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August 12, 2020
 
Five Technology-Driven Ways to Increase Donor Engagement
By John Killoran

John Killoran
John Killoran

Donor engagement is always critical for maintaining a healthy nonprofit, but it becomes especially important for organizations whose fundraising efforts have taken a significant hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although in-person engagement efforts have been postponed to maintain social distancing guidelines, the availability of technology and the expanse of virtual fundraising resources have helped many organizations to stay afloat. However, it’s important to focus on your donor relationships as well – especially now.

Here are five things nonprofits can do to boost donor engagement levels during this time:

1. Incorporate unique marketing tactics.

With thousands of businesses and organizations moving primarily to the virtual sphere at once, it means there’s a vast amount of digital clutter to surmount in order to get the word out about your efforts. Highlight the unique qualities that make your organization stand out from the crowd.

For instance, you might want to incorporate a blog on your nonprofit website to promote user engagement and provide a platform for sharing your story. By posting pictures, videos, and stories that demonstrate your nonprofit’s impact, you can convince donors that their gifts matter and are being put to good use.

Other effective strategies include maintaining an active social media presence, personally calling and checking in on donors, and investing in digital advertising tactics.

2. Streamline the donation process.

A lengthy and/or complicated giving process is significantly more likely to result in the potential donor abandoning their gift – even if they intended to contribute. That’s why it’s so important to streamline the donation process as much as possible.

One way to do so is by enabling mobile fundraising. This way, supporters can give on-the-go with their handy smartphones at any time. Plus, a mobile donation can be completed in mere seconds! You can learn more about the text-to-give process with this comprehensive guide.

Donors will be much more likely to engage with your organization when it’s on their own terms – meaning when they want, where they want, and how they want.

3. Employ corporate matching gift software.

Promoting corporate philanthropy right now is a great way to keep donors engaged without asking them to reach back into their wallets to make another donation. Instead, you can simply ask your past donors to explore their employers’ matching gift programs.

And with the right matching gift software (like a comprehensive database and embedded search tool), researching one’s eligibility is easier than ever.

As an added bonus, many businesses have even expanded their corporate philanthropy programs in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Check out this list from Double the Donation to learn more about matching gifts and COVID-19.

4. Conduct a donor audit.

Conducting a donor audit allows you to take an in-depth look at your entire donor base and provide useful information as you make decisions going forward.

Here are a few key elements to take a look at:

  • How many donors return to make a second gift?
  • What is the average gift size, and how has it changed over time?
  • How do giving patterns change by segment? Over time?
  • How often do donors give?
  • How much revenue comes through recurring donations?

As you analyze this data, opportunities for growth will crop up. For example, if you see that only a small percentage of fundraising revenue comes from recurring gift programs, you may decide that’s an aspect of your strategy to focus more time and effort into.

5. Derive insights from data.

Tracking your web analytics allows you to view metrics such as your website’s bounce rate, conversion rate, and reach to give you a better understanding of your digital impact. Plus, seeing where you’re not doing so great allows you to make significant changes and set yourself back on course.

Collecting and analyzing data in an efficient manner requires the right software. Luckily, investing in nonprofit software doesn’t have to break the bank thanks to free and low-cost tools like these. Additionally, practicing effective data hygiene with your fundraising tools ensures that your data is accurate, organized, and up-to-date.

John Killoran is an inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Snowball Fundraising, which provides a range of fundraising services and tools for nonprofits.

June 2020

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