Getting Started with Automation

January 26, 2021  |  Grace Duginski

There’s nothing more important than advancing your mission. That’s why efficiency is so important to nonprofit fundraisers: having the ability to accomplish more with less effort can help you raise more money for doing more good. One strategy? Automation, or converting some of your processes to a largely independent, hands-off operation that you can build once and use repeatedly.

When you’re just getting started with automation, choose email programs that take the most time but make the biggest impact:

  • Lapsed donor recapture,
  • Donor renewals, and
  • Sustainer upgrades.

Lapsed Donors

One of the most common recurring communications nonprofits send to donors are to recapture lapsed donors – those who used to give, but for some reason stopped. You can use automated workflows to win back donors when their commitments end, either after they cancel a recurring gift or when a payment method fails. After thanking a donor for their ongoing support, this email series gently reminds them to provide updated information so they can continue to join forces with you to make an impact.

Example of automation workflow

Predictive Donor Capabilities

To make more of an impact when engaging your donors, you need to identify those donors most likely to convert in order to get the most out of your lapsed-donor recapture series. Platforms with predictive donor capabilities optimize your program results by leveraging historical data, across online and offline giving, to identify the best people to engage. Tools like these can support your organization’s busy fundraisers as they identify the best prospects for the goals you’re trying to meet.

Example of automation workflow

Donor Renewals

A second foundational opportunity to leverage automation tools are your donor renewals emails. With automation, you’re empowered to ask your donors to reaffirm their financial support on the dates they're most likely to see your message. Once you identify the right time to make the ask, you can continue to optimize your donors’ experience by ensuring that returning donors can complete their gifts with pre-filled forms and one-click functionalities that save them time and spare them the irritation of having to repeatedly re-submit their information. This, in turn, frees you up to focus on responsibilities that require more of a human touch.

Sustainer Upgrades

The third foundational email series where automation can save you time and increase your fundraising effectiveness is your sustainer upgrade messages. You want to steward and grow your sustainers, because they allow you to fundraise more efficiently – on average, the donor lifetime of a sustainer can be 600-800% more than that of a one-time giver. When your sustainers are ready to upgrade their gifts, automated email workflows can open the door for them to do so by choosing the right time to ask.

Once you've automated your lapsed donor recaptures, renewals, and sustainer upgrades, your organization can increase the donations you need to execute your mission while decreasing the staff effort needed to manage them.

Want to learn more about how EveryAction can help your organization leverage automation to efficiently raise more for your mission? Download our complete Nonprofit Guide to Automation.