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Four Best Practices to Improve Donor Engagement

With the rise of smartphones, social media and other digital channels, nonprofits now have more tools available to them for engaging donors than ever before. The issue that comes with having so many ways to donate, is that it can be difficult to pinpoint which engagement techniques are most effective for engaging donors. Most nonprofits know that the main form of donor engagement is making a donation, however, there are quite a few ways to engage with those individuals any time they support or directly interact with the organization. Any opportunity to interact with a donor is a chance to strengthen your relationship with them, which could naturally result in more donations.

To show appreciation for your donors, it’s crucial to develop nonprofit donor engagement strategies that strengthen the relationship between you and your supporters. If you’re looking for best practices to boost your donor engagement, here are four key techniques that can help your nonprofit raise more money and improve your donor retention rate:

1) Create Personal and Genuine Messaging: Engaging your donors requires a personal and authentic approach. Take the time to learn about your donor’s interests as individuals and be transparent when you have interactions with them. Establishing trust with your donors will often result in their willingness to support your mission and reaching your donors on a more personal level, can allow for more opportunities to create personalized engagement strategies down the line.

2) Utilize the Benefits of Software: It’s a challenging task to keep up with hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of donors. Successful communication with your donors requires individualized approaches and the information necessary to make it possible to make those individualized approaches come to life. This is where having a donor database can be a great resource—a nonprofit CRM—a tool built to help nonprofits track all aspects of their donor relationships. 

3) Offer and Implement a Membership Program: A membership involves the donor giving fees or dues to a nonprofit in exchange for member status and the rights, perks or benefits that are included in the membership. The frequency and type of engagement opportunities you offer members will depend on your organization, but the possibilities can be endless. For example: host member only events, special volunteer opportunities or a member ONLY newsletter.

4) Create a Text Communication Option: Seeing as texting is such a prevalent communication method, organizations need to take advantage of this huge engagement opportunity. There are many services that enable nonprofits to establish a text marketing list, allowing your organization the ability to send a mass text message to all donors who subscribed to this list.

Looking for opportunities to engage with your donors authentically and honestly will go a long way in ensuring donors donate time and time again. Take the time to deeply understand why the donor supports you and deliver on their expectations. Start seeing a donation as a part of a relationship, not a one-off business transaction. This way you begin to deepen relationships with people that support what you do, rather than just treating them as just donors. Show gratitude to your donors, invite them to engage in other ways than donating, share with them why they matter, and get to know them on a more personal level.

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