Caring for Your Donors: A Story from Intend Ministries

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I recently spoke with Tracy Bumpus from Intend Ministries – a Virtuous customer. I asked her about creative things their organization was doing on the Virtuous Platform to reach supporters. Tracy proceeded to tell me an incredibly compelling story and I wanted to share it with all of our followers.

At Virtuous, we talk a lot two key principles of modern fundraising and generosity:

  1. Modern nonprofits should personalize your communication to donors based on their passions, preferences, and place in life
  2. Modern nonprofits give to the donor before the donor gives back. Generosity begets generosity.

Tracy’s story perfectly embodies these two principles.

In advance of the recent hurricanes in the Carolinas, Intend Ministries took the initiative to give to their donors rather than just asking/getting. Intend isn’t in the “relief and development” space (they are a faith-based media nonprofit) but they still wanted to serve their constituents affected by the storms the best way they could.

Rather than tell you the story in my words, I’ve included Tracy’s story below in her own words. Notice how she Tracy is leveraging Virtuous to 1) personalize donor communication and 2) give first before getting back. Hopefully this story inspires creativity and helps all of us seek ways to better serve those around us.

“We used the Virtuous map function in the contact record to help us identify donors and contacts who have been in the paths of incoming hurricanes in both 2017 and 2018 in the states of Florida and North Carolina. With our location in middle Tennessee, we are accustomed to being an evacuation point for the southern Atlantic coast and the Gulf Coast. Five individual interstates intersect here so we are a destination for evacuees.

We were concerned about our donors and contacts who were in the paths of these storms, especially those who are elderly and isolated. Being proactive and serving our broadcast audience is important to us, so we ran a query to find donors in those states and neighboring states that might be impacted by the storms.

Rather than trying to narrow down coastal locations by zip codes which would have involved more significant research outside of Virtuous, we simply looked at the map locations in the contact records to determine exactly where the contacts were located in terms of geography. If a contact was near the coast or an inland river where storm surge might be an issue, we moved to a queue. For those, we picked up the phone and reached out in order to make sure they had a plan in place and to pray with them. For all others, we sent an email letting them know we were praying for them and to let them know we stood ready to welcome them in our location. We also offered to reserve hotels rooms on their behalf at the local properties where we have corporate rates if they decided to head for the higher ground of Middle Tennessee.

The map function in Virtuous was a wonderful tool for this because we could see the geography of our donors’ locations. Obviously, a person on the coast or in the low country of the Carolinas was going to be more impacted than someone in the northern part of the state in the mountains. The visual tool allowed us to focus more particularly on those who stood at higher risk.”

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