you kind of see the same trend here, this dark blue line is what’s happened this year and light blue is what happened last year. And once again, it’s just kind of like, it was pretty steady. And then, you know, around late March as we started getting adjusted to the new situation, the new communication channels, it really started ticking up.

For those of you who are communicating personally with donors via email, I just wanted to point out a couple of things you might have known about these already, but just nice little tricks in your database. When you’re looking at a person’s record, if they’ve got an email there, you can just click that email, it’ll open up in your browser’s default email provider. And you can really just quickly send email straight from their profile. When you do it that way you might notice like that that will automatically fill in this bcc@bloomerang address. We’ve mentioned this actually in the database this week too, because we wanted to make sure people were kind of aware of how easily you can put these interactions into the database. 

So the BCC functionality basically takes whatever that email message that you sent was and adds that as an interaction on that person’s timeline in the database. So it really automates your data entry for the personal emails that you’re sending. You don’t have to click on this button to get it, you can type that into any email you’re sending from any email provider too. 

So I’m going to just pause there, drink a little bit of water before we move on to the second trend, which is phone calls. Diana, did you see anything that we should be addressing? I’m going to hop over here and look at the Q&A?

Diana: Not at the moment. And everyone, if you have any questions, yes, please use the Q&A let us know. The chat is open for everyone. So if you’d like to ask each other questions to, for example, tips of how did you make the transition from an in-person event to virtual? You can go ahead and do that. I just wanted to make sure people knew that was an option because that’s not an option we typically have, but it is for today. 

Heidi: I see, Brian’s mentioned that you’re concerned about fall in-person events. Like when are you going to move back to in-person? I love that you asked that. We’re definitely going to be trying to talk about that to the best of our ability. 

So I got some water, refreshed my throat a little bit. Let’s move on to phone calls, this is our kind of trend number two. If you all want to like just share in the chat real quick, what do you think has happened with phone calls? It’s a pretty easy guessing game, I think. And yep, they’re ringing off the hook. 

So same kind of trend we’ve been seeing with other non-physical interactions, phone call interactions are up quite a lot more than doubled actually since last year. So what we’re seeing here is the same kind of trend we’re going to be seeing over and over with all the kind of digital or remote communication channels. At first, you know, we were kind of behaving pretty similarly, and then as we settled, it’s just been growing and growing. 

So if you’re wondering about phone calls, like how weird would that be? How odd it would be? A lot of organizations are using this tactic right now. And a lot of people are mentioning that it’s going well, like just leaving voicemails, really quick conversations. 

We did a little bit of a breakdown of like organizations who are recording phone calls in Bloomerang versus those who don’t have any phone calls recorded and saw a kind of similar trend to what we saw with emails and other donor communications, like communicating is good. The organizations who were recording phone calls in Bloomerang had an 18% increase in revenue, well, you know, 17.7% but pretty much 18% compared to last spring.

And the organizations that weren’t tracking any phone calls, like maybe you’re doing it, but not putting in Bloomerang, maybe you’re not making phone calls as a group had a 15% decrease in revenue compared to last year. So I wasn’t expecting the difference to be so striking but it really did stand out of that communication is great for so many reasons. You can share content. You can share the importance of their donation, like how valuable it is. It’s a very personal touch so, you know, compared to like a mass email, which was still a good. It’s very much engaged if you care about their support. It matters to you that they’re supporting you. So phone calls have been really good. 

Jill mentioned very effective and positive reaction for donors, I’m so glad to hear that. I don’t call a lot of people except coworkers for my job. So I always admire those if you could do reach out to strangers or donors regularly. I wanted to mention too one of . . . I’ve got a nice little case study here, we were talking with a man who volunteers at local food pantry, and he said that one of the ways he helps us volunteers by calling the new donors. 

And he shared this. On March 30th, they got a first time gift of $100 from a local family, that family was one of the first phone calls he made. That week or this week, which was like in May that same family reached out again, making a second gift of $3,400. They said in the note section that it was their federal stimulus and they didn’t feel that they needed it, but they thought the pantry could use it. 

