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By Dawn Galasso
It’s no surprise that COVID-19 dramatically impacted, well, everything. But it’s especially true when it comes to digital fundraising. Safety protocols pushed nearly all interactions into the virtual realm. A recent research study estimated that the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation forward by about six years.
What’s more, McKinsey found that for-profit “companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue from those activities than average players.” Companies like Amazon and Netflix shape expectations for personalized outreach and experiences. I bet your Amazon experience looks nothing like mine.
To succeed in an increasingly competitive nonprofit landscape, organizations have to accept that donors are consumers first and donors second. Therefore, digital experiences must be attractive, frictionless, and customized — and something that can be accomplished at scale. After the last 18 months, fundraisers and nonprofit marketers can’t ignore the importance of personalized experiences.
But until recently, the technology within the price range of the average nonprofit hasn’t supported that. The good news is tools have come into the marketplace that, when combined, create a powerful personalization engine. The following are categories of technology that nonprofit organizations need to focus on in 2022 if they want to improve their fundraising in this new digital age:
- Easy-to-use online methods to give and raise money on your website
- Near immediate data on every new donor acquisition
- Moves management tools to communicate with your file at scale
Many nonprofits are poised to make these transitions but need an outline of what you should be looking for in the best digital tools on the market.
1. Online Giving
Online giving experienced explosive growth during the pandemic and it is here to stay. But does your website provide a seamless giving experience? At the very least, your giving page should remain embedded in your URL. If it bounces to an external page, your donor will bounce as well.
Questions to ask yourself as you evaluate the online giving experience should include:
- Do you require too much information for someone to just give a gift?
- Is it easy for your donor to set up a peer-to-peer fundraising page?
- Can someone easily give from their phone?
- Do you have a way for younger givers, like Millennials, to donate cryptocurrency?
- What about SMS giving?
- Are you present on Venmo or Zelle?
There are some amazing online payment portals that make “checking out” a breeze. Find the best one that works for your organization.
Seasoned fundraisers have been using wealth screenings with appended data for years. However, the old way of appending data rarely allows you to easily see the stories in your data. Can you quickly provide your board with a snapshot your organization’s health (think retention percentage compared to last year, or is your average gift size up or down compared to last year)? Are you able to learn the communication preferences, predictive discretionary spending and other interests your donors support? Wealth screenings that don’t overlay your internal data with external data may end up obscuring the story your data could otherwise tell you.
Additionally, the time of screening your database infrequently has passed. If you acquire a new donor but don’t know who they are, what are their interests, and what their capacity to give is for two or three years, you have missed the best opportunity to meet their needs in a timely manner and create a relationship with them.
3. Moves Management
Once you are using the right data partner to better understand your donors, and their interests and communication preferences, you need a donor CRM that will empower you to communicate with your constituents personally. There are amazing new moves management tools that can help you accomplish this at scale like never before.
Ideally, you should look for a platform that will allow you to build out segments with different communication versions that will feel personalized to the receiver. You can use these to build out a series of emails that you can launch to large audiences in your file and communicate with a broader group of people in a much more authentic and specific way.
And if it’s been a while since you tested your current online giving experience, that’s something to put on your to-do list. As yourself, is it easy and hassle-free to make a gift to your charity? Once a gift is received, can you quickly access data on who you are, your interests, capacity, communication preferences? Can you then use that information to create a series of touches that build a relationship? In other words, would you want to be your own donor?
Who should be evaluating these tools for the new year? Well, everyone! Even if you think you have a tech stack that meets your current needs, the accelerating trends in personalization may make your current technology insufficient before you realize it.
Nonprofits can step up their donor experience game using technology and tools that are available on the market right now. With the right combination, you can develop custom experiences for your donors that will deepen relationships and grow your bottom line in 2022.Return to Insights & Events