Five Digital Strategies to Fuel All-Donor Engagement

For many nonprofits, the pandemic added a jetpack to their digital transformation efforts. Although in-person events are returning slowly, nonprofit leaders must continue to invest in digital strategies to engage donors and improve fundraising efforts.

In this part two of our webinar recap, we'll discuss the five digital strategies to fuel all-donor engagement. (Dig into part one of this series, here. ) 

1. Envision the donor's digital journey. 

With your donor personas in hand, next map how your donor personas digitally engage with your organization. This journey consists of three steps.

  1. AttractBuild your audience: What activities or interactions attract your donors to contribute to your cause? How can you leverage web forms, landing pages, or online visits to usher them into your digital universe?
  2. NurtureEngage your audience: both your recurring donors and prospective donors. How do you utilize email nurturing, storytelling, and social media to educate and inspire your donors to act?
  3. ConvertDrive to action: By offering thoughtful, intentional communication based upon your constituent data, trigger your donors to act.

2. Advanced CRM Data Segmentation

As you build your audience within the attract phase, you collect donor information. All this data can be leveraged to segment your donors.

Many of you already segment based upon name, address, and RFM. How can you include other data points AND which channels can you leverage these segmented lists to nurture and convert donors?

First, as mentioned earlier, consider your typical donor personas.

  • Who are these individuals?
  • Where do they “hang out” both in online and offline communities? How does this understanding influence the channels in which you market to them?

In last month’s webinar, we discussed tips on building the perfect list through donor segmentation, the data points are worth repeating:

  • Preferred communication method
  • Event attendance
  • Age brackets
  • Volunteer history
  • Giving capacity
  • Giving type – RFM, Focus
  • Channel – Online, Check, Cash
  • Engagement score

Any segment you create using this data can then be used as a marketing list to:

  • Send your next fundraising appeal
  • Request volunteers or advocates
  • Use to prospect for major gift opportunities

Now – which channels can you leverage these lists to build campaigns and convert donors to act?

Yes, email, but how can you move beyond email? With digital ad campaigns.

The 2021 M+R Benchmarks Study indicated that nonprofit digital advertising spend increased by 33% in 2020. By leveraging digital advertising platforms, your organization becomes omnipresent and offers more opportunities to nurture and convert your donors.

If you’re new to digital advertising, first – consider the size of your organization. If your brand is well-known, you may deliver a direct call to donate. If your brand is less known, focus on brand-building.

Second, consider how constituent data influences your ad copy, creatives, and calls to action. If you plan to target one of your donor personas, picture this individual as you create the ad itself and develop the targeting.

3. Host Hybrid Events

As COVID restrictions lift, virtual fundraising options are still top of mind for NPOs. Over the past year, our most viewed blog post featured 10 virtual fundraising ideas. As you navigate the needs of your donors and volunteers, consider Hybrid Events which provide both virtual and in-person components to the event experience.

What are the benefits of hybrid events?

  • Extend the audience of your events and boosts donor acquisition

The virtual component of a hybrid event allows your nonprofit to promote the event to any donor interested in participating – no matter if he or she is located in your organization’s backyard or halfway across the world.

  • Provide flexibility to your donors to participate based on their comfort level

Many of your donors may not feel ready to engage in an in-person event. By offering a virtual option, they can still donate and contribute in a manner that they feel most comfortable. Furthermore, a virtual option offers more flexibility within their schedules.

What are some examples of virtual events?

Ticketed events such as concerts and film screenings are possible, so are volunteer events and peer-to-peer. For more ideas on virtual events, download our infographic.

Key tips to ensure your hybrid events go off without a hitch:

  • Set your budget.

This may sound rudimentary, but you may incur additional expenses typically not budgeted for solely in-person events. Are you shipping gift bags to at-home participants? Are you purchasing new technology to engage donors at home? These are all extra expenses.

  • Utilize the right technology and ensure it’s not a one-off investment.

It’s a poor use of your budget to purchase event management technology that is only used once. Do you plan to host additional hybrid events in the future? How can you leverage this technology in other capacities? Calculate the ROI.

  • Provide clear communication.

There is nothing more frustrating than signing up for a virtual event and not knowing how to log on. Over communicate the login links and link to donate. Use email to communicate about the event and generate excitement and buzz.

  • Thank your donors and participants.

Dig into your donor data, uncover your donors’ preferred communication methods, and share your gratitude. You can also send a survey to receive their feedback regarding the event – this provides you with more donor data.

4. Develop Nurture Campaigns to Constituent Groups

You’ve segmented your data; now it’s time to develop nurture campaigns to these constituent groups. Nurture campaigns allow your organization to communicate with your audience based on their past interactions – delivering a personalized one-to-one experience on a mass scale.

Email, SMS, phone calls, social media – these are all possible channels to leverage within nurture campaigns. Here's an example of a major donor prospecting campaign automation within ClickDimensions: 

Campaign Automation_ClickDimensions_StratusLIVE

5. Leverage predictive and insightful analytics and visualizations

The all-digital world enables nonprofit marketers the ability to measure and track everything. Your donors’ digital journeys provide footprints of their engagement with your organization. Through the evaluation of your donors’ past interactions, you make assumptions about their behavior in the future.

Additionally, it’s paramount to track the ROI of your marketing and fundraising campaigns to determine their effectiveness. Through tools such as our Campaign ROI Dashboard, fundraisers can evaluate campaign activity groups and average response amounts. For example, your team can compare emails sent and the average response amount. What was your message and audience? How did these factors influence the average response?

Nonprofit organizations that embrace the digital revolution and make fundraising and marketing decisions based upon data not gut will position themselves for future success.

Missed the webinar? Hear from digital marketing and fundraising experts at StatusLIVE and ClickDimensions

Watch the recording

Posted by Kelly Perry

Kelly Perry is a Digital Marketing Manager, Nonprofit Solutions at StratusLIVE. She has over eight years marketing and communications experience within nonprofit technology and the publishing industries.