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5 Ways to Strengthen Donor Relationships Online

Strengthen donor relationships online

Fostering relationships with your existing donors for lasting engagement is crucial in securing repeat donations. But did you know that nonprofits lose almost 3 in 4 donors after their first donation? Today, there are many digital channels that are great tools to strengthen donor relationships online. Although the online world seems vast and daunting, it allows you to approach your current donor community in ways that are effective and creative—if not even more—as in-person events.

Do you want to establish a thoughtful and robust online donor engagement plan to strengthen your donor relationships? Try these 5 tips!


5 Ways to Strengthen Donor Relationships Online

1.      Establish a communication strategy

Regularly sending updates about your activities is one of the easiest and most fundamental ways to keep the conversation alive with your supporters. But if done too frequently, your donors might end up unsubscribing from your communications.

You can create an effective communication approach with the help of your customer relationship management system (CRM) and data analytics. CRMs record all your donor data—including preferred contact channels, how they made their donations, and the activities they participated in— in one place. The most effective CRMs integrate with your email systems and accounting software. Doing so allows you to automate personalized communications based on where donors are in the stewardship process and accepting payments. Meanwhile, analytics tools can show the hours or days your donors are most active online so you can space out the timing and frequency of updates.


2.      Segment your audience

90% of donors say the “thank you” email is the most crucial communication they receive from a nonprofit. Personalizing messages based on your supporters’ motivations and interests also contributes to donor retention. Segmentation—or grouping donors according to shared characteristics—will allow your nonprofit to accomplish this without spending too much time crafting a unique message for every individual.

For instance, you wouldn’t send your donors letters about your long-standing programs if they’ve been with you for several years. Instead, stories about how donations changed a person’s or family’s life might be more appealing to them. Meanwhile, you can invite lapsed donors — or former donors who have stopped or reduced their gifts—to support your cause in other ways instead of monetary giving. You can ask them to engage with your content online or join in volunteer work.

Presuming you have sizeable millennial and Gen Z donors, ask them what platforms they use the most so you can reach them there. You can send a thank you message with a social media link that they can easily share among their friends, while being official proof of their advocacy.

Donor analytics tools such as DC Analytics can help you segment your donors based on:

  • Reason – Their motivation for giving
  • Type – How they give i.e., online donation forms or monthly giving programs
  • Frequency – How often they donate
  • Recency – When they made their last donation
  • Amount – Can fall under lower-level, mid-level, or major donor categories


3.      Optimize and integrate your digital platforms.

If companies record up to 84% in ROI growth with multi-channel marketing, then your donor relationship management strategy should combine online and traditional (such as phone calls and in-person gatherings) approaches.

Like consumers, donors seek easy and various options to participate in your cause. Discover how to raise your engagement in each of these communication channels:

  • Website

You must audit your website, considering that 60% of donors visit a nonprofit’s website to research before making a donation. You can ask your staff members to join in and give feedback about navigation and search, including filling forms on a donation or volunteer sign-up page. The best donation pages offer suggested donation amounts, a recurring giving option, and various payment options. Don’t forget to verify the security of your donation pages. Refresh your pages with your latest fundraising services, images, and testimonials to update existing donors and motivate prospects. Moreover, allow visitors to connect to your official social networks through your portal without hitches. And remember to do the same for the mobile version of your website.

  • Emails

Use your emails to send newsletters featuring your upcoming and finished projects. Include engaging images, videos, and other interactive elements so your recipients can learn more about your organization and discover how you express donor appreciation. Ensure that links to your website or social channels are working.

  • Social media

Like websites, you need to update your social accounts with your latest activities. Use written and audio-visual content to feature your ambassadors’ stories. Include calls to action with direct links to event registrations and donation pages.

Remember that you can always seek your ambassadors’ feedback from each of these platforms.


4.      Organize virtual events.

Your organization can also use social media platforms and online conferencing tools to hold webinars, interviews, Q&A sessions, live-streamed musical performances, online auctions, contests, or health and wellness activities.

Planning an online event needs preparation; including posting announcements and ensuring that technical equipment and internet connection will function smoothly. Organizers must always perform a dry run and be ready with backup systems.

5.      Start a podcast.

Podcasting is the modern radio, with 62% of Americans listening to audio content. Half of this percentage is 12 to 34 years old. You can invite personalities to speak about your organization’s message or tell a story as a volunteer or beneficiary of your group’s causes. You can later repurpose podcasts as audio files that you can feature in blogs or social media posts.


Design a Data-Based Strategy for Donor Relationship Building

Retaining current donors is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Thus, tracking your supporters’ key metrics is vital for improving your campaigns’ engagement rate. Contact us today to discover how Donor Compass’™ database analysis platform and relationship specialists can help you plan and implement your strategy.