Home in on Your Nonprofit’s Donor Experience
We understand these are not regular times, but it’s more essential now to stay connected with your donors. In other words, it’s vital to double down on relationship-building. Sure, the fundraising experience will be different this year, but as Maya Angelou said, “... people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Therefore, during these times, your fundraising team needs to think about the donor experience, and there are several reasons why. Community Brands published the “Donor Experience Study.” Here were some of the findings:
- Familiarity with the nonprofit informed how donors gave to the nonprofit. As a result, there was a relationship between online and offline giving.
- Age was a determining factor concerning online giving.
- Mobile giving continues to increase.
- Sixty-three percent of donors reported they would donate to a nonprofit after experiencing a positive event.
- Technology improved fundraising success.
- Donors want personalization.
If you look at the points mentioned above, none of the findings are all that surprising. In fact, they support what many fundraisers and nonprofit leaders see in their work. Nevertheless, it costs nonprofits less to maintain and cultivate a donor through a good experience than it does to acquire new donors. Also, donors will reach out to their circle of influence and help causes they care about to reach new donors. And depending on the level of positive experience with a nonprofit, donors will give to special appeals (especially during difficult times).
As a nonprofit leader, the current climate requires critical-thinking and ensuring that donors feel the support and appreciation you have for them. The following are tips and strategies you can and should use to ensure that your organization stays top of mind.
Don’t Forget to Thank Them
The reality is that donors do not have to support your cause. And particularly during tough economic times, any gift they make to your organization comes with a greater sacrifice. So one of the first things you should do is to remain humble and grateful for their past and current support.
When donors understand that you genuinely recognize their giving to your nonprofit, they are more inclined to give again. Ensure your emails and communications reflect your gratitude for their support.
Think About How Donors Can Support Your Nonprofit
Next, as the Community Brands study showed, you want to ensure that your donors have multiple ways to help your organization — whenever they’re ready. The idea is to promote social good in your community first and then ensure that you have creative ways for supporters to help your cause. For instance, many nonprofits think there are only a few ways to support a nonprofit: an online gift, at an event or in response to a grant request. But during tough economic times, you want to get creative about your fundraising.
In other words, some people may be able to help you amplify your message, and others can give you money. Still, there are many ways to support your efforts with a creative fundraiser.
Get Smart About Marketing
There’s a lot of competition from other nonprofits for the support your donors give. Remember, you’re not the only group your donors have a relationship with philanthropically. So your organization needs to market and stay top of mind in a smart way. For example, you can reconsider some marketing time-wasters you might not need to be doing right now.
During a time of limited resources, it’s essential to be smart about what you need to prioritize, so you can focus on strategic content marketing.
Finally, because of technology, we live in a time of hyper-personalization. That’s not going to go away, no matter what happens with the economy. In fact, the smartest fundraisers and nonprofit leaders will invest (yes, even limited resources) into technology.
The reality is that artificial intelligence for your nonprofit can make things infinitely more manageable and do in minutes what it took fundraisers days, weeks or even months. Consider prioritizing technology to work alongside your team to ensure that you’re highly productive. The better you reach out and maintain the relationships with your donors, the higher the chances are that your nonprofit will not only survive, but also thrive.
Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises. Among his various independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs, a social enterprise that helps nonprofits, schools, churches, civic groups, individuals and others raise funds, while helping to support micro-enterprise (small business) opportunities in developing nations and the environment.
You can learn more about Wayne and obtain free resources, including his books on his blog, Not Your Father’s Charity.