Using Fundraising Intelligence to Improve Online Giving

Here’s a truth that far too many businesses and far too many non-profits have a hard time grasping: Eyeballs on your website don’t equal value.

We spend so much time measuring traffic to our sites that we fool ourselves into thinking that it’s a good indicator of our marketing effectiveness. To truly understand the value of a donor’s interaction with your organization you need to go beyond counting impressions. Instead, you need to know the giving effectiveness of each touchpoint in a donor’s journey of support— interaction with landing pages, downloads of content, embed interactions and conversion rates, average gift sizes, recurring donations—regardless of where those touchpoints occur.

If you aren’t collecting that data, you need to be. Donors are more online than ever and leaving digital footprints that indicate what they care about. Unless your organization is data rich (and responding to that increased understanding), it’s not maximizing opportunity.

Data-based Donor Journeys

If the goal of most organizations is to move one-time givers to repeat givers and move mid-level givers to major donors, you need data to create personalized donor journeys because a personalized experience is what today’s donors expect.

Mapping the donor journey is the process of designing or charting the interactions a donor has with your communications, website experience, giving experience, and development team.  It defines the steps a nonprofit should take when interacting with a donor at specific points in the donor’s lifecycle—from the first initial “welcome” interactions to a “thank you” interaction to an “impact” interaction to a “potentially give again” interaction. Most non-profits try to organize this with human responsibilities or calendars or follow up lists, and inevitably miss opportunities to touch the donor in a meaningful way quickly and personally.

If these personalized donor journeys and digital giving experiences are going to actually increase your numbers of general and mid-level donors and improve long-term giving, they need to be based on fact and not intuition.  Just because an outreach didn’t generate a gift right away doesn’t mean it’s not working on a different level.

How do you get the data you need to create these journeys? With a donor engagement platform that allows you to track not only the interactions you have with donors but those interactions’ effectiveness. It’s true that not every campaign, no matter how well conceived, is going to work. But isn’t it better to know early whether or not a campaign is working so you can make adjustments?

Turning Data into Actionable Intelligence

The problem with data is that just having it isn’t enough. It’s something that’s rarely talked about in this era of big data when everyone is touting data collection. But until you do something with it, until you turn that data into intelligence and strategic action, it’s not doing anything for you.

It’s not something that’s necessarily easy. There are entire degrees and careers dedicated to the task of data analysis. Additionally, it takes time and dollars that your organization may not have.

The development of general and mid-level donors and long-term giving success depends on the creation of automated, personalized donor journeys and digital giving experiences. Nurturing is an ongoing process. Just because an outreach didn’t generate a gift right away doesn’t mean it’s not working on a different level.  Some believe the average consumer needs to see a message seven times before he or she takes action, while others estimate the number could be as high as 20.

Working with the right partner and the right software, however, can help you elevate data management and analysis and make it the heart of your fundraising operations. iDonate’s donor engagement offering includes:

  • Fundraising consulting to help design the donor journeys and ongoing support for task automation and donor follow-up, all necessary to develop the long-term, personal relationships donors are looking for.
  • A software platform that:
    • Automates the touchpoints for pre-donor candidate interactions, welcome touches for new donors, and feedback loops for current donors to illustrate the impact of their gifts and thanks for their support.
    • Analyzes traffic, conversion rates, and average gift sizes per giving form, per campaign, and per giving channel (online, peer to peer, events, landing pages, etc.)

Fundraising Intelligence – superior information – and action – leading to more donor engagement.