Your Communications Team is Your Best Ally for Donor Development

Now that you have some leads flowing in from your effective communication strategies, it is time to get those donors moving along their donor journey. Not every individual who contributes once to your endeavor is going to become a long-term advocate, but they all have some level of potential that could be maximized. Think about it: if you were able to effectively encourage each $1,000 per year donor to donate twice a year instead of only once, you have effectively doubled the impact of each donation. However, this can’t happen in a vacuum.

How can you tell that someone is willing and able to extend their support? One of the best ways to make this determination is through active management of the data that your organization has available. Once you have transparency into your data, you can then leverage that data to make educated guesses into actions that will spur your donors towards deeper engagement. Your communications team becomes an incredibly powerful ally, and they may be hiding only a few feet away from your donor development team.

Donor Development and Communications: Better Together

As donor development professionals, we likely have a good idea of the themes that resonate with our various audiences. You have been face-to-face with potential donors when you’re telling them about the good that you’re doing in the world. You can see that they’ve connected the dots between their donation and making life better for others. While your donor development team has a firm grasp of the physical engagement, your communications team will be able to stitch together the other half of the equation by understanding the best ways to connect with donors in a virtual sense. Content analysis illuminates which pieces of content are more likely to be downloaded, whether donors prefer a PDF download or a video, and ideas for optimizing your site based on your donor’s key indicators for action.

Individuals have several ways of indicating their interest with your cause. Major donors often like to explore a fair amount of content — learning more about how funds are managed and distributed, for example — before making a large commitment. Creating a donor journey that ensures that interested donors receive the information they need to increase their donations requires a deep connection between communications and donor management teams.

Moves Management Unleashed

Digital moves management, or DMM, is one of the hottest topics to hit the fundraising landscape in quite some time. The core concept is simple: donor development professionals utilize the same tactics that they use to encourage big gifts during conversations and translate those actions into the digital realm. Implementing these detailed communications and transactional elements requires a great deal of dedication and testing. While it may not initially be an easy task, the ongoing creation of content continues to provide value over the life of your donor relationships.

One of the key benefits of DMM is the scalability. While your donor management professional can only physically meet so many humans during the course of the year, digital moves management is working 24/7/365. With your communication and marketing team assisting in identifying the basic types of content and formats that the audience prefers and your donor professionals providing the direction and nuance, you will find yourself able to reach thousands of new individuals on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. This is not to say that everything should be automated to the point where donors are unable to speak with a “live human”. On the contrary, this streamlined operation allows your outreach team to spend their time and energy on individuals where it’s likely that they will be able to make a true difference in the quality of their engagement.

Pulling Together Disparate Teams

When your donor development and communications teams are working in lockstep, a beautiful synergy is created. One of the ways to encourage this deep teamwork is to allow the two teams to create shared goals. Thinking through these goals logically requires a framework such as the SMART goals system. With SMART goals, teams create goals that roll up into organizational objectives. This helps keep everyone focused on the metrics that are most important to moving the organization forward. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed-upon
  • Realistic
  • Time-based

A donor recognition goal could be split between the two teams by having the donor development team focus on strengthening relationships, while the communications team puts their effort towards gaining media attention. The two teams working in parallel tracks helps amplify the efforts of each individual. Want to see how connected your donor development and communications teams are already? Take our quick assessment to find out, and then help realign their focus to achieve exceptional results.

Are you ready to accelerate donor support by uniting development and communications? Download our free Connective Impact eBook today to learn more. Our MagnifyGood team excels at working with donor development and communications teams to drive far-reaching goals. We have seen this work repeatedly, and have seen the impact that this connection has for the nonprofit.  We invite you to learn more by scheduling a no obligation consultation here.

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