What really impressed him was that this was a brand new donor. They’d never given to the food pantry before. And his understanding was that they had been, you know, supporting a couple local nonprofits there in March and that when they got this opportunity to make a big gift, it was this organization that they remembered and associated with. 

You know, we can’t say it wouldn’t have happened without the phone call, but it definitely was an extra touch that the food pantry didn’t have to do but it seems to have played out. 

Let me see, what do I have on the next one? Similar to what I shared with emails, we’ve got a couple of things that we’ve built into Bloomerang to kind of help out with phone calls. You’ve probably all seen it on your dashboard, we’ve got that first-time donor calls section that’ll show any donors who made their first gift in the last nine or so days and have a phone number. So if you don’t have a phone number, it won’t be in the phone call section. 

We’ve got a report which we call it the call list template, we added that back in March. And that basically just has like some default columns, you know, are they okay with being communicated with by phone? Do they have a preferred channel? What is their primary phone number? When was their first gift? Obviously, it’s like everything else, it’s a template you can customize it, but just some ways to facilitate making those phone calls.

And kind of I’m a little bit biased but as you can probably tell, it’s really important to keep those records. Unlike emails, there is no paper trail. So just make a little note to yourself, you know, date you called them, you left a voicemail, what did you talk about? And you can flesh it out the more you want but just even like, kind of keeping a note for the future version of yourself to look back on and say, all right, I did call Sally back in April when everything was really chaotic.

One little note I’ve got too, we’ve been seeing some more customers interested in this recently, like the address update services, we do have the ability to line you up with phone append services. So if you interested in making phone calls but you realizing that you just haven’t like collected or entered the information into your database, a phone append service can look for and merge in phone numbers, mobile phone numbers. 

We’ve got a little quote here from KB of like after completing her data append services, including the NCOA and the cell phone appends, we definitely have more confidence with the information in our database. At the end of today’s webinar, I’ll be kind of putting up a little poll or Diana will be helping me put up a poll. If you’re interested in learning more about this, we can reach out to you with more information. Just wanted to float that. I think that’s a fun, little secret service that not a lot of people know about, but might be useful right now for some of you.

All right. That’s everything I had to kind of share about the phone number trends that we’ve been seeing in the last couple months. Next section is going to be physical mail. Let me just check over here. 

Diana: Thank you, Heidi. Yes, we do have a question from John. If we can go back to the graph, he’s asking does the negative 15% mean those fundraisers who don’t make a phone call? Are those the ones who haven’t made a phone call at all? 

Heidi: That’s a really great question. This particular graph is just saying the organization’s overall revenue based on whether that organization tracked phone calls in Bloomerang. So these are organizations who according to what I can see in the data didn’t record any phone calls and it might mean you’re not doing any phone calls. There might be a couple people in there who are doing phone calls but not recording it.

So the organizations who weren’t tracking any phone calls overall as a group had 15% less revenue this year than they did last year. Thanks for asking for that clarification, John. And if that didn’t quite answer it, you want to ask again, I can follow up with you after the webinar too. 

All right. Physical mail. Let’s talk about snail mail. So emails are up, personal emails are up, phone calls are up, mail is steady. We did see a dip in about the second week of March that week when a lot of our offices closed, a lot of us started working from home. A lot fewer letters got printed and recorded in the database and sent that week. But since then, we’ve been seeing it pretty steady. Once again, the light blue line is last year. The dark blue line is this year.

So it’s a little bit behind where we were last year in terms of the number of letters sent but it’s been pretty consistent. So kudos to everybody who’s, you know, making it work. I used to do a lot of printing back when I worked for a nonprofit and it’s just like I loved the industrial printer at the office, but I would hate to have to do that at home. So my mind always goes to what are some of the logistics challenges? 

