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Digital communications and fundraising is all about being in the moment. Responding to quickly evolving situations is what we do.

But once those quickly evolving situations fade from the headlines, we often abandon them. We neglect to follow up on the story. We leave the narrative hanging in mid-air.

Organizations that follow up stand out by keeping activists and donors engaged and informed over the campaign long-haul.

  • Celebrate the win. Amnesty makes sure to highlight at least one (if not more) success story each month across online channels.Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 10.15.54 AM
  • Show donors what their money did.  Defenders of Wildlife is particularly good at following up with donors on the outcomes of their campaigns. This ad buy follow up is just one example.
  • Be transparent. Report on things even when you weren’t 100% successful. I’ll always remember this charity: water campaign from 2010. They had focused their annual September campaign on drilling a well in the village of Moale in the Central African Republic. However, they were unable to drill the well and quickly reported that to donors. Further, the following year, they came back to Moale and successfully drilled the well.
  • Make follow up a strategic priority. Add campaign follow up as a standing agenda item to your editorial meetings to ensure it doesn’t get eclipsed by breaking news.

Yes — it takes some extra work. But following up is the foundation of building long-term relationships with your donors and activists. It will keep them engaged. It will keep them hopeful. It will keep them trusting. That’s worth the effort.