Wisely’s Top 5 Donor Engagement Strategies for 2022


Wisely's Top 5 Donor Engagement Strategies for 2022
Wisely’s Top 5 Donor Engagement Strategies

This week we talk about Wisely’s Top 5 Donor Engagement Strategies. To ensure your fundraising team starts 2022 on the right foot we’re sharing Wisely’s Top 5 trends and strategies throughout December. These strategies will help you build strong relationships with donors at all levels. 

1. Go Beyond Phone Calls

Picking up the phone is a tried and true outreach tactic for major and mid-level gift officers, however, you may have noticed recently that it’s success for your nonprofit may be faltering. 

More and more donors don’t want to get on the phone and won’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize. And if you do get a donor on the phone, they immediately worry you just want to ask them for money!

Stewardship and cultivation tactics that can reach donors through multiple channels are perfect for donors that don’t want a lot of 1:1 contact. You can reach out to donor through

  • Email
  • Personalized mail packages
  • And, depending on your demographics, you can even use text messages through an SMS service

Once you gain a donor’s trust through stewardship and cultivation, then they may be more open to having a phone call, or even a meeting, without worrying that you want to harass them for a donation. 

2. Automate Messaging

Nonprofit fundraising staff are often short on time and don’t get to do as much donor outreach as they would like, especially in small shops where one fundraiser has many competing priorities. That’s where automated marketing can really help! 

You can use email drip campaigns for donor engagement after they have taken a certain action, for example:

  • A thank-you email series after they’ve made a donation 
  • A welcome series for new donors and new email subscribers 
  • Primer email campaigns to previous donors before you head into a big campaign like Giving Tuesday and year-end

Drip campaigns are pretty easy to set up, but you can take automated messaging further by using an automated marketing system to set up journeys that can send a donor on different messaging paths depending on the actions that they take along the way. 

3. Multi-channel Integration

Heading into 2022, online integration is no longer optional, even if you are engaging with a donor offline, there is still a good chance that they will give online. And an even better chance that they are seeing your nonprofit’s online activity on social media and your website. 

When donors are receiving messages from your nonprofit through so many channels, direct mail, email, social media, website, you need to work cross functionally with your colleagues to make sure the messages they receive are consistent. 

Here are some tips for multi-channel integration:

  • Share information across departments to ensure that the messaging in your fundraising campaigns is on other channels like social media 
  • Connect offline and online channels like sending a reminder email as a follow-up to a direct mail package
  • Make donating online easy regardless of which channel your nonprofit uses to engage that donor

4. Mail is Not Dead! 

While digital has certainly seen a significant rise in importance over the past few years, that doesn’t mean that channels like mail are no longer valuable. In fact, in the digital age mail may be more impactful than ever! 

Nowadays getting mail outside of the regular flyers and some bills is an exciting experience for people. Believe it or not 59% of US consumers say they like to get mail from brands. If that many people like to get mail from brand names, then how many would be thrilled to receive a piece of mail for a nonprofit that is close to their heart?

In addition to your direct mail program you can use mail to reach out to donors at any level, including your major gift donors. Here are some ideas for engaging donors through the mail:

  • Impact reports 
  • Copies of your recent campaigns with a handwritten note
  • Cards for special occasions like holidays, birthdays, or their giving anniversary 

5. Welcome Packages for New Donors

It is easier, and cheaper, to retain a previous donor than it is to acquire a new donor, so make all of your donor acquisitions count by ensuring as many donors as possible keep giving to your organization. Donor engagement is key to retaining donors and a great way to engage new donors is with a welcome package. 

Your welcome package should continue the donor’s stewardship journey and provide additional information about your nonprofit. Here’s what you may want to include in a new donor welcome package:

  • An introduction to key staff members like your CEO
  • A recent impact report
  • A brochure about your mission and programs or services
  • A personal and warm letter welcoming the donor to your community 

And your welcome package doesn’t have to be offline! You can use an email drip campaign to send a welcome email series to online donors with similar information.

Wisely’s Top 5 donor engagement strategies will have your donors feeling the love in 2022 and encourage them to make more frequent and bigger donations to support your mission. 

Stay tuned next week for our last Wisely’s Top 5 – it’s so hard to believe a new year is just around the corner! 

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