Zooming has become a word, like googling before it.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and resultant state-mandated shelter in place orders, so many Zoom meetings are being conducted it’s a wonder the system holds up.
Zoom meetings can be fun for the family and morale-builders for staff, but they’re also emerging as key connection points especially for nonprofit organizations wanting to maintain relationships with supporting constituents. Since the social context in which we’re living-the new normal-is changing by the hour, predicting more online meetings is a safe guess.
For an undetermined period of time, nonprofit development staff cannot travel, and the economy is slowing down, so Zoom meetings are becoming a good way to manage relationships. Consequently, we’re all learning as we go.
With that in mind, here are a few recommendations to make your nonprofit Zoom (or similar online meeting software like Skype, GoToMeeting) meetings profitable:
1) Develop a six-month digitally based, as opposed to travel based, plan for each segment of your donor base. This can be determined by gift amounts, age, or some other designation that’s meaningful to your nonprofit’s mission.
2) Give each of these initiatives a title and craft an approach or journey, number of meetings (avoiding donor fatigue), talking points, and value-added inputs reinforcing donors, then build the number of meetings around what works best to keep them informed, enthused, and engaged.
3) Create a template for your invitation, reminder, and follow-up emails, a professional look that presents the nonprofit with its best foot forward.
4) Recognize that donors are learning online meeting software too, so make joining the meeting-linking-as simple as possible, likely not using passwords unless considered absolutely necessary for security.
5) Script the meeting, i.e., don’t wing it. Identify theme, presentation points, outcomes desired, action steps, and how long the meeting will last-briefer is generally better.
6) Check lighting beforehand. Better lighting enhances your professional image and impact. Lighting – what lighting technicians call Key (straight on at the speaker), Hair (overhead), and Fill (side) lighting – make the difference between a meeting appearing as if it’s occurring in a studio and one that feels like it’s taking place in a tunnel.
7) Check sound beforehand. Using an external microphone almost always
yields a more complete, fuller sound and cuts down on echoes.
8) Determine what backdrop you wish to share behind the host and/or panelist speakers. Is it virtual or do you need to set up a green screen? Does your backdrop overpower the speaker? The backdrop could be the nonprofit organization logo, if this does not distract in some way, or it could be a map or some other image pertinent to your mission.
9) If there’s any potential for your WiFi to become unstable, use an ethernet cord to plug your computer directly into your router. This helps reduce delay and interruption.
10) Decide whether recording the meeting is needed and appropriate, and if you record, determine you need to inform participants of this at the top of the meeting.
11) Once your donors join the call, direct them to the upper righthand corner of
their screen and suggest they click Speaker View so they can focus on the person presenting and lessen distractions from others. And tell them about the Chat button at the bottom and how to use it to ask questions.
12) Welcome your guests, thank them for their time, tell them-if this fits your
purposes-that they will be muted to cut down on inadvertent noise from coughing, children, pets, etc.-then Go… being sure to end at the pre-scheduled time.
Well-presented Zoom meetings can create as great or maybe even a greater impact than in person meetings. Prepare and practice. Pull off your Zoom meeting like the Oscars.
© Dr. Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020