Digital Moves Management 101: Mapping the Digital Donor Journey

We’ve talked about defining your donor development strategy and we’ve created some stellar donor personas. Now it’s time to dig into the nitty gritty details around mapping the digital donor journey. 

This isn’t a one-on-one conversation that you’re having with donors, looking to drive them from vaguely engaged to rabid advocates of your cause. Instead, let’s look at how leveraging technology allows you to have unique, personal relationships with thousands of individuals — each of whom may be at a different stage of their personal donor journey. Let’s see how technology tools can help our constituents find the ideal organization that aligns with their passion to give back and desire to contribute gifts that make a difference.

Creating Passionate Advocates

Moves management is the process that donor development professionals utilize to nurture donors from those who occasionally give small gifts to those who care passionately and give generously to nonprofits. While it’s considered the gold standard for development professionals, there are some distinct challenges with this highly individualized process.

  • Donor development professionals must be personally involved at each step of the relationship, limiting the amount of time available to spend with each donor.
  • Since so much time is spent with individual donors, the majority of the database receives little to no attention.
  • There are no set processes in place to attract new potential donors into the moves cycle.

When you think about it, it’s a wonder that development professionals are ever able to sleep with trying to keep the various donor journeys in mind!

The Philanthropic Revolution

You may not have heard it or felt it yet (although you probably have!), but there are some seismic shifts happening in how people give as well as in communications technology. Nonprofit professionals are at the front line of both of these paradigm shifts in information control. Gone are the days when we can just send out messages and expect donors to immediately pull out their checkbooks. Donors and potential donors are now in control of information, communications, and the decision process in a way that would have been unthinkable only 5-10 years ago.

Today’s donors are always searching. Looking for organizations which are a good fit for their beliefs and aspirations. Trying to find causes that align with their values. Digging deep to find meaningful ways to share their time, talent and resources. They’re not waiting around to receive a mailer to which they can respond with a check. Donors are much more proactive when it comes to evaluating opportunities to give using the vast wealth of digital resources that are instantly available online. While this may be an uncomfortable shift for some, it truly opens a new realm of possibilities for success — in a way that doesn’t involved face-to-face meetings with each prospective donor. That’s where Digital Moves Management (DMM) comes in!

Developing Data Points

Perhaps the first step in mapping the digital donor journey involves starting with a shared session between the communicators and donor management professionals. Together, you can determine which personas represent your most successful conversions and how you can leverage that information to a digital platform that will engage individuals to continue down their new donor’s journey. What are some of the shared data points that these donors have? Perhaps they’re frequent visitors to a particular page of your website, or they are signed up for a specific email newsletter. Once donors have taken that step, are you able to track their progress through downloading any whitepapers, going to a donation page or sharing content from your site with friends from social media? Donor development pros can help define the actions showing that a donor is moving from one stage to the next, while communications and marketing teams can help pinpoint the data points that can be used to track their digital donor journey.

No Place for Silos

Identifying these disparate data points in a way that you can communicate them effectively throughout your organization can be a significant hurdle. However, taking the time to be strategic with your planning process will pay major dividends in the future. Becoming a truly connected organization doesn’t happen overnight, and may require help external to your organization — we are always here to support you in case of difficulties.  Reducing data silos, creating a shared language and processes between communications and donor development professionals and aligning efforts around the organizations to a shared goal are some of the first steps that you will need to spearhead. When your systems and people are in alignment, you’re one step closer to being able to qualify, nurture, convert and cultivate relationships more effectively than ever before.

Creating Connective Impact

You’re probably familiar with the term collective impact from how it relates to working with other organizations to move towards a shared goal. However, collective impact can be compounded internally, as well. When your efforts are aligned and you’re using the same success measures, the communications and donor management teams are able to achieve more together than would have been possible alone. We call this process connective impact, and we have seen firsthand how it leads to increased donor engagement and loyalty. You can actually leverage the knowledge from donor development professionals to map an individual’s journey in the “real world” to the virtual alternative for how they could travel the same journey online. There are any number of technology tools that can be utilized for this process:

  • Google Analytics, to determine which content or pages on your website are compelling visitors to step forward in their journey and give
  • Marketing automation, various tools are available which help you gauge engagement online through reviewing email open rates, click-through rates, downloads and forms that have been filled out — all before donors give for the first time
  • Integrated Constituent Relationship Management solutions, that provide you with a holistic view of a particular donor and allow you to capture their interests, values and any personal communications in a way that can be translated to a digital “next step”
  • Web Content Management Systems, where you can effectively deploy engaging and viral content to users who are most likely to read and share it to their audiences

All of these pieces work together to map the digital donor journey. Perhaps the most important takeaway is this: partnership. Form partnerships within your organization that result in deep connections between your donor development professionals and your communication teams. You’ll find that with their support, you can amplify your personal reach and message to a broader audience than ever before — digitally moving donors to the next step in their giving journey.

Want to learn more about Digital Moves Management and how it can benefit your organization? Contact MagnifyGood today at 941-953-9191 or get some immediate inspiration on our website.

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