Converting a new donor should be regarded as the beginning of a relationship, rather than the conclusion of one. Once someone converts from prospect to donor, it’s vital to keep them engaged. This can begin with something as simple as the initial thank you email. Engaged donors are more likely to come back and become repeat donors.
Some people donate once a year like clockwork with little to no reminding required. Others may be willing to donate multiple times a year but may require a little nudging from time to time. Either way, when a donor’s trust and support has been gained, they are much more likely to become a repeat donor, which benefits your nonprofit client, makes your job easier, and reflects well upon your agency’s efforts.
The first order of business in terms of maintaining donor engagement is to have a follow-up plan in place for every single donor before they convert. Whether someone is donating online, via mail, or even in-person, it’s important that your nonprofit client establish an ongoing relationship with the donor from the outset. You can get this process rolling by sending out a thank you email to donors who’ve already given.
This email also provides a great opportunity to share content with donors that they may find value in, or that will make them feel good about having given to your nonprofit partner’s charity.
The Nerdy Nonprofit suggests making a heartfelt video to send to new donors, adding, “you don’t have to make hundreds of personalized videos to show that you are grateful for their individual efforts.”
Beyond that initial email, it’s also a good idea to follow up with another email letting donors know how their donation was used. The more specific you can be, the better. This is especially useful when the donation was flagged for a specific project.
If donations are allocated for specific projects, it’s also good to send periodic follow-up emails throughout the life of the project. You can send emails to coincide with specific milestones that will be of interest to donors, such as when the project has been fully funded, when it’s been launched, and when it’s concluded.
For general gifts, send a follow-up email a few months down the road to keep donors in the loop regarding your nonprofit client’s latest efforts. This makes it easier for you to keep your client top-of-mind with donors. This process can be automated, providing you maintain accurate data on what individual donor’s funds are appropriated for.
Making sure donors feel that your nonprofit client is available to them is another important aspect of keeping them engaged. This can be as simple as providing contact information on your client’s website and in all email communications.
You should also make it as easy as possible for donors to engage with your nonprofit directly, whether by telephone, email, or social media. Millennials in particular expect to receive prompt responses when engaging on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Using social media to help your nonprofit client engage with donors also enables you to engage in social listening.
Social listening involves monitoring mentions of your client organization’s name, along with relevant hashtags. According to nonprofit marketing resource johnhaydon.com, “listening works best when you focus on a narrow audience who you have the ability to engage by email or social. By connecting your existing data with social listening, you’ll have both context and focus for the terms being monitored.”
Another important aspect of keeping your client’s donors engaged is through your everyday marketing campaigns, especially when it comes to social media. Consistency is key when it comes to engagement. When you ask donors to give to a cause that matters to them, keeping them in the loop on your client organization’s continued efforts shows good faith and helps maintain interest.
You can use social scheduling to create thoughtful, regular posts. Facebook is a good place to share project updates, event photos and new campaign goals. Twitter meanwhile, is good for engaging in conversations related to the sector your nonprofit client operates in.
Another key to engagement is to make sure your nonprofit client connects with its donors over the channels they are most likely to be found, even new and emerging social media platforms.
Make sure your client understands the importance of enabling donors to give via whatever platform they’re most comfortable with. Facebook fundraising and text donations are both useful for making it easy for donors to find and give to your nonprofit client’s charity. If donors can find your client easily and be made to feel they are an important part of your nonprofit’s continuing efforts, they’ll stay better engaged and be more likely to become repeat donors.
Want to learn more about how using personalize ask amounts as part of a direct marketing campaign can help your agency boost its fundraising efforts? Contact us for a free demo.