The 3 Stages of a Multi-Channel Donor Journey

February 18, 2021 | Grace Duginski
The 3 stages of a multi-channel donor journey.

In order to create effective multi-channel, multi-touch fundraising campaigns, fundraisers need to be aware of which channels work well for different stages of the donor journey. Here’s what you should know:

1. Making the Case

Mail, direct response television (DRTV,) telemarketing calls, face-to-face solicitations, earned media, and of course personal meetings to the highest-dollar donors all continue to do the heavy lifting of making the case for giving. As such, they continue to require substantial front-end investment of time and resources.

2. Reminding Donors

Facebook ads and email are not as impactful in making the case, but require less investment in time and cost, making the gift completion easier. Most other digital ads, SMS, Twitter and other social media efforts are less effective at making the case for giving, in part because of brevity and lack of focused attention from the donor, but are highly useful and efficient in reminding fully or partially persuaded donors to complete their gift.

3. Completing the Gift

The hardworking online form, combined with the donor credit card, continues to grow as the preferred method to complete more gifts. As online forms are better tailored to each fundraising campaign, and as forms become more and more “smart” — meaning that they’re highly personalized to the donor in ask amount, pre-filled data, and recognition of donor loyalty and preferences — they improve your overall gift completion rate and retain more donors.

One-Click Statistics:

Pre-filled forms convert 9x higher than blank forms, and raise 8.6x more revenue per person.

An animated .GIF showing an online donation form from the Audubon Society. The form is blank, then a cursor clicks the blue FastAction button, which populates the form's fields with the donor's information.

As you can see, when nonprofits know which channels work well for the three different stages of the donor journey, you can build effective and efficient multi-touch campaigns that help your donors express their support for your mission.

Want to learn even more? Read our full Multi-Channel Fundraising Program Management eBook!