A Quick Guide to Using Technology Throughout the Donor Engagement Process

A Quick Guide to Using Technology Throughout the Donor Engagement Process

Julia Claire Campbell Fundraising, Nonprofits Leave a Comment

A Quick Guide to Using Technology Throughout the Donor Engagement ProcessGuest post by Amanda Peterson, Enlightened Digital

The way people communicate continues to evolve as technology advances.

For nonprofits, this reliance on new technology may mean that it is becoming more and more challenging to maintain effective donor relationships.

People are becoming easier to reach, yet increasingly harder to communicate with at the same time.

Donor engagement, often measured by the percentage of donors making active contributions, is becoming a major concern for nonprofit organizations.

In fact, more than 95 percent of community foundations consider donor engagement to be a top priority, but only 27 percent of these foundations have adopted a well-defined metric to measure its success.

In today’s hyper-connected society, standing out in the sea of social media notifications, emails, and advertisements that people receive on a daily basis is no simple task.

Technology can be a great resource to help nonprofit organizations reach more people, both effectively and in a sustainable way.

Though nonprofits are often slow-adopters for new technologies, those who move quickly and nimbly have seen a greater increase in donations and activity from new donors.

As we enter 2019, it is now necessary that nonprofits utilize technology and data to reach potential and current donors in diverse ways.

The guide below demonstrates how technology can be utilized throughout the entire donor engagement process— from recruiting to  retaining donors over time. 

Donor Recruitment

For many nonprofits, simply sending an email acknowledgement just doesn’t cut it anymore.

On average, an individual receives over 120 emails per day.

From retail offers to political campaigns, potential donors receive an influx of messages in their daily inbox.

It’s unlikely that just one email will foster a connection great enough to encourage a donation, let alone a sustaining donor relationship.

Building strong relationship with donors however, can be cultivated through social media or text message campaigns.

Nonprofit organizations can tap into new tools created by social media companies and the like to reach new donor bases and can tell their stories beyond solely asking for money.

For example, The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, established by the Chicago Cubs’ first baseman, not only tweets often about its events and campaigns, but also engages with its advocates.

Rizzo himself retweets the information on his own account, which can establish new relationships with his supporters and creates an additional layer of connectivity.

Anthony Rizzo Foundation

A great deal of donor recruitment success can also be found through one-to-one text message campaigns.

A new breed of “peer to peer” texting apps allow nonprofits to carry on thousands of individual text conversations, keep track of replies and answer questions from potential donors.

Relationships built through text messaging have been found to have a higher chance of generating donations than those created over the phone.

Many people are most likely to respond to text messages over phone calls or emails, which often result in genuine and personal exchanges.

Overall, creating a meaningful interaction up front will result in greater support in the long term.

Donor Retention

When working to retain donors and contacting those who have donated in the past, it’s essential to remember that data holds the key to a successful donor engagement strategy.

Many nonprofit organizations already have tons of data on their benefactors, but have yet to employ it in a useful manner.

Uploading this information into a customer relationship management (CRM) tool can be a great first step.

With a CRM tool, a nonprofit can track all sorts of data on its current and potential donors, including contribution history, engagement history, social media links, and more.

Nonprofits that already have this information likely know that no two donors are alike.

They can gain better insight into each supporter’s connection to the organization and best understand their intent in donating.

Nonprofits with little donor data however, can also use simple tech tools to their benefit.

Online survey tools, like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, can gather a great deal of donor knowledge in a short period of time.

Donor Segmentation

Segmenting your donors by interest and behavior is an important pillar to nonprofit marketing.

Gathering all this data to break up donors into smaller lists, whether it be by acquisition channel, giving frequency, donation amount or specific programs they donate to, ensures that the right messages are sent to the right people.

Tailoring outreach tactics to each donor segment motivates people to donate by appealing to their unique connection.

Donor Engagement in the Long Run

Utilizing technology to boost donor relationships is one of the most powerful methods to sustain a nonprofit’s community.

Communicating with a donor base in innovative methods ensures that your nonprofit stands out amidst the digital noise of today’s society and continues to thrive over time.

How to Build Your Nonprofit Email List Using Your Website & Social Media

Your email list is essentially the communicative lifeblood of your nonprofit.

Okay, that was a little dramatic, but seriously, your nonprofit needs a robust and plentiful email list to continue engaging your community and garnering support.

But how does your nonprofit go about building this active email list, you might ask?

Via your nonprofit’s website and social media profiles of course!

J Campbell Social Marketing has partnered with Elevation to bring you this free guide to building your nonprofit email list, using the tools that you already have!

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