Donors bring passion to the causes they support. However, that enthusiasm fades fairly quickly when it isn’t managed. Stewardship done right means intentionally engaging your donors by the donor lifecycle milestones they’ve achieved. In other words, speak to them in terms of their experience, expectations, and needs.
2 Keys to Maintaining a Healthy Donor Pipeline in 2015
If you want to reinforce your donor pipeline through effective donor stewardship, here are a couple of essential steps you should take:
- Segment Your Donors
The first step to successfully stewarding donors is to segment your donor base into three core groups: New Donors, Current Donors, and Loyal Donors (or Key Multi-Year Donors). Welcome first-time donors and appropriately chaperone their giving experience through their second gift (at a minimum) and their third gift (if manageable).
- Track Progress Based on Specific Milestones
Once you segment your donors, you’re able to track their progress and measure your efforts accordingly.
For first-time donors, measure first-gift conversion in terms of the number of impressions or solicitations it took to earn a gift—by channel—so optimization can take place. For current donors, track retention as a way to measure the amount of time it takes to cultivate a second gift. For loyal donors, identify and evaluate gift frequency and revenue per donor.
In order to effectively steward your donors, you need to know what they want, what’s important to them, how they like to be communicated with, and what excites them the most about your organization. With the right data, you can deeply understand your donors and use targeted messaging that allows you to be deliberate in your communication. This laser focus enhances your ability to successfully manage your donor pipeline, upgrading and downgrading your donors along the way.
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When you create pathways for New Donors, Current Donors, and Loyal Donors, and then track their progress based on specific milestones, you’ll be able to keep leaks to a minimum and ensure ongoing progress through the donor pipeline.