Digital Moves Management: Defining Your 24/7 Donor Development Strategy

Have you ever thought about all the tasks that you would like to accomplish and want to give up? Nearly everyone hits the point where you feel as though it will never be enough. You’ll never have enough hours in the day to speak with all of your potential donors, never have enough funds to reach out to tell the impact story the way you would like to. Even if you’re using technology to communicate at all levels of your organization, are you speaking with your prospects and donors or to them? This critical difference is clearly delineated in your mind in the analog world. When it comes to moving prospects along their donor journey online, are you truly ready?

What is Digital Moves Management?
Digital Moves Management (DMM) takes the highly effective communication tools that you currently use and translates them into a broader spectrum — so you can attract more people into your moves cycle. There will always be great value in personal, human interactions. Digital moves management simply allows you to leverage technology to add value in different ways; ways that today’s donors expect and even value. Think about it: when you search on Amazon.com for a new saute pan, are you surprised when that same pan magically shows up days later on a social media ad? Probably not, and it might even entice you to browse back to Amazon, take another peek and perhaps make a purchase. Or maybe not . . . and both responses tell the marketers who are measuring the analytics something about your buying journey.

Aligning Donor Development and Communications
Later in this series, we’ll talk about personas, mapping the donor journey, applying marketing automation techniques and even how content plays into the larger strategy. We want to put forward the idea that the communications team should be your very best friends. When you strategically involve communications early in the process, you’ll find that they can develop content that aligns with your development goals. Not only does the communications team feel as though they’re in the loop, you may find that they’re energized at the opportunity to help drive donor engagement.

For now, let’s see how aligning the efforts of donor development and communications teams can help accomplish key strategies. Donor development teams often have a database to track prospects, their potential level of giving, and other donor-related details in DonorPerfect, Raiser’s Edge, SalesForce or similar technology platforms. However, communications teams also keep a list of contacts for marketing use — often in an email marketing tool such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. The problem is that these two highly-important technology platforms are rarely integrated.

What does this mean in a real-world scenario? Anne speaks with Donor A at a fundraiser, and determines that they are now a high-potential donor. She flags her in Raiser’s Edge as an opportunity, which may kick off a series of deeper engagement opportunities. However, on the communications side, marketers are still sending prospect A the same information that many other individuals receive. Donors may be visiting content on a website or clicking a email link that flags them in the marketing database as a high potential.

Unfortunately, this critical information never makes its way back to the donor development team due to data silos and a lack of interoperability between the two databases. Think of how much more effective it would be if development professionals were informed by this information.

The lack of coordination between the two sides of the organization can cause frustration or worse — cause the donor to assume that they are not important enough to receive customized information. Alternatively, donors can be overloaded by too many competing messages during the same time period. Activities can cancel each other out, effectively moving a high-potential donor back to a lowly prospect.

Benefits of Consolidated Donor and Communications Strategy
When communications and donor efforts are aligned, the organization benefits in a variety of ways. These can include:

  • Increased organizational efficiency
  • Tighter definitions of potential and existing prospects
  • Ability to repurpose and streamline content based on donor personas
  • Creating emotional connections with donors, effectively moving them into deeper levels of engagement

All of which culminate in the ultimate goal: an increase in funding to support your mission.

Technology and Infrastructure Support
This all sounds great — in theory. However, putting these strategies into practice takes time, effort and energy. You may be struggling with having enough staff available to create strategies and keep the lights on (and donor funds flowing!), but the long-term payoff for taking a breath and aligning the right technology tools can dramatically amplify your giving strategies. An upfront investment is often required to pull together disparate data sources and consolidate technology and infrastructure to support your growing organization. Many nonprofits decide to work with a trusted partner to scope needs and requirements, vet potential vendors and ultimately perform the platform implementation. If you don’t have the budget for working with consultants, there are steps that your team can take to slowly bring together your donor and communications strategies into a unified and holistic view of your donors.

While the steps may feel a bit daunting when you’re first digging in, it’s important to keep in mind the end result of this new alignment. Both the development and communications teams are likely duplicating efforts — whether or not they realize it. By aligning their efforts, both teams can be more effective without adding more work to their already overflowing plates. This new way of working is truly a paradigm shift that may require culture change within your organization.

Distribute Engaging Content
Engaging your audience and activating them to take action today requires more than a Facebook post with a compelling image and call to action to give. Unfortunately, creating content and distributing it on a regular basis can take a great deal of time — while providing very minimal results in terms of donor support received for your organization. What if you could instead create a compelling string of emails that would provide small snippets of information meant to educate donors at each stage of their journey? From responding to an online request to triggering emails based on visits to a website, technology solutions can provide the content distribution channel that your donor communications strategy has been lacking.

Do You Need Digital Moves Management?
Whether you are just starting on a consolidated communications strategy or not even considering the possibility, your organization can still benefit from many of the principles behind DMM.

  • When you generate a stream of qualified new leads to your website
  • When you’re manually sending weekly emails based on new content that your team is creating
  • When you’re engaging leads on social media
  • When you’re trying to figure out if a specific donor received a call to give and ignored it — or never even received it
  • When you continue with paid advertising even if you’re not sure which ads are effective

These are all situations where marketing automation and a consolidated donor communications database would benefit your organization. The process starts with truly and deeply understanding your prospects and donors, defining their ideal path and testing, testing, testing!

As you can see, Digital Moves Management contains a lot of moving parts. Over the next few weeks, we’ll break it down step-by-step — giving you the tools that you need to be successful on this new and exciting journey. Are you ready to learn more today and get started on your own path towards digital nirvana? Book a no obligation 30-minute consultation or contact Magnify Good today at 941-953-9191 ext 101.

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