3 keys to keep donors engaged in 2023.

Jan 5, 2023

You know, every nonprofit organization is unique. So, there is no magic bullet or formula for improving your results. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep up with the industry’s latest trends and best practices to keep donors engaged in 2023!

After all, many of us face similar obstacles. And yes, the best solution for one organization may not be the right fit for your own. But you want all the information that’s available to you to guide your fundraising strategy and decision-making process, right?

So, you should know what donors expect from you as we put 2022 in the rearview. Here are three key areas to focus on:

Thanking a donor on the anniversary of their first gift, or saying happy birthday are great ways to keep donors engaged without an ask.

1. Let communications flow. 

A donor will feel like an ATM when they’re asked to give again and again without receiving thoughtful stewardship communications in between.

But when your nonprofit takes the time to build an outreach strategy that keeps donors engaged between asks, you will find they become more connected to your mission and work. They will be eager to give again the next time you ask.

So, what do you need to do differently to keep donors engaged in 2023?

Start with a heartfelt thank you to follow up after every donation. You need to express your gratitude and let donors know fulfilling your mission wouldn’t be possible without them. Then share real examples of the impact their support makes.

FREE eBOOK: Donor Retention - Do you deserve long term support?

You can send donor surveys to mix things up. They’re a great way to learn more about your audience and keep them engaged. After all, relationships are a two-way street. So, you should know as much about your supporters as they know about you!

And don’t forget to reach out to acknowledge the anniversary of a donor’s first gift or to say happy birthday! These unexpected messages are a great way to keep donors engaged and prove you care about more than what they give.

Finally, invite donors to extend their impact by sending invitations to in-person events, like volunteer opportunities, your annual gala, or a less formal fundraising event!

FREE eBOOK: Donor Retention – Do you deserve long term support? 

Analyze clicks instead of opens to measure email engagement more effectively.

2. It’s time to enhance your emails.

You know an effective email strategy is an important part of achieving your nonprofit’s goals and fulfilling your mission. And you can engage more donors, inspire action, and make a bigger impact when you use your nonprofit’s data to optimize your email outreach and keep up with the latest trends.

But there’s always some room for improvement! And with the widespread adoption of Apple Mail’s privacy protection, there’s more to learn than ever if you want to keep donors engaged in 2023.

You’ve probably heard about the arrival of Apple Mail’s privacy protection feature. If not, click here for a recap!

In short, clicks are the new queen for measuring email engagement. And this means some of the strategies you’ve used in the past may need to be adjusted. Luckily, in many cases, you can just shift your primary measure of engagement from opens to clicks!

Remember, your donors are more likely to click on compelling content. So, keep everything you’ve learned about effective storytelling for nonprofits in mind.

READ MORE: 4 tips for your nonprofit’s next email campaign.

Setting specific goals, like secure X new followers will help you create stronger messages and CTAs in awareness campaigns.

3. Is it time for an awareness campaign?

It’s not always easy to rise above the noise. But being creative and finding a way comes with the territory when you work in nonprofit development.

And an awareness campaign is one of the most effective ways to keep donors engaged!

Start by setting a specific goal. This will help you develop a strategic message that will keep donors engaged throughout your campaign.

The overarching goal of any awareness campaign is to provide greater visibility for your nonprofit and its mission. But this is a lot like saying the purpose of a capital campaign is to “build a building.”

Being more specific with your goals will help you shape your message. Instead of “reach more people,” set a goal of “add X new potential donors to our mailing list” or “secure X new social media followers.”

This will help you craft communications with a clearer call-to-action, like “Follow us on Instagram so you can see the impact we make every day.”

READ MORE: Is an awareness campaign a good idea for your nonprofit?

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Keep donors engaged.

Do you want your donors to stick around? Duh. That’s why you made it to the end of this post!

Then why are you still sending appeal after appeal without other messages in between? Remember, when communications flow, relationships grow.

And the fundraising landscape is always evolving. Make sure you stay in the loop, so you know how to use the technologies we engage donors with to their full potential.

Donor retention has been a real concern for nonprofits over the last year. Many development professionals are having a hard time getting donors who gave for the first time during the pandemic to stick around.

So, if you’re feeling stuck or want to do something different, try these strategies to keep donors engaged in 2023.

And click here if you want to chat about your nonprofit’s specific challenges this year!

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