Collecting data is a critical aspect of every charity organisation. Whether employees are capturing, inputting, or learning from it, data is a necessary part of a non-profit’s daily activities. Yet, charities aren’t utilising donor data as much as possible - they’re missing opportunities.
We’ve put together the best ways to track donors and their journey; and use the data effectively to improve fundraising, communications, and more.
Tracking your donors
When it comes to gathering data, you need to track every donor’s engagement and action with your organisation. Whether it’s a phone call, an event sign-up, opening an email, donating online or just visiting your website. Your CRM system will be your central hub of information about each supporter and their actions.
But what then? What are you doing with that information?
A CRM isn’t just a data holding area to keep it safe. Yes, it makes communications more streamlined, but a donor database is effectively a goldmine.
What can you do with donor data?
The data you have in your possession is a great way to acquire new donors and retain existing supporters. How do you do this, though?
Remarketing is essentially online advertising that targets online and offline users that have already engaged with your organisation. Some donors may visit you once, look at your charity’s website and want to learn more about what you’re doing, but not donate. You need to utilise remarketing to give your charity the best chance of success.
Tracking the potential donors who visit or interact with your site allows you to retarget them later and potentially turn them into regular donors.
Ads will appear for past visitors while browsing the web, watching videos or even reading news sites. So even when they aren’t on your website, you’re keeping your non-profit at the front of their mind and enticing them to come back and donate.
Email marketing is one of the biggest marketing channels non-profits should utilise. In a recent article, we discussed the open rates in different industries, where the average open rate was 21.33%.
Surprisingly, Mailchimp’s data shows the non-profit sector has one of the highest email open rates at 25.17%, which shows how big the opportunity is to reach donors via this channel.
Data gathered can show you how active your email subscribers are, enabling you to segment donors into active, semi-active, and inactive categories. Doing this gives you a better success rate with email campaigns you’re sending out, so you can tailor your communication to them.
Sending highly personalised emails based on a donor’s unique historical interactions with your charity will boost donor response. If supporters feel valued and think your charity is taking notice of their generosity, they’ll be more likely to help and continue to do so.
There’s no point sending out an email about an event to someone who has never participated in an event and sent a one-off £100 donation two years ago.
Look at your data and build email campaigns around your donors’ different interests. Whether they like to fundraise, volunteer, donate or participate in events, there’s an email campaign for every donor interest.
Provide a Personalised Donor Experience
Having individual donor data can help you provide a personalised experience for donors. It’s especially important in the non-profit sector.
Donors want to feel appreciated, so you have to tailor your communications and create a personalised experience that makes them feel valued and a part of your mission.
By using the data your donors give you when they sign up for your email newsletter, make a recurring donation or another activity; organisations can deliver a data-driven personalisation program. Marketing your charity in this way makes messages more effective.
Hi, Sarah. Thank you for donating £10 last month. Because of your donation, we provided an hour of pain management therapy to a current inpatient.
Form a Strategy
Your donor data should be influencing every decision you make as an organisation. It might sound drastic, but having a deep understanding of your donors via the data they provide is crucial.
It will allow you to improve retention and giving frequency, secure new donors and grow your support community to create a strategy that thrives from donors’ actions. While there may be different aims for different channels, an overarching strategy allows your internal team to sing from the same hymn sheet.
It’s a consistent way of ensuring the fundraising, marketing and supporter care teams all work together and deliver the best possible donor experience.
Efficiently using donor data is the key to your nonprofit's future growth and sustainability. Doing so will help you not only better understand your existing donor community but will enable you to identify new prospects with whom to engage quickly.