When Can We Meet Again?
As more individuals are vaccinated for the coronavirus and mask and social distancing guidelines are relaxed, is it OK to meet in person with donors again? All of that depends on you, the donor and your organization’s policies.
Some individuals may be comfortable meeting in person again, while others may still be more cautious. In the event a donor is comfortable meeting in person, consider an outdoor location that will allow you to sit at a distance — such as a restaurant with outdoor seating or at a park, rather than a cozy coffee shop or office. You may also elect to bring the donor on-site to your organization. In doing so, consider hosting them for a private tour after business hours or when service traffic is minimal. Be prepared to wear masks and follow social distancing standards while meeting indoors.
There may be some individuals who are not comfortable meeting in person yet, but that doesn’t mean they are not interested in learning about updates within your organization. In such cases, offer to meet with donors virtually via Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc. Although not as intimate as an in-person interaction, meeting by video allows you to see one another and to share your organization’s needs on screen with visual aids, such as a case for support, video or graphics.
As with meeting in person, a virtual conversation with a donor should include:
- A greeting or opening. Ask the donor(s) how they have been doing since you last connected.
- Transition to share updates about your organization. Use the share screen ability on the virtual conferencing platform to share materials with the donor
- If it feels appropriate, ask the donor if they may be willing to help support your organization’s current needs with a financial gift or volunteer opportunity.
- Close the conversation with your gratitude for their time and any support they may have shared during the conversation.
- Follow up with answers to any questions the donor may have had during your conversation, and schedule another meeting to connect or send additional material as requested. As part of the follow-up, send a donor a thank-you note to highlight the points of your conversation and confirm their support.
There will not be a magic date when people will be attending in-person meetings again, but we can continue to share our organizations’ needs by meeting donors where they are and at their comfort level.