Never has a Giving Tuesday had a more primed audience. Last year, despite the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, the number of Giving Tuesday donors increased by 29% over 2019, and donations increased by 25%. According to the M+R Annual Benchmarks Report, most email metrics, including open rates, click-through rates, response rates, and page completion rates, also went up in 2020, according to the M+R Annual Benchmarks Report.
Even as life is starting to look a little more ‘normal’ these days, online engagement is here to stay. Many people continue to work remotely, attend virtual meetings and events, and maintain online entertainment, shopping, and socializing habits. Yet, virtual fatigue is no joke and must be factored into any online fundraising or marketing plans.
Amidst the digital frenzy, your organization can differentiate your Giving Tuesday campaign this year by simply behaving more humanly. It’s what everyone craves these days—more human connection. And isn’t it ironic? Technology can help you seem more human to prospective donors during the Giving Tuesday season.
8 ways technology can help your nonprofit make a human connection with donors and prospects
Prospective and current donors will treat your nonprofit differently if you seem more interested in long-term relationships, not short-term transactions and donations. That’s what donors want!
They want to see that you know them—many of them understand that technology makes this knowledge possible. They want to know that you appreciate them and consider them part of your community. They have thousands of nonprofits to choose from, but they chose yours. However, if someone shows them more love, they could leave you for another.
#1: Put yourself in their digital shoes.
Create a donor journey in your favorite marketing automation tool (like Pardot). Think about how prospects and donors see your organization, processes, and online interactions with them from their perspective. Map out this journey, taking care to examine all touchpoints. Let the donor point-of-view inform what you do. Adjust it on the fly as you see what works and resonates—and what doesn’t.
#2: Watch their “digital body language.”
Observe what donors do online:
- Emails they open
- Links they click
- Emails they reply to
- Website pages they visit
- Content they download
- Videos they watch
- Links they share on social media
Analytics tools—for example, Google Analytics or Tableau CRM—are essential for understanding who does what. You can create data visualizations to show the interests of different audience segments and demonstrate the ROI of your Giving Tuesday efforts.
#3: Be a good listener.
Don’t monopolize the conversation. Ask donors and prospects for their opinions and advice. Send surveys and polls. Ask if they want to help you with low-time-commitment micro-volunteering tasks. Make sure you take their feedback into account as you adjust your strategy and communications efforts.
#4: Don’t always talk about work.
People tire of organizations asking for money—imagine always doing that in real life with acquaintances. Instead, put content marketing to work. Everyone loves a good story. Tell them about something that might interest and educate them, for example, the impact of their donations, background issues, legislative news, and human-interest stories.
#5: Make your story come to life.
Tell a memorable story about an unforgettable person, place, or thing that needs their help. Make the issue easy to visualize and grasp. Help them immediately understand how their donation really can make a difference to this one person, place, or thing. If you create customized giving pages using a tool like Salesforce Elevate or Classy, you can see what kinds of stories resonate best with your donor audiences.
#6: Let your friends do the talking for you.
Social media ambassadors can help your nonprofit spread your message to their network. Provide sample social media updates, photos, and news from the frontline or behind the scenes. Collect and share testimonials from supporters about how donating or volunteering makes them feel and how they see the impact of their contribution. Social listening apps like Social Studio (part of Salesforce Marketing Cloud) can help even a small team manage online conversations and hear what’s important to donors, volunteers, and prospects.
#7: Don’t be high maintenance.
Remember, it’s not about you. Make the online experience easy and convenient for them. User experience (UX) design is essential if you want your digital assets to be visually appealing and user-friendly. A first-time or longtime visitor to your website should find it easy to locate what they need, navigate through the site, and donate.
#8: Surprise and delight.
People love surprises. The 2021 Loyalty Barometer found that 58% of consumers feel the most meaningful way a brand can interact with them is through surprise offers and gifts. Yes, you are a brand, and your donors are consumers. Stand out from the rest of the nonprofit crowd.
- Mail them a handwritten note in a visually pleasing card, one without logos.
- Send them a book on a topic or person related to your cause. Write a thank-you note in the front. Or send a gift card to an independent book store.
- Invite them to be your guest at an industry or related event that would interest them—virtual or in-person.
Take notes during conversations with donors. One day, you might connect something they said with a surprise that exceeds their expectations. When you do, you give them something to talk about.
Technology can help your nonprofit seem more human and develop the relationships with donors and prospects you’ve always wanted but couldn’t do at scale.
If you want to leverage your technology to maximize Giving Tuesday for your organization, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help!