We did do a webinar a couple of weeks back on producing segmented appeal mailings. And one of the takeaways from that webinar was just kind of like resources of, you know, if you have to do the printing from home, are you able to go into the office maybe once a week safely to run your letters or somebody in the office who can be running and printing the letters. 

And some of the things that came up from that were just like, if you’re running at home, do you have letterhead? Are you printing an image? Do your designs involve color versus black and white? If normally your process is passing the letter around and getting all the appropriate signatures, and that’s a little bit challenging right now, does it work just as well for you to have an image of that signature to embedded into the letter? Envelope moisteners, if you’re doing? Like this was from if you’re doing a big appeal mailing where you might be sending thousands of letters.

And just some of those techniques you can use to kind of share the work. If you have maybe your printers no god. Sorry. I’m biased my printer is no good. But can you produce the letters and draft letters and then maybe send that file over to another coworker or a volunteer who can help with the, you know, printing and stuffing side of things. 

So I’m really intrigued and impressed that the letter trend has been so steady — I just apparently flip slides all over the place here — and just kind of keeping it up. So if there’s any comments or questions about like letter trends, I’m interested to see what’s on people’s mind when it comes to that. 

Emily mentioned we’ve been doing physical mail for people who don’t have email addresses. That’s a really good point of, you know, the right channel for the moment might not be the channel you have contact information for. Some donors have asked us to not send physical mail so that we could save the cost. 

That’s really a thoughtful thing for the donors and you want to make sure that they feel that appreciation for their looking out for your budget while also making sure of course that they’re not essentially cut off from all your communications. So what is that other channel that will work then for them to stay in touch? Excellent perspective. That was the main content we had for letters.

I’m just going to take another sip of water here, and then we’re going to move into virtual events which I’m really excited about, many of you have mentioned in the comments. Donna has said we are sending out physical birthday cards and then we’re transitioning from physical cards to using emails for birthdays. That’s brilliant. And you’re sending those emails out every day. 

So I think that that’s really nice little touch. Let us know how that goes. Like I’m always curious, do birthday emails, you know, make the donors feel good? Let me just grab some water. Moving on. With virtual events, one of the themes we’ve been seeing is obviously right away, there was a lot of canceling of planned in-person events, a lot of pivoting of can we still do this event? Can we still pull it off? And now we’re kind of at the point of planning ahead of not reproducing the thing we’d already planned, but what should I do? And you know, this fall, in the winter, next year.

And we’ve been seeing from event planning experts is that for safety reasons, try to stick as much as you can to like safety first. Kristal had been in a webinar I had attended a couple of weeks back and she really emphasized, like, just commit to sticking with virtual events for the rest of this year and then kind of once you’ve made that call, then you can focus all of your energies on how to do that virtual event versus kind of like wavering of do I go virtual? Do I go physical? And then, you know, you’ve spent a lot of emotional effort on that. 

Lauren says that they had an event in April and they had to push it back to September and now they’re making the decision to switch it to virtual. So thanks, Lauren. That’s a good example of kind of like that committing to something so that you can start planning.

One of the themes we’ve been seeing with virtual events is just, you know, we’re not very experienced with running them or attending them or knowing exactly what goes into it. So we had the opportunity to poll a group of fundraisers about their experience with virtual events. And what we saw was 46% said they are in the process of planning their first ever virtual fundraiser, 11% said they have done a virtual event before. So that’s kind of a minority of people who have some experience doing this. And another 14%, said they’re not planning on hosting one but they have attended one. So they’ve at least kind of seen it from the donor or from the attendee’s perspective. And that left another 30% or so who haven’t attended one, haven’t planned one, have never, you know, just are completely kind of blank slate approach this.

So if you’re feeling with virtual events, like there’s some magic class that everybody took and they all know what they’re doing, they don’t. Basically a lot of you are figuring out the first time together. And so I’m not going to get too much today into how to run a virtual event and thoughts about it, I’m going to have a little bit. But we do have a number of webinars from ourselves, from partners that really dig into that. So I think just kind of absorbing a lot of content is where a lot of people are right now with virtual events.

