Remote Donor Management: How to Overcome the Challenges
Modern technology has significantly facilitated communications and interactions across the world, enabling people to work from home, complete online transactions, and much more. For nonprofits, harnessing virtual capabilities to their fullest potential makes it easier to manage the donation process and boost fundraising results with less expenditure of time and resources.
Your organization doesn’t have to connect with donors in-person to effectively retain their support and interest. More than ever, remote fundraising and donor engagement have become well worth the effort. To help you maximize your success, we’ve pulled together three remote donor management tips that work for any nonprofit:
- Offer a variety of ways to contribute
- Make the most of your data
- Host virtual stewardship events
While in-person management has its benefits, be sure to take advantage of all that remote donor management has to offer, such as added convenience for your nonprofit and supporters, increased flexibility, and improved donor retention. Let’s get started.
1. Offer a variety of ways to contribute.
Each of your donors has their own unique preferences, priorities, and interests. By providing them with an abundance of opportunities to get involved, you’ll secure more support for your nonprofit and show that you’re conscious of your supporters’ needs. There are numerous ways to engage your donors online, including:
Online Donation Page
Your donation page is the ultimate destination for donors to contribute to your organization. Therefore, it’s essential to develop a standout donation page that makes it easy to give remotely. When building out your online form, be sure to:
- Customize the fields to capture important information
- Brand your donation page with your nonprofit’s colors, logo, and unique messaging
- Add suggested giving amounts and the impact of specific gifts
- Include an option for recurring gifts
Be sure to direct supporters to your nonprofit’s website and donation page from all of your campaigns and communications. This will ensure that prospective donors can easily complete the giving process online.
Mobile giving has quickly gained traction alongside the increasing prevalence of mobile devices. According to 360MatchPro’s fundraising statistics, mobile users made up 33% of last year’s online donation transactions. And with SMS open rates as high as 98%, your nonprofit can make giving more convenient than ever with text-to-donate. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:
- Create a mobile-responsive donation page.
- Choose a text-to-donate platform.
- Select your keyword, receive a designated code, and share both with donors.
- Supporters text your keyword to the code number and receive a link.
- The link reroutes them to your donation form, where they submit their gift.
With text-to-donate, supporters can give from anywhere at any time. All you need is the right technology to reach them on their cellphones, whether they’re on-the-go or in the comfort of their own homes, to secure valuable funds for your next initiative.
Your nonprofit’s supporters can contribute much more than money to your cause. Especially for those who may not have the financial capacity to give as much as they’d like, it’s important to offer other ways for them to engage with your organization, such as:
- Volunteering. Volunteers don’t have to show up in-person to make a difference in your nonprofit’s work. Thanks to modern technology, virtual volunteering has become more and more popular, allowing supporters beyond your organization’s local area to get involved.
- Reading your newsletter. Weekly email updates keep supporters up-to-date on your nonprofit’s goals and impact. Encourage donors to sign up for your newsletter to follow your progress and be the first to know about upcoming involvement opportunities.
- Marketing on your behalf. From social media to word-of-mouth, your donors can help spread awareness. Ask them to share your social media posts, send emails to people in their networks, and call their friends and family to speak about your cause.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising. Some of your most devoted supporters can even participate in a peer-to-peer campaign. By setting up individual fundraising pages, they can solicit donations and boost awareness on behalf of your nonprofit.
Having a variety of opportunities for your supporters to contribute will boost their engagement, allowing them to get involved in whichever ways they prefer most.
2. Make the most of your data.
Your nonprofit’s donor database should capture and store key information about your supporters. This data comes in handy for creating personalized and meaningful experiences that encourage them to stay involved with your organization. Some key pieces of information to collect include:
- Contact information
- Donation history
- Other initiatives they support
- Event attendance
- Any preferences, such as communication methods
Your donor management software should allow you to enter your own notes and create customized fields to capture the exact details you need. Once you’ve gathered your data, look for trends in giving, patterns of donor behavior, and commonalities between your supporters.
Additionally, you can segment your donors to send out more relevant and impactful messages to each individual.
“Segmentation” is a major buzzword in the nonprofit community. Mastering this approach allows you to make the most of your supporter data. If you’re unfamiliar with this strategy, DNL OmniMedia’s donor segmentation guide describes it as “the act of organizing the donors in your database into groups— segments— based on their shared characteristics.”
When used effectively, donor segments allow your nonprofit to make the most of its supporter data and strengthen your donor relationships. Segmenting your donors can allow you to:
- Ask for appropriate gift amounts at the right times.
- Reach out using preferred communication channels.
- Offer the right engagement opportunities.
Rather than broadcasting the same information to your entire donor base, send content that’s tailored to specific segments. This way, your nonprofit’s supporters will only receive content that they’re most likely to respond to and engage with.
3. Host virtual stewardship events.
In addition to your nonprofit’s typical fundraising events, be sure to plan stewardship events for your existing supporters. These events are excellent ways to thank your donors for their past contributions.
To minimize expenses and optimize results, lean on technology to create compelling virtual experiences for your supporters. Stewardship event ideas that excel in the digital space include:
- An online dinner party. Encourage your guests to get dressed up. You can send them vouchers for free to-go meals from a local restaurant or even arrange for food delivery. Then, everyone can virtually sit down together, enjoy a meal, and connect over your nonprofit’s cause.
- A behind-the-scenes tour. Livestream an inside glimpse at your program or facilities to show all the significant work that your supporters have helped your organization accomplish.
With today’s virtual capabilities, stewarding your donors is easier than ever. Ensure that your committed supporters understand how valuable they are to your nonprofit’s continued success to keep them engaged and invested for the long haul.
Tap into technology’s vast potential by getting thoughtful and creative with remote donor management. As you carry out these best practices, seek out your donors’ feedback through surveys to find ways to improve their experiences with your organization. An effective donor management strategy will not only allow you to bridge the physical distance between your nonprofit and supporters, but deepen your connections beyond in-person limitations.
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