3 Easy Upgrades Can Work Wonders for Digital Donor Acquisition

In fundraising, digital acquisition is the process of acquiring email addresses and converting them into donors. To grow your donor file, add three easy upgrades to your current acquisition plan and watch how kickstarting a better content, promotion, and conversion strategy can work wonders for your donor pipeline.

Step 1: Improve Your Content Strategy

Acquiring new donors online requires you to build a better content plan. Creating new content, leveraging old content, or creating a sign-up wall to access existing content is a great way to grow your email list. Content could be anything:

  • Resources about your mission
  • Fun downloads for your constituents
  • Quizzes about your cause

One client created an origami pinwheel for Child Abuse Awareness Month. Another client created a digital calendar with tips on how to care for a specific disease in each month of the year. On social media, one client promoted existing resources from their website and politely asked for an email address to access it.

Other content ideas we have helped create for Doing Good Digital clients: checklists, coloring pages, eBooks, videos, activity books, and stationery. You could also consider more exclusive or interactive content, such as concerts, cooking classes, tours, galas,  and book readings.

The nice part about creating valuable content is that it not only helps you grow your email database but it also can be repurposed for your existing file as part of your stewardship and retention activities.

Step 2: Master Multichannel Promotion

Once you have created your annual campaign calendar and have decided what “lead magnet” content you will feature each month, it’s time to figure out your promotion plan.

The most logical (and easiest) place to focus your promotion is on your website. Content that serves as a lead magnet can be promoted via a pop-up, a header image, a sidebar, or linked on specific pages. When a user clicks on any of these links on your website, they should be presented with an option to provide an email address in exchange for the content. This setup is called gated content and the pop-up asking for the reader’s contact info is called the lead-capture form. You could also consider making the email address optional.

An effective content promotion plan goes beyond your website. Extend it to social media platforms, too. Organic posts, paid posts, and boosts allow you to test acquisition on social media. You could try changing your social headers periodically to promote the content, depending on the significance of the content or the campaign.

Partnering with sponsors or businesses can be a win-win relationship. One client created a cookbook published in partnership with local restaurants. Both the restaurants and the organization promoted the cookbook to grow awareness for everyone. Partnerships offer a great opportunity if you have a large pool of corporate donors in your database.

Step 3: Start Converting Email Sign-ups into Donors

As part of a longer-term cultivation and solicitation strategy, design your email plan with conversion in mind. Start by creating a specific welcome series for your acquired email addresses. The welcome series should be specific to your digital acquisition efforts and include two or three emails introducing supporters to the organization and asking for a donation.

Depending on the volume of the acquisition group, you could build out the welcome package further than the initial two or three emails to include event invitations or other opportunities to engage before you make an ask.

Following the welcome series, this audience segment should be considered in each campaign throughout your annual campaign calendar. Test conditional copy or imagery for this group, content that speaks to the fact they are not supporters yet.

Assuming your year-round campaign calendar includes a strong mix of stewardship and content with impact, you can expect to see some conversion at your key campaigns, like Giving Tuesday or End of Year, and hopefully throughout the year as well.  By adding a digital acquisition plan to your overall acquisition mix, you’ll begin to create a long-term pipeline for new donors.


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