In the same poll, we also asked specifically about live streaming events which is a subset of virtual events where you maybe have like a Zoom video or something and that’s even more extreme in lack of experience. Five percent of the attendees or of the respondents for that poll said that they had hosted or planned a live stream event. And another 30% said that they had attended one, but hadn’t hosted one. 

That left the vast majority of people that we asked, just have not attended one, haven’t done one, don’t really have personal experience with what goes into that yet. So once again, if, if you’re feeling like you’re making it up from scratch, you’re not alone, a lot of people are right now. 

I am not necessarily an expert in what things need to go into making a virtual event, a lot of what I had prepared today was very kind of data driven by what we were able to see and measure. But one of the, I wanted to touch briefly on some of the themes we were seeing from a lot of those other resources. So there isn’t a right answer on what it needs to be to count as a virtual event. 

We’ve seen examples of people who had managed to line up streaming concerts. When an organization ran what they called a virtual food drive, which was essentially a donation page on their website just really nicely clearly lining out the food drive needs. Some organizations are being really creative with 5K’s of like go run a 5K and report back on your time. We saw some silent auction examples.

And a lot of what’s being categorized as virtual events will probably feel very familiarity all of you, sending out an email, having an online donation form and, you know, just kind of that appeal being categorized as a virtual event. 

One of the biggest questions we have been noticing in our virtual event webinars is what tech do we need? What’s the thing we need to buy to make this work. And the good news is it really doesn’t have to be fancy. You need a way for donors to give, you need a way to communicate with your donors. So that could be like sending email, you could be sending them a video, you could be posting on social media, you could just have like that example of the food drive, a page on your website that you keep up to date at some frequency that works for you. 

And then everything else beyond that is really optional and what fits for you. So like, do you want to do a live stream video? Do you want to have Zoom? Do you want to do something with like peer-to-peer fundraising where you have a lot of solicitors and they each have their own little campaign progress meters that you keep up to date and keep them up to date on. Like everything about that is very flexible, the really core thing is a way for donors to give in a way for you to communicate.

So you can go really cheap on that and you can go really sophisticated. I’m going to show you a couple of partners that Bloomerang works with that have more sophisticated virtual event technologies. You probably have been seeing us communicate about GiveButter a lot recently. It was really great coincidence that we finished our integration with them right at the beginning of March.

GiveButter specializes in kind of like this all-in-one page where you can have that embedded video, you’ve got a call to donate. They’ve got a live feed with like comments and as gifts are coming in and they can support text to give, they can support peer to peer. So a lot of those kinds of like bell and whistle level of really making that event special are things that they’ve got.

And we’ve also got a partnership with Qgiv who has a similar set of functionalities. You know, the process is different, their pricing plans are different. One thing I wanted to really make sure to mention about Qgiv is they’ve got an auction functionality so kind of depending on where you’re going and where your bandwidth is with events, you can keep it simple, you can find partners out there or technology tools out there who can let you do more specific things with your plan. 

Jessica is linked to the webinar we had with GiveButter just yesterday where they really talk through it. They also in their webinars shared a lot of specific examples of this organization did an event, here’s what they included. So if you’re looking for kind of those case studies, those examples of what did they do we’ve got other resources for that. 

I’m going to read the comments here really quickly because I think live virtual events is such an interesting trend we’ve been seeing. Betsy, you just did a live stream version of your event on Tuesday. Wow. I bet that was exciting. There were a lot of moving parts to a live stream. We’re using Qgiv for peer to peer and we love it says Christina, it’s a very easy program to use and you’d recommend it. That’s great to hear. 

We are going to be communicating more about these different partnerships. Like I mentioned, at the very end, I’m going to be asking, you know, if anybody’s interested in learning more about those phone append services, I’ll also be saying like, if you want us to reach out with more information about Qgiv, about GiveButter, I’ll be kind of raising that question at the end. So feel free to kind of come back to that and we’ll be talking about that some more. 

