Integrating digital strategies is crucial for just about any fundraiser when it comes to streamlining the process and maximizing your fundraising potential.
When you’re working to take your organization’s fundraiser to the next level, consider these top five strategies for planning digital campaigns:
- Streamline your nonprofit’s digital fundraising tools.
- Update your constituent-facing technology.
- Carefully choose your digital fundraiser.
- Engage donors for your next digital fundraiser.
- Collect analytics after the digital fundraiser ends.
The great news is that all of these strategies can be accomplished quickly and easily when your nonprofit has access to high-quality nonprofit fundraising software. Let’s take a closer look at how your team can employ these strategies.
1. Streamline Your Nonprofit’s Digital Fundraising Tools.
The first step your nonprofit can take to augment the impact of your next fundraising campaign is to streamline your nonprofit’s technology, which can fall under two categories:
- Operational technology includes the internal tools that you use to make new decisions, such as your donor database and management tools to organize events.
- Constituent-facing technology includes the tools and communication outlets that help your organization reach out to and engage supporters, like marketing automation solutions.
Streamlining your entire technology infrastructure helps your organization track everything from individuals’ donor journeys to the success of your organization’s past and present fundraising campaigns.
According to CharityEngine’s nonprofit CRM guide, the best way to accomplish this is to invest in an all-in-one donor management solution, which gives you access to everything you need at a fraction of the cost that it takes to purchase each tool separately.
2. Update Your Constituent-Facing Technology.
From iPhone updates to AI, technology that impacts our lives is evolving quickly. Your fundraising software is no different! Choose a provider that focuses on staying at the forefront of nonprofit technology, and make sure you aren’t using an outdated version. Having the most updated technology means you can take advantage of the fastest and most sophisticated automations as well as leverage advanced reporting for key insights into donor behavior.
Also, update your constituent-facing technology, like your website or digital communications. This is often a prospect’s first introduction to your organization or even your mission. Ensuring your mission and goals are clear and making this information accessible are critical to expanding your reach.
Some of the updates we recommend nonprofits make include:
- Prominently display your mission. 81% of donors cite a charity’s mission as a major reason for donating, so make sure your mission will be immediately apparent to new supporters who may decide to give.
- Brand communication materials to your nonprofit. Make your direct mail, emails, and other communication materials immediately recognizable as belonging to your organization by using your standard colors, fonts, and logos.
- Mobile-optimize your technology. Be sure that your constituents can view your emails, website, donation pages, and all other communications from any device.
- Promote secure payment processing: When donors know their data and money will be safe, they’re more likely to want to support you. But not all payment processors are the same! If your vendor is PCI-certified and SOC II-certified, build this into your marketing.
95% of people make buying decisions based on emotional connections. In your nonprofit’s case, this means conversions and fundraising success can be largely impacted by the way your organization is perceived. In a world of viral social media posts and snap decisions, make sure you’re removing any obstacles that would cause friction with prospective donors.
3. Strategically Choose Your Digital Fundraiser.
Before you start raising money or setting up your campaign page, begin setting concrete plans based on the goals of your fundraiser. Some popular digital fundraising ideas to help you reach different goals include:
- Pledge campaigns: Pledge campaigns are frequently used for disaster relief because of their ability to quickly gain traction and raise funds. This provides quick funding for immediate projects.
- Virtual fundraising events: As you share a virtual fundraising activity among supporters, their friends and family, and others online, you’ll reach larger audiences than possible with an in-person fundraiser. This way, your organization can acquire new supporters.
- Grant proposals: Even small grants can make a huge difference when nonprofits are first getting their start. For instance, community foundations or insurance companies frequently offer small awards to help nonprofits find their footing.
As you plan and execute the fundraiser of your choice, note the additional tasks associated with managing that campaign. For example, you may find yourself managing different pledges, grant proposal stages, and donor data all at the same time. Adequately preparing for the fundraiser you’re taking on can help you effectively manage and follow up.
4. Retain Donors For Your Next Digital Fundraiser.
It takes substantially more funding to acquire a new supporter than it does to convince an existing donor to give again. Donor retention is the first step in creating a strong sustainer program, which gives nonprofits a solid and predictable fundraising base. This allows you to plan campaigns and set goals!
Considering ways to increase donor retention will go quite a long way in helping your mission grow. Here are some top donor retention strategies to get started:
- Personalize emails and create a regular communication schedule. Top donor management software solutions provide the tools nonprofits need to gather information about supporters to make outreach as personal as possible. Plus, many will allow you to trigger automatic emails to support regular communication.
- Steward potential mid-level or major donors. Conduct prospect research to determine which of your existing supporters have the ability and affinity to take their gift to the next level. Then, adjust your outreach to those supporters accordingly to build a more personal relationship with them.
- Show donor appreciation. Everyone loves to feel appreciated, and your donors are no exception. According to Double the Donation’s guide to donor retention, your nonprofit must make regular efforts to show its appreciation and emphasize that each gift matters to keep donors coming back. Regular communication and appreciation strengthen the donor relationship and can encourage more regular or increased giving. Thank your sponsors as well as individual donors – they can make a big difference in event fundraising and can lead to longstanding relationships.
Healthy donor retention relies on your team using an effective platform to store information about your supporters. That’s why it can be so helpful to have communication tools in the same integrated system as this information.
5. Collect Analytics After the Digital Fundraiser Ends.
Reporting and analytics are key features of the best nonprofit fundraising software, and they’re necessary to help plan effective campaigns in the future.
Collect relevant data throughout your campaign to help you paint an analytical picture of your digital fundraising success. The different types of fundraising data you should consider tracking include:
- Number of gifts: Knowing how many gifts you have, regardless of the size, will indicate your reach. Further your research by considering if geographic or demographic data tells a story that will help your next event.
- Average gift size: This metric will reveal overall fundraising growth, as well as specific areas of growth by campaign or event.
- New and returning donors: Are your efforts bringing in new donors or simply engaging donors already committed to your organization? Measure metrics like your donor retention rate to determine how many donors stick around and how many are newcomers.
- Social media engagement: Don’t underestimate the power of social media to supercharge a campaign! Use data to see which types of posts engage your audience.
- Donation page conversion rates: Getting traffic to your donation page is good, but what happens once prospects are on it? Do they convert? If not, a few tweaks to the page itself might be in order.
Be sure you have an effective system for storing, reporting, analyzing, and communicating these metrics with your team members. Take some time after your fundraiser ends to walk through the different metrics you’ve collected. Then, compile an internal report to distribute to your team. This allows your staff to celebrate the success of the last campaign and plan for the next one.
A comprehensive report of digital fundraising metrics paired with your existing donor data can reveal which of your digital fundraising strategies can be improved upon. With these things in mind, you can plan to make your next campaign even more successful.
Digital fundraising is an easy way for your nonprofit to increase its brand, help with donor retention, and grow its fundraising base. It is a low-cost alternative to direct mail and in-person events—and you can run multiple digital fundraising campaigns simultaneously, each targeting a segment of your audience!
To maximize the efficiency and ease of digital campaigns, you need technology built for fundraising and donor management. Choose the right fundraising software to fundraise with ease!
Dave Martin is the VP of Marketing for CharityEngine. He is a digital marketing expert with a unique combination of nonprofit and for-profit experience. Earlier in his career, Dave worked in global telecommunications marketing, product management, and product development both in the United States and Europe.