Streamline the Donor Journey: From First Gift to Lifelong Support

Whether your fundraising year is tracking ahead of schedule, right on track, or you’re off to a bit of a slow start, there’s no time like the present to consider what kind of experience you are delivering to both new donors and to long-time supporters.

When it comes to the donor journey, a proper strategy can make all the difference. It should encompass friction-free and on-brand donation forms, personalized and automated communications, and integration of internal systems. When your strategy combines these elements, your team can be confident it’s delivering a meaningful donor experience at every stage.

Here are some proven tips to streamline the donor journey, from first gift to lifelong engagement.

Convert More Donors with a Better Donation Form

The goal for nonprofit organizations and higher education advancement teams is always to raise more money online. But you also want donors to feel great when they give. An easy way to enrich the donation experience is by offering an optimized donation form and a simplified donation process.

What should you look for in an optimized online donation?

  • It’s on brand: A better form uses a branding card so it can be customized easily with your organization’s images and mission statement.
  • It’s a pop-up: Keep donors on your website—in fact, keep them on the page they were reading when they were inspired to give—with a form that displays anywhere on your website. You do not need to build a new webpage for an optimized form. Why is this important? The digital friction of taking donors off-page means they’re 8% more likely to abandon the gift-giving process.
  • It offers wallet options: Donors want to give in the form that they’re familiar with. Offering their preferred payment method, such as PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay or digital wallets, has been shown to deliver a 61% higher conversion rate.
  • It’s fast and obstacle-free: Processing the gift as quickly as possible and collecting additional data later can increase conversions by more than 100%. A streamlined form is as straightforward as possible, requiring only the gift amount, the credit card information, and the email address. All the other details—phone number, physical address, etc.—can come after the gift is processed.
  • It can multiply donor generosity: An optimized donation form offers your supporters the option of completely covering your transaction costs for zero fees or covering a portion of your processing costs, meaning more of their gift goes to your mission.

Motivate Donors with Personalized Communications

Once donors give, create an email marketing plan to keep them engaged and retained. The right email technology can help you maintain a more meaningful connection with your supporters by making it easy to do the following:

  • Tailor campaigns for specific segments, such as a new donor welcome series
  • Trigger automated emails, such as an invitation for a significant event or to encourage actions for key moments (anniversaries, homecoming, etc.)  
  • Personalize outreach based on data from your CRM, such as Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT

The data you collect from your optimized form and from your CRM can inform your strategy for developing highly targeted email campaigns. This will help you plan and deliver content personalized for your specific recipient.

Today, creating effective email campaigns is easier than ever with intuitive, drag-and-drop technology that doesn’t require your team to know a single line of code.

Integrate Your Tech Stack to Drive Better Fundraising Outcomes

To streamline the donor journey from end to end, it is optimal to have all of your internal software applications integrated, providing a true 360-degree view of your supporters, their preferences, and your team’s actions. 

Here are some of the most important reasons to integrate systems so your CRM is sharing data with your email marketing system, and vice versa:

  • Data siloes stifle your engagement strategy. You can’t develop an effective email campaign if you don’t know how your supporters are engaging with your communications, such as clicks and unsubscribes.
  • Syncing once a month is inefficient. Third-party integration software allows you to schedule syncs, even providing for continuous syncing.
  • Data-driven communications allow you to target, segment, and personalize your messaging. This leads to better email campaign performance and increased donor retention.

Centralizing data from external applications back to your CRM allows you to track your data in a way that makes sense for you. A third-party integration system like Omatic gives you the flexibility to set your own rules on how, when, and where data is shared. It also can standardize variations in casing or fields so all of your data is actionable for every team member.

Check out our on-demand webinar to learn how integrating fundraising tools such as your donation form, your CRM, and an email marketing platform can help you create a unified supporter view for your team and a better giving experience for your donors.