So I got to my fifth and final trend. I think none of you are probably going to be terribly surprised about it, online donations. So what we have been seeing, I just want to really quickly pause before getting into online, it’s just revenue overall has managed to pretty much keep up with where it was during spring of last year. 

So what we saw this blue line is kind of cumulative revenue from the beginning of March to the end of May. And the light blue line is for the same time period last year. And it was pretty consistent, but like . . . oops, God, I keep switching slides . . . It was pretty consistent for the first couple of months with what we saw last year. 

And then recently you guys have actually been kind of moving beyond where you were last year and by now you made 4% more money in spring 2020 than you did in 2019. So that was a really encouraging trend. We were really unsure how this would play out with the pandemic whether some organizations would be affected more or less and how as a group all of the nonprofits we work with would be affected. So this was really nice trend. 

I say this mostly to move into like the, what we’ve seen happening differently is of all this revenue, the method that customer or that donors are using to make their donations has been shifting and the big shift has been online revenue. So the blue line is kind of cumulative online gifts that happened last spring. And as you can see online gifts have just been increasingly a bigger share of overall revenue, higher volume of overall dollars than they were last year. 

So I don’t think I have it written on the slide here, but this dark blue line here is about 92% higher than what it was last year. So pretty much doubled how much of the revenue is coming from online channels. I do want to note methodology note, sorry to be kind of a dry. 

This is based on donations that were made through a Bloomerang donation form. If you’ve got any of those other donation form companies, if you’re using like PayPal for your donations, if you’re using one of our partner integrations, if you’re having to add those gifts into the Bloomerang by hand or by import, I don’t necessarily have the data in the backend to recognize that those did come from an online form. So this is purely from Bloomerang donation form. The real number is probably quite a bit higher from all those other services that provide online giving that you guys use. 

The big things I wanted to mention here are just if you haven’t already, double check your online giving. Do you have a way for donors to give online? Is it easy for them to find? If they go to your website, can they navigate to it easily? Are you making it easy in your emails and in your other communications to connect them to that page? 

And then kind of, because I’m biased, I like tracking data, do you have a way to track those gifts efficiently in your database if they’re not coming through Bloomerang a donation form? What’s your process of adding them into Bloomerang? How frequently are you doing that? How are you labeling them? And just making sure that kind of like your online giving some good shape. If you haven’t, you know, run it a quick little test donation through your form and just kind of double check how that process feels to your donors and see if there’s anything that you want to be paying attention to. And that was my fifth and final trend. 

So we’re at the wrap-up stage here. Our big takeaways from everything were communicate with your donors. More communication is good and many communication channels, mass email, personal email, phone are thriving right now. I didn’t show it here in person interactions are down which is good for safety and it’s kind of like just shifting, you know, where are you having those conversations and how are you keeping those personal relationships going? 

The second kind of theme was there are a lot of options for virtual versions of your fundraising events. There’s a lot of flexibility and what that means for you find something that works for you, find something that kind of like fits your bandwidth and don’t feel like you have to do something extremely fancy if you don’t have the time for it. You know, you can do a simple more familiar version, just make sure that you’re kind of doing something, keeping everything going. And then our final trend of online giving is really important. Make sure yours is easy to find, easy to use and get it in front of donors.

As we wrap up, I’m going to go ahead and kind of look over at the questions, see what we’ve got coming in. Diana, can you take that poll I had been talking with you with, and maybe pop it up for people? This is once again asking, like, do you want follow-up information about GiveButter? Do you want follow-up information about Qgiv or that phone append service we mentioned?

Feel free to chat in. We’ll be able to see and follow up if there’s anything else that I haven’t mentioned here that, you know, if there’s another service or integration or training opportunity that you wanted to learn more about and we’ll be able to follow up with you later. 

All right. Let me see with the chat. Looks like, you know, Betsy asked what peer-to-peer platforms integrate with Bloomerang and Diana, you already answered this for everybody. But GiveButter and Qgiv both have peer-to-peer functionality and they both can push that transaction information into Bloomerang as it comes in. 

