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Today’s donors are connecting with nonprofits differently. Rather than dropping donations into numerous organizational buckets, modern donors are looking to forge highly personal, long-term relationships with a select few nonprofits.

As a result of this shift, nonprofits must change their approach. The key to engaging today’s donors and reaching their inner circles: Personalization.

Five Steps for Creating More Personal Donor Communications

So how can your nonprofit develop a process for moving new names on your file to life-long supporters? Follow these five steps:

1. Gather as much information as possible about your prospects and donors. This step can be summed up in one simple word: Listen. Collect data about demographics, preferences, interests, etc. Learn who your donors and prospects are as individuals and what compels them to act.

2. Engage donors based on their interests and preferences. Use what you’ve learned about your donors to start a conversation. If they’ve expressed interest in a particular program, tell them more about that program. If they show a preference for email, focus on that channel.

3. Provide a personal experience and offer contextualized calls-to-action. Don’t send the same fundraising message to a middle-aged mother of three who occasionally volunteers and a working Millennial who supported your Kickstarter campaign. Use tools like segmentation to speak to donors on a more personal level.

4. Leverage technology to retain donors. Use automation to effectively and consistently follow up with your donors and keep the lines of communication open. Send them regular updates based on programs and content they’ve expressed interest in. Thank them for their contributions and let them know how (specifically) they are being used.

5. Measure effectiveness to develop smarter fundraising strategies. Evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Where are donors slipping through the cracks? What engagement opportunities are you missing? What emails are getting the best response? Make each and every communication a learning experience. Use what you learn to make adjustments and build stronger bonds with your donors.  

Ask These Questions About Your Current Donor Communications

Take a look at your current process for moving new donors and prospects through the pipeline and ask:

  •       Are we engaging each donor on a personal level?
  •       Are we listening to what the donor wants to get out of the experience?
  •       Are we executing a proven process to build long-term relationships?

Are You Ready to Optimize Your Donor Engagement?

If organizations like Amazon are using personalization to engage audiences, why shouldn’t your nonprofit? After all, you have a mission that can change the world.