Getting Sophisticated with Automation
If you’ve already gotten started with automation, you may be ready for more sophisticated ways to apply it to your fundraising for even greater efficiency. Start leveraging automated workflows to approach donors for:
- Converting supporters into new donors
- Expanding beyond the single channel of email to embrace a multi-channel approach that meets donors in the right place, at the right time, with the right message.
Ultimately, donors give to organizations whose missions align with their values. Fundraisers know it’s important to deepen and steward their connections with donors, because those donors become more likely to upgrade their gift as a reflection of their shared values. Your development team needs to identify when a donor is ready to move to a new tier within the lower dollar amount bands (i.e., from the $50.00 level to the $100.00 level); when the time is right for a donor to be asked about making a higher-dollar commitment for the first time (such as a frequent low-dollar donor moving into the $500.00 gift space); and when to speak to a donor about progressing into your community of major donors. The key to knowing when to make those moves is data, and your methods for how to engage in those conversations should include the strategic use of automated messaging across channels.
Predictive Modeling for Upgrades
When you’re looking for donors most likely to upgrade their gifts, your goal as a fundraiser is to identify the right supporters and engage them in the right channels. Don’t leave money on the table—with powerful data tools like predictive modeling, you can focus your time most efficiently on donors you know will help you meet your goals. Equipped with information about who to contact, development teams can then continue their work in one unified system by automating messages to those donors in the right format—if your data shows you that a donor hasn’t responded well to contact via email, your unified system can empower you to automate your outreach through other channels they may prefer, such as SMS.
Converting Supporters into New Donors
The smart fundraiser knows time is of the essence when stewarding a new supporter, so it makes sense to optimize the way you reach out to warm leads (or those contacts who are less than 90 days old and haven’t done much to convert into donors) and cold leads, whose contact information is greater than 90 days old. Simultaneously, you want to avoid the risk of damaging a relationship with someone by not recognizing that they’re already a donor. Connecting your online and offline information will empower you to reach out to both warm and cold leads with a higher level of accuracy and effectiveness.
Efficiently Expand into a Multi-Channel Strategy
Start sending warm leads the right message at the right time by creating criteria in your donor management platform to identify those who haven’t (yet!) given. This allows you to effectively steward them into making their first gift using automated conversion programs. To steward cold leads in the most impactful way, start by asking, “where and when did they first come into contact with us?” Knowing that a supporter felt moved to raise their hand by an advocacy effort, or a volunteer opportunity, or another specific interaction, empowers you to automate specific types of communications with that supporter based on what they like and gaps in their knowledge about your organization. Perhaps a cold lead would benefit from receiving your newsletter, to learn more about the work your organization does; perhaps you’d like to communicate with a cold lead at the right cadence about topics that resonate with them, across the right channels. Automation makes these multi-channel efforts a possibility and brings you closer to your goal of helping them decide to make their first gift.