Even small nonprofits have greater access to a online fundraising product suite that can help them increase donations. However, you need to apply the same concepts through email, mobile and social media as you would in face-to-face interactions. Fundraising messages need to be personalized to be effective. Organizations have to reach out to donors on the platforms they already use, and this means leveraging mobile and social media to realize specific donor segmentation that works for you.
There are many ways to connect with your audience, including segmenting different groups of donors and giving contributors the option to fundraise for your organization, according to npENGAGE. Donor segmentation can be based on donors’ interests or giving levels. Catering to contributors’ individual passions can encourage them to give more and become active within your organization. You can survey donors to more accurately identify the causes they care most about.
The challenge of connecting with donors
Many nonprofits rely on events to gain the bulk of their annual gifts. Although event fundraising is a successful approach, many organizations struggle to convert attendees into recurring contributors. Because it can be costly to promote and hold events, nonprofits need to find ways to build lasting relationships with donors and encourage loyalty. Using data to append wealth factors, your organization can identify the benefactors with the highest giving potential and focus on strengthening these relationships.
One way to increase engagement with your donor base is to give them the ability to fundraise for your organization. Volunteers can set up their own fundraising pages and ask friends and family for donations for your organization’s cause. Fundraisers can gain higher gifts than single donors, and they create more awareness for your cause. Their contacts may not have been familiar with your nonprofit before. Contributors can share the link to their personal fundraising page on social media, through email and by text message, which further spreads the message.
Donor segmentation data to improve fundraising efforts
For-profit companies have adopted data analytics to improve their results, but many nonprofits have lagged behind because of their more limited resources. Businesses use data to identify the customers who are most likely to purchase. Nonprofits can apply these same concepts to find the donors who are most likely to respond to an appeal at a particular time, Backchannel pointed out. The article cited data from a Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network study that found only 1 in 4 charities utilize analytics to communicate with donors.
Many organizations still rely on direct mail to reach their audience, but younger donors prefer social media and email. In addition, direct mail may not be the best approach for organizations that specialize in environmental causes. Assessing age, income level, homeowner status and affiliations of people who are already in your donor database can help you proactively find the individuals who are most likely to respond to an appeal at a certain time. It may not always be the people you expect to contribute. For example, arts organizations often focus on wealthier donors who attend galas while overlooking younger, less wealthy people. These individuals may be willing to make smaller recurring contributions, as Millenials’ income increases while they take over 75% of the workforce in the next decade.
Some nonprofits are lining up their donor records with social media profiles to learn more about contributors’ personal interests. Based on the pages people like on Facebook or accounts they follow on Twitter, organizations can find segments of people who are more likely to get involved.
Ultimately, donors want personal connections with the organizations they support. Sending personal messages to every contributor – regardless of donor segmentation – can make a big difference in building a loyal relationship that could lead to repeat gifts.
By Jeremy Koenig, MobileCause Director of Marketing