Excellent. Hoping to have an in-person event if possible later this year, but planning for virtual as a backup plan, that makes a lot of sense. Good planning, Vicky. Do you see a difference in mission focus in regards to the increase in revenue? I don’t have that breakdown right here and I don’t have it off the top of my head. There’s a place in your organization settings where you say what your NTEE code is, which is, you know, something you self-identify, like what sector do I work in? We kind of use that sometimes to tell what different sectors are differently affected by things. 

The last time I pulled mission . . . that sector breakdown for revenue was a couple months back, so I’m not sure how much it’s changed since late March. But that is something we can definitely consider kind of pulling it and including in a future presentation. 

Excellent. I’m going to then kind of move on with that. Just a couple other resources I wanted to make sure mention we’re going to be sending out the slides so you’ll have all these handy. We do have a couple of upcoming classes in the next week or so. That next week we’ve got our integration with DonorSearch and a couple sessions of Bloomerang for major gift officers. So those are great academy classes. 

And this one, the third one, isn’t an academy class, that’s just kind of through our general Bloomerang webinars series. But I thought it was really relevant to what we talked about today so I wanted to make sure you guys were aware of it. Pamela Grow is going to be doing a webinar with us on donor communications to see you through every crisis. So I had kind of a databased approach to it today. Pamela is always amazing at like what to say and how to phrase it. 

I’ve got some additional resources depending on what you like. I’ve got a link here to those videos we did with a couple of nonprofits about what their email campaign strategy was right away and those were the organizations who were really raising good fundraising successes. So I highly recommend watching one or two of them there. I feel very inspired watching them of just like, it’s a great mental framework of like, how do you think about your work? How do you think about your communication strategy? 

Actually speaking of Pamela, for what to say on phone calls, we did see that question quite a bit of like, well, okay, I’m going to call the donor and then what? Pamela has got a great little script of like, you know, this is kind of all it needs to be. And we’ve been kind of promoting that a little bit. So I’ve got a link to her script for phone calls here. 

We’ve got some recorded webinars that I thought were relevant to today like the one we just did with GiveButter on live streaming events. We’ve got a class on getting started with online giving which is focused on Bloomerang donation forms. So if you wanted to use like a Bloomerang form on your website and you don’t know how to get started, that’s a really great class. 

And then just some outside resources, like if you like kind of a stats based approach, something, we’ve got the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. I’ve got this company M+R Benchmarks has some really interesting data that they collect from their customers. And the BoardSource website actually has this really interesting page, that’s just a lot of anecdotes, just people sharing what’s working for them, what’s not. So I thought that was fun. And all these links are going to be in the slides that we’re sending out later. 

Elias has asked where do we get the link to register for a Pamela’s webinar? I’ll follow up with you after I make sure you’ve got that but basically on the Bloomerang website, we’ve got all of the public webinars available there. Thanks, Diana, sharing it in real time. 

Excellent. I have covered everything we needed to cover today and we’ll be following up with any remaining questions in the chat. Diana, anything you need to cover before we wrap it up. 

Diana: No. Thank you so much, Heidi. And thank you again, everyone for joining us today. I hope this has provided you with some inspiration. And thanks for everyone who offered advice as well through the chat for people who have already done some virtual events. We always say that we learn from our customers as well. 

So thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with everyone. If you have any suggestions as well for what you would like to talk about or what you would like to hear about, please don’t hesitate to send us an email. You can email us at I’ll put it in a chat here in a second. And we always love hearing from everybody.

Heidi: Thanks.

Diana: So thank you again. And we hope you have a great rest of your day.

Jessica Hartnagle

Jessica Hartnagle

VP of Product Management at Bloomerang
Jessica Hartnagle is the VP of Product Management at Bloomerang. She has over 15 years of experience consulting and implementing nonprofit donor CRM systems.