Written By: Katie Biondo - Jan 8, 2019
Blog3 min read

How Nonprofits Can Build the Ultimate Donor Journey

Are you providing your donors with the ideal supporter experience?  

Every nonprofit organization should aim to create the perfect donor journey to increase the number of new and recurring contributions. With an updated and standardized donation process, nonprofits can keep their donors happy and build lifelong supporters.  

With these simple steps, you too can provide your supporters with the ultimate donor journey… 

Step #1: Get Discovered  

The first step in the supporter lifecycle is when the donor finds you. Overall awareness is dependent on how much people know about your nonprofit. The more people who know about your cause, the higher the percentage of likely donors. The donor needs to realize why they should support your organization and how they can make a direct impact.  

Become more discoverable: 

  • Show the outcome of your organization’s work and convey a sense of timeliness  
  • Utilize social media by interacting with potential donors and highlighting your supporters  
  • Explain what your organization does with the donations 
  • Be transparent with donors to build their trust 

Step #2: Gain Their Respect  

This is the step where you build a direct connection with your supporters. Since donating is personal-and most times emotional-it’s important for potential donors to really get to know your organization.  

Your organization should have materials readily available to help donors relate to your value and purpose. The more connected supporters feel, the more likely they are to donate.  

What do potential donors look for while doing their research? 

  1. Success stories 
  2. Testimonials  
  3. Whitepapers 
  4. Case studies 
  5. Annual report 
  6. Videos 

At this point, the donor may even choose to get involved with your organization, therefore cultivating and building relationships is important. Evolving from the “Getting to Know You” phase to the “Getting Involved” phase often takes work on the part of the nonprofit.   

Step #3: Encourage Donations 

The next step in the supporter lifecycle is where the donor makes their contribution. Why not make it as easy as possible for them?  

Be sure to place easily accessible and highly-visible donate buttons throughout your website. Know what pages the potential donors are visiting on your website, and place your links strategically. The donation page should be easy to use, and the process should be as smooth as possible. 

Make donating straightforward: 

  • Streamline the process and include a minimal amount of steps to complete the donation  
  • Keep your donation page isolated and eliminate distractions  
  • Maintain brand consistency 
  • Keep the donation form to one page 

Step #4: Say Thank You  

The next step in the supporter lifecycle is the donor stewardship process. Expressing sincere gratitude is the key to establishing a strong, everlasting relationship with the donor.   

Most importantly, be sure to thank and recognize your donor for their gift. After that, get them involved by communicating on a regular basis (via newsletters or email) and keep them up to date on your initiatives. 

Your donors will feel appreciated about the decision they’ve made and will be encouraged to donate again.   

Step #5: Build Loyal Supporters  

The final step in the supporter lifecycle is when you approach your supporters and ask them to share their experiences with others.  With their help, you can increase brand awareness and recruit prospective donors. This step should occur as many times as the donation process is completed.  

Motivated donors will happily share your vision and evangelize your mission while encouraging others to get involved. In the end, the most successful nonprofits ask openly for referrals in a way that honors their mission and the beliefs of their donors. Why not give it a try?   

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About Katie Biondo

Katie Biondo is a Marketing Coordinator for Omatic Software where she is responsible for marketing campaign initiatives, execution, and reporting. Her responsibilities include email and webinar coordination, content creation, social media account management, and graphic design. Prior to joining Omatic Software, Katie worked as a Senior Graphic Designer and Marketing Associate at Advantage Media Group | ForbesBooks. She is also a member of numerous nonprofit clubs and associations including the American Marketing Association and the Junior League. Katie graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree.