3 Ways To Segment and Steward Donors To Improve Digital Donor Retention
Peer-to-peer fundraising has been a digital cultivation tool for years; by empowering current supporters to solicit their network of friends and family members for donations, a charity can benefit from organic growth in new donors. However, it is the rest of the donation lifecycle that has not always been considered in this new digital landscape, so the next step for digital engagement is stewardship. Moving forward, organizations should steward new relationships virtually and bring moves management strategies into their digital fundraising programs.
In non-anomalous years, only one in four peer-to-peer participants are typically retained year-over-year. However, 87% of peer-to-peer fundraisers are likely to fundraise for an organization again, according to the “2020 Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study.”
To better steward these relationships to increase retention, charities need to meet people where they are. If you meet a donor or fundraiser online first, it’s most likely that’s where it will be easiest to meet them again to foster those new relationships. Defining which donor segments can and should be stewarded online can then help you understand what portion needs to be moved into other stewardship cadences, like sustained giving programs and major donor communications.
Using persona segmentation in your crowdfunding and peer-to-peer campaigns can help you define even more specific fundraiser communication strategies. The goal of persona development and segmentation is to discover, define, and enhance the deep relationships supporters have with your mission. This allows you to better serve your constituents while simultaneously delivering on your own organizational objectives. Today’s donors are increasingly in control of their engagement, and this has become a defining strength of peer-to-peer fundraising.
In an analysis of key indicators — including demographics, inclination, and wealth — peer-to-peer fundraisers can be grouped into four personas, according to the Blackbaud Institute’s “Supporters In Sight: A Look at Peer-to-Peer Personas.” Those four persona groups are: “Overachievers,” “Do-Gooders,” “Go-Getters,” and “Cause Enthusiasts.” Here are a few ways you can use these personas in your segmentation to improve your stewardship.
1. Utilize different messages and platforms to reach and engage personas accordingly
“Cause Enthusiasts” in your database are excited to make a difference. To tap into this enthusiasm, ask your executive director to send a message to your enthusiasts thanking them for their support and providing an update about the outcomes enabled by their donations.
The “Go-Getters” in your supporter community typically have a competitive drive. To dial up the competition, publish leaderboards on your event pages highlighting those raising the most. To celebrate their success, record a video that provides updates and outcomes, and post the video on campaign pages. You’ll be giving them a much-appreciated shoutout — and additional glory.
Create marketing segments according to programmatic support of peer-to-peer fundraisers in the areas of their natural affinities. This keeps supporters engaged in the mission throughout the year.
2. Use analytics to properly segment this new audience of supporters
New data can be overwhelming, but by identifying parameters in advance, you can organize the data better.
- Those who give and fundraise in your geographic area are great candidates to invite to volunteer.
- Use wealth analytics to identify the new donors who have the capacity to become major donors.
- If you discover a large segment of “Do-Gooders,” “Cause Enthusiasts,” and “Go-Getters'' in your database, build an evergreen DIY hub within your website to easily engage with those supporters during your off-seasons.
3. Steward peer-to-peer fundraisers as much as you do donors
- Identify engagement opportunities for first-time fundraisers. According to the persona research, first-timers require more support and likely want additional information, like an extended welcome series or mentorship from event staff.
- Recreate the benefits you already provide for giving societies or include peer-to-peer fundraisers in those same programs.
- Find opportunities to include peer-to-peer fundraisers in the stewardship cadences of your major donors. These could include exclusive receptions, behind-the-scenes tours, or invitations to programs or events to network with major donors.
- Involve organization leadership — like department heads, board members and volunteers — in the stewardship of peer-to-peer supporters.
A recent sgENGAGE blog post explored how the pandemic and many changes in our economy have reinforced the importance of a diversified revenue stream. However, the concept of a diversified peer-to-peer and crowdfunding strategy dives even deeper into the possibilities that are available in this digital landscape. By segmenting your digital audience of new donors and fundraisers, you can better retain those assets and grow those donation programs to have a bigger impact on your mission.
While the platforms and modes of communication might be new, the best practices on which to build these new processes are not. Today, we have more ways to communicate, more people with whom to communicate and even more ways to segment supporters. Those are all great challenges to have; let’s just work on overcoming them to reap all the benefits.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the September/October 2021 print edition of NonProfit PRO as "An Evaluation of the Four Personas of Peer-to-Peer Participants." Click here to subscribe.
Amanda Baldwin is a solutions engineer on the team at Blackbaud. In her role, she has the privilege of aligning customer goals with solutions to help good take over. Amanda spent 12 years fundraising for several different types of nonprofit organizations, and also served as the executive director for a local chapter of a national organization. She was a Blackbaud client for many years prior to joining the team.
Amanda has two boys under the age of four, and she is the wife to another boy who has about the same amount of energy. Other than being tired, she likes to paddle board, cook, practice yoga, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Charleston, South Carolina.