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 Double your Donations with Personalized Donor Journeys


Want to Double Donations? Personalize The Donor Journey

There are so many good causes competing for donor attention, and it’s increasing rapidly. The broad view is that it’s getting harder and harder to find the revenue growth needed for an organization to be successful. The answer to this problem, at least for many organizations is to grow major gifts, but is that answer right? Yes, and no.

The good news is that major gift amounts are increasing as wealth increases. The bad news is many major gift programs approach too few major donors with too many requests resulting in “tired” donors and inadequate results. So, the real answer is to not grow major gifts but to grow major donors.

Tomorrow’s major donors are found in today’s general and mid-level donors. Development officers can personally reach your major donors, but how do they effectively and simultaneously reach and nurture the 80 percent of your donor base that are general donors or the 15 percent that are mid-level donors? Through well-conceived implementations of donor engagement technology that personalize the donor experience.


Engage with Donors as Individuals

Long-term donor engagement requires a cycle of interaction. Donors must be found, taught about your organization, inspired, engaged with your mission, asked to give, thanked for their gift, and shown the impact of their gift. This goal requires that a donor be taken on a journey from awareness to interest to desire to giving with content and giving opportunities tuned for each stage of the journey. With a few major donors, this journey is a custom and personally implemented journey executed by senior advancement personnel. But that process falls short in reaching the larger numbers of donors who may qualify as major donors, or who can be cultivated over time to become such a donor.

How do we connect better with today’s donors?

Recognize the Change in Mindset

Nonprofits must be focused on the fact that today’s donor is today’s consumer. Donors benefit from ever-increasing convenience, simplicity, and knowledge.

In addition, today’s donors have become more impatient and demanding. They expect their donor experience to be tailored to their stories and they expect communications that work best for them in their preferred channel. Donors are now living in networks and want to be able to connect and share and dialogue with causes. Connected donors expect their causes to create a “story of one” and have access when and where they want to the opportunity to help.

Recognize the Desire for a Personalized Experience

The numbers of consumers saying that they have come to expect a personalized online experience from retailers are a bit astounding.

  • Eighty-eight percent (88%) of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with providers that deliver personalized and connected cross-channel giving experiences
  • Seventy-four percent (74%) of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized
  • Seventy-five percent (75%) of consumers are more likely to buy from a provider who recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past interactions, or knows their history
  • Sixty-three percent (63%) of consumers said they would think more positively of a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting, or relevant

According to an article in AdWeek, Retailers are aware of this desire for personalization and are doing something about it. Seventy percent of said they are making consumer personalization a priority (Source: AdWeek). With good reason, too—personalization works. A few more numbers.

  • Personalized emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates
  • Sixty-five percent (65%) of ecommerce organizations reported an increase in conversion rates when using a sophisticated personalization strategy
  • Organizations that invest in analytics to understand how to personalize their messages reported a 49 percent increase in revenue growth compared to those that did not

Personalization can take many forms: Auto-generated birthday messages. Campaign impact emails. Phone calls based around specific milestones or activities. All of this activity is about engaging donors in a manner meaningful to them, because meaningful, personal interaction is the first step in doubling donations.