Innovation in a pandemic: Your digital-first donor experience

Innovation in a pandemic: Your digital-first donor experience


About this session

An existing shift over the past number of years towards digital fundraising has accelerated significantly in 2020 in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Consumer behaviour has evolved rapidly as it relates to online transactions and screen-time is at an all-time high. Further, traditional fundraising channels like events and face-to-face have been compromised enormously by physical distancing. In other words, a status quo approach to fundraising will not work right now, and so many of the shifts we’re seeing will continue beyond the pandemic. As fundraisers (never mind human beings) this has been extremely challenging, but as Albert Einstein said, ‘In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.’ This challenging situation we’ve been forced into has resulted in some amazing – and successful – innovations, especially in digital fundraising. The context we’re in is hopefully short in the span of our lives, but the insights and innovation can be rolled forward moving into the future and help to grow our fundraising programmes. Join Maeve Strathy of Blakely Inc. and Alain McKinley from Ottawa Food Bank to hear specific examples of innovation, and their insights on how you can apply innovation within your fundraising programme.

This session is aimed at:

  • Intermediate level of fundraising experience
  • Digital fundraisers/marketers
  • Direct marketers/annual giving fundraisers
  • Designers/copywriters.

What you will learn

  • Specific examples/case studies of innovations during the pandemic – including results
  • Insights on how to take innovation in a pandemic and apply it to fundraising post-pandemic
  • Top seven needs for an innovative organisational culture.





Maeve Strathy (Canada)
Senior Fundraising Strategist, Blakely Inc.
Alain McKinlay Tilgner (Canada)
Fundraising Coordinator, Ottawa Food Bank