According to a 2013 study conducted by Blackbaud, overall donations to nonprofits increased in 2013 by 4.9%, and digital donations increased 6.4%.
Is this the product of Americans having more disposable income?
If not, then what's the reason? Why are Americans donating more to charitable causes more than ever before despite the severe economic climate of 2013?
The answer lies in the way nonprofits are catering o the demands of its donor network. Nonprofits are leveraging the power of technology to store more information around their donors, to better meet their expectations, and cater to what they’re looking for.
But what are donors looking for? In another 2013 study conducted by Blackbaud found that “response and click through rates in nonprofit email campaigns declined by 16% and 18.7%, from 2012.” The study substantiates the claim by stating that”declining response rates illustrate a saturated channel with non-differentiated messaging and campaigns.”
This means that email campaigns lacked creativity, personalization, and users felt like they were receiving a spammed message, not a message that was sent specifically for them.
How can your nonprofit’s next email campaign avoid the trash bin, and improve its open and click-through rates? The answer lies in the segmentation of donors, and the personalization of emails to each one of these unique donors.
Here are 10 different ways your nonprofit can segment its donors to improve communication for your next email donation campaign.
How often does a consumer like to be contacted? If they are receptive to weekly emails, do that. If they’re interacting with emails once per month, stick to that.
Email. Direct mail. Phone calls. Home or cell? These are all examples of ways you can contact your donors. Chances are good, your nonprofit has employed an array of communication techniques. Find out which one individuals are more receptive to and stick to that means of communication.
Types of communication
Your donors are receiving a variety of messages from your nonprofit. Whether a volunteer opportunity, registrations for special events, general updates and news, or calls-to-action. Find out which ones are resonating with specific donors, then communicate only messages of that variety, and your donation call-to-action.
Your nonprofit may offer different types of programs or services. Perhaps you organize a youth group, and coordinate quarterly roadside clean-ups as well. Whatever the case may be, find out which messages specific donors are most interested in, and cater to that.
According to a 2013 report by Blackbaud, each generation of donor has different giving tendencies. Whether it is in the types of communication they like to receive, or how they receive it, each age range has different quirks and tendencies. Utilizing all this information in your next email campaign can pay dividends.
Donors are often times more than just a donor. Segment your donor list by how they are affiliated with your organization. Whether they are volunteers, board members, family of employees, or members of the community you serve. Each one of these groups can, and should, be communicated with in its own unique way.
Each donor belongs to a specific entity. They could be an individual, a family, corporation, organization, foundation, or government. This will help your nonprofit understand if it is better fundraising from individuals vs organizations or if you’re getting a lot of attention from foundations vs families
Annual giving level
Segment your donors by how much they are donating per donation period. If someone is donation substantially more than others, they deserve a specialized communication.
Year-to-year giving status
Find which donors are giving every year, every other year, or twice per decade. Find out who in your donor database is new, has downgraded, upgraded, which donors have lapsed their giving, or who you have successfully retained.
Preferred giving channel
Online giving is on the rise, we all know that. But it still important to know which donors prefer giving through the traditional post, or like to give via alternative payment methods like paypal vs your websites online portal. It seems intuitive, but ensuring you’re sending millennials a text message alert or an email is far more effective than sending them a direct mail.