We’ve re-branded from Legacy Leaders to Donor Compass. Learn more.

Skip to main content

Donor Relationship Management in a Digital World

Donor Management virtually through a tablet

While this uncharted and unpredictable moment in time has posed unique challenges to nonprofit organizations, the need to serve populations and communities has only increasedIn the face of this challenge, organizations are remaining resilient despite more than three-quarters of nonprofits experiencing disruption to their services. With this disruption, the focus on digital donor relationship management is more important than ever.  

With challenge can come opportunity. Managing donor relationships virtually can now give organizations a unique opportunity to leverage new strategies and tactics for fundraising and relationship advancement. In this article, discover how you can reimagine donor relationship management in a digital world, with a new lens on growth.  


Defining Donor Relationship Management in 2021

Donor relationship management requires thoughtful strategy and rigorous execution around the process of cultivating relationships with new donors and continuing engagement with current donors, in order to maximize donor retention and revenue. 

In a pre-pandemic world, such a strategy typically had a pillar event during a calendar year in the form of a large-scale gala or physical fundraiser, for example. Of course, this last calendar year has seen the world turn in a new way.  


Donor Relationship Management in a Digital World – 5 Tips for Nonprofit Organizations  

With this significant shift, the way in which nonprofit organizations approach fundraising, donor management, and portfolio analysis must pivot. Here are five tips to help you restructure your 2021 fundraising strategy.  


1. Lean in on digital roundtables and conversations in an audio format 

After nearly one year of being restricted to video meetings and conversations, the now dubbed “Zoom Fatigue” is a real thing. A researcher from Stanford has discovered that the “nonverbal overload …[is]… a potential cause for fatigue”and the “various aspects of the current Zoom interface likely lead to psychological consequences”. 

This isn’t positive news to those who have leaned on video conferencing to connect with donors; however, rest assured that alternative solutions exist.  

Audio, such as podcasts, has quickly become a popular and enjoyable format to consume information and engage with others, and the opportunity for connection is hard to ignore. 55% of the US population has consumed a podcast, and the level of fatigue that accompanies this medium is virtually non-existentConsider the strategic launch of a podcast for your organization, highlighting the different ways that donations have contributed to propelling your cause.  


2. Get back to the basics  

While creating a podcast can seem like a digital transformation, it is also important to consider the act of getting back to the basics. 

Many donors are receiving emails, newsletters, and other digital touchpoints. Consider the impact of a personally written letter or card from organizational leaders. Thought and time goes into this outreach, providing a great opportunity for personal connection.  


3. Use LinkedIn for peer and board introductions

As a social network, LinkedIn provides a great resource for nonprofit organizations in the form of the LinkedIn nonprofit hub. 

LinkedIn for Nonprofits is a hub that supports organizations through hiring, marketing, fundraising, and learningYour organization may consider investing in such resources, with LinkedIn being an excellent medium to learn and virtually connect with peers, while making introductions to potential board members, supporters, and advocates. 


4. Make online donations easy 

As fundraising moves from a blend of online and offline, to predominately onlinethe focus on donations is more important than ever. Focusing on ease and reliability is essential.  

Making donations accessible through a desktop and mobile optimized website is an excellent start. Within this strategy, consider going one step further by providing donors with support as they move through their donation journey.  

Considerations such as… 

  • “How To” videos on the donation website. While donating must be simple and straightforward, there are opportunities to support the donation journey through video content. It is imperative to consider your donor database’s varying degrees of comfort with making online payments.  
  • Personalized technology support. If a potential donor is, in fact, having a challenge in donating, your organization may consider providing personalized technology support during set hours. Having this support will position your organization as being donor-centric. 


5. Perform a social media audit – and consider listening for engaging conversations  

Much like the focus on LinkedIn for donor relationship connection, performing a social media audit on existing channels may unveil opportunity for greater impact. Consider how a donor-centric content calendar would impact engagement, and perform social listening for opportunities to connect with a new audience.  

Social media listening is the process of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, your organization’s values and interests, or other key topics using a keyword search. This gives organizations a method to participate in conversations outside of direct mentions and tags, leading to increased opportunities for generating new discussions.  


Although nonprofit organizations are faced with unique challenges this calendar year, the opportunity to engage in pivoted donor relationship management strategies is invigorating. To connect further, contact us here.