Three Simple Opportunities to Retain Digital Donors

Online giving continues to grow year over year for nonprofits. These digital donors are different than the people acquired through traditional marketing channels (print advertising, direct mail, televisions commercials, etc.) These digital donors seek out your organization through organic and paid search. They browse your website and make the commitment to be part of your movement. They are typically of a younger generation and expect a different level of follow up marketing. These people are buying from Amazon and other large eCommerce sites. They have completed countless online transactions and expect a certain level of appreciation after that transaction is complete. The steps a nonprofit or any organization takes after that transaction is an opportunity to retain this person and increase their customer lifetime value.

Here are three practical ways for nonprofits to increase retention and the lifetime value of digital donors.

Optimize the Thank You Page

The “Thank You” page is the place donors are directed to after they have completed their transaction. Do you know what your thank you page looks like? Most organizations do not. It was something they set up years ago when they converted their site to a responsive design. The “Thank You” page is your first opportunity to provide the donor with instant gratification for their gift. Your thank you page should:

  • Communicate the donors’ impact with resonating content, and an impactful photo or video.
  • Provide a snapshot of future communications. For example, let the donor know you will be sending them emails to stay-in-touch.
  • Encourage them to join your organizations movement through Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.
  • Give the donor something to do next. They are feeling good about making that donation, continue to nurture that emotion by providing them with an impact story or video.
  • Inspire them to share the great news with others. Include a link on your thank you page that will auto-populate the person’s social media posts letting their networks know they are a dedicated donor of your organization.

Improve the Confirmation Email  

Your website should automatically deploy a confirmation email after a transaction is complete. This presents the second opportunity to build loyalty with the donor and encourage them to give again in the future. Take a look at your confirmation email, it should:

  • Be personalized. Respond to the donor by name and re-confirm their donation amount. If possible, remind them of the impact of their specific gift.
  • Ask donors for their communication preference. Digital donors like to have a choice. You should ask if they would like to receive communications by phone, email and/ or mail. This will help you customize your approach to the donors’ next gift.
  • Include the contact information for a person on the donor relations team. For example, “Reach out to Suzy on our donor relations team if you have any questions or just want to say hello!, 000-000-0000.” It is important to use a first name to make the donors feel connected with a person at the organization.
  • Explain where the donor can retrieve their tax information. If your organization has an online portal direct them there. If you send out a tax letter via the mail let them know when they can expect it.

Provide a Formal Acknowledgement

Everyone loves to feel appreciated. For digital donors a formal acknowledgement of their gift is extremely important. At nonprofit organization, resource time is limited so it is important to determine which digital donors should receive a formal acknowledgement. We recommend first time donors, donors who give over a certain amount and donors who give multiple gifts in one transaction. These types of donors are more likely to give in the future. This formal acknowledgement should:

  • Utilize the communication preference. Have a dedicated person reach out to digital donors via their preferred source of communication.
  • Be within 48 hours after the online gift is received.
  • Reiterate the impact of their gift and make them feel part of your organization’s movement.