16 Nov 4 Tips For Increasing Donor Engagement With Your Nonprofit
Volunteers and Donors are a key part of a nonprofit’s success. Yet, it can be easy to get busy championing your cause and neglect them. As a nonprofit, you spin lots of plates, but it is vital to prioritize cultivating and engaging with your supporters. They are an extension of you and will help you further the mission.
While one-time donations are important, repeat donations are what really help nonprofits thrive. One way to ensure that your nonprofit has plenty of repeat donations is through donor engagement. Today, we’ll be breaking down some key ways in which you can improve your donor engagement and help bring in more funds for your nonprofit.
But first, what exactly is donor engagement?
What is Donor Engagement? And Why is it Important?
Donor engagement is how you interact with those who donate to your nonprofit. This can be through emails, social media, text messaging, in-person interactions, and many more. The goal of donor engagement is to connect with donors as often as possible (without being intrusive) and to have them interact back. For example, if sending out monthly emails is one way you interact with donors, but your open rate for those emails is low, then you may want to adjust your donor engagement strategy.
Donor engagement is important because it keeps people who believe in your cause involved. People donate to your nonprofit because they are invested or interested in your mission. By keeping them up-to-date and a part of your nonprofit, you can increase the likelihood of them donating again, as well as helping in other ways (word-of-mouth, volunteering, etc.).
So, if you notice that your donor engagement strategies are lacking, here are 4 tips to change that.
4 Best Donor Engagement Strategies
Be a Storyteller
As we’ve mentioned, people donate to your nonprofit because they believe in what you and your team are doing. For this reason, it’s essential that your donor engagement strategy involves telling donors success stories within your nonprofit.
A great example is the story of a charity whose mission is to feed homeless and displaced community members. After reaching a fundraising milestone, the charity is able to provide bagged lunches to over 500 people in a month. This is a great opportunity to tell this story via a blog or video testimony. In addition to sending emails, and sharing on social feeds,
Writing impact stories and sending them to existing donors is a great way to increase engagement and ensure that donors know their donations are making a difference. Being transparent with success stories is important for donor engagement.
Engage With Your Donors Where They Are
Earlier, we talked about an issue that you may have run into with your own nonprofit—poor open rates for emails. While some organizations have success with emails because their donator demographic are frequent email users, other nonprofits may not have as much success. In fact, it’s likely that whoever your donors are, they all have one similarity: the best way to reach them is through their smartphone.
Research shows that open rates for text messages are as high as 98%. Compare that to the open rate of emails, which sits around 20%.
So, if you want to encourage more donations, interact with donators, or get the word out for a new fundraising opportunity, utilizing a text-to-give platform is a great way to do just that.
Host (Virtual) Events That Offer Value
Never underestimate the power of fundraising events. Fundraisers are an easy way to not only bring in more funds for your nonprofit but it can also help build relationships with your donors. In addition, donors will build their own relationships with other supporters of your cause.
Creating a sense of community around your nonprofit and building those relationships is a key part of keeping everyone engaged, active, and excited about your mission. Events can do this, especially when they offer value for participants. For example, bring a speaker or entertainer, have a local restaurant cater the event, and do a giveaway or drawing for prizes. Make it fun for everybody and create an event that people will look forward to each year.
Of course, in-person events should only be done post-COVID. Until then, investing more in digital events or putting more effort into digital communication strategies is wise. In fact, online events can be just as engaging as in-person events.
This article, courtesy of Cvent, has some excellent tips on how to put on a successful virtual event.
Sell/Include Shirts, Water Bottles, Mugs, and More With Donations
Offering branded products to donors is a fantastic way to increase engagement and improve upon your brand awareness and word-of-mouth marketing. People—especially Millennials and Gen Zers—like to sport clothing or use products from organizations and brands they identify with.
By offering products or gifts for donations, you’ll increase the likelihood of recurring donations and help get your nonprofit in front of other potential donors.
Engagement can sometimes fall to the bottom of our list, but by following some of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to nurturing and increasing participation both in volunteerism and in increased donations.