Keeping Donors Happy: How to Improve the Donor Experience

The Impact You Make on Your Donors Can Increase Their Affinity for Your Nonprofit

Getting donors to give to your nonprofit is one challenge, but keeping donors happy is a completely different endeavor. Improving your donor experience can create a better impression on donors and encourage them to become stronger advocates for your cause.

Happy donors are repeat donors — but how do you keep donors happy? While many nonprofits are focused on donor retention or campaign strategies, neither of those will be effective without a great experience for your donors. A bad experience — whether it’s how they interact with your campaigns or not being able to see what their donation goes toward — leaves a bad taste in donors’ mouths.

So, how do you avoid these bad experiences? When a donor is interacting directly with your campaign, how they perceive your brand and your cause is almost out of your control. Sure, you can craft compelling messaging, create a streamlined process, and so on. But everyone is different. While you can’t be there every time to show donors why they should get behind your cause, you can provide them with an experience that matches what they’re looking for.

For your donors, the experience they have when they go through the process of donating to your campaign is a significant contributor to whether they’ll return to give again, advocate for you beyond that single interaction, and remember the overall experience. Follow these tips to start making your donors happier throughout your future campaigns.

Use These Strategies for Keeping Donors Happy to Build Positive Giving Experiences

One of the best things you can do to keep donors happy is by making things easy. For many people, a simple process to sign up as a volunteer, register for events, buy items, and more goes a long way, and it can be the difference between gaining a new donor and losing one. What’s an easy way to make things easy? Move your campaigns online. Over half of donors are looking to make their donations online.

You’re likely already offering this capability, but what does it look like? What does it feel like? Are you making it easy for them to give, or are you making them jump through hoops? When someone is giving you their time and money, the last thing you want to do is make them work harder to do it.

And remember — mobile leads the way. Campaign outreach messaging should be hitting people where they are: on their phones, away from their desks, at home on the couch, and so on. Make it easy to give. Don’t create a giving site that can’t be read or navigated on a mobile device. The easier it is for people to give from the palm of their hands, the more you’ll see your campaigns succeed.

Multiple payment options are another way that you can make it easier for your donors to give. Providing options enables people to give in the way that they feel most comfortable, which can also make it easier for them to convert. With online giving platforms, you can also set up the ability to let donors see their giving history, store payment information for convenience, view their event attendance, review past orders, and more. Providing this information helps them feel more connected to your brand, and can also reinforce how connected they’ve been with you in the past.

Once you move things online (or if you’re already using online giving but want to make it stronger), think about how you can show donors the impact of their gift. You want your donors to be engaged throughout the entire giving process. Ease of use starts of the giving process on the right foot, but showing the impact of a gift hammers your message home. You can show donors the impact of their gift by literally showing them. Use photos or a thank you video to communicate your gratitude and share them through a strong giving page, thank-you emails, and your social media.

Sharing impact helps you stay top-of-mind with your donors and also encourages them to become stronger advocates for your brand. Through being able to see the impact that their gifts have made, donors will feel that you’ve allowed them to make a difference, which makes it easier for them to consider giving again and to advocate for you.

Another way you can improve your donor experience is by paying attention to where your donors are, and making sure you’re putting your cause in front of them. Whether your audience engages more through email, social media, or they’re heavy mobile users, you want to make sure that you’re putting out the right message in the right place. The best way to do that is with an online giving platform that can help you manage your campaigns and messaging strategies all in one place.

Big River has a data-rich, configurable dashboard that allows you to manage your emails, social media, and giving campaigns all in one place. With our platform, you can get your foot in the door and ensure that your donors are seeing and engaging with your content.

There are a lot of different elements that go into building the best donor experience, and Big River’s dashboards and reporting capabilities can allow you to assess the different elements of your donor experience and prioritize what’s working the best. You’ll be able to put your best foot forward by knowing exactly what your donors are looking for and being able to build your campaigns around that knowledge. Our platform also offers peer-to-peer capabilities that allow you to let your audience create personal campaigns for your cause with tools that they expect to be able to use.

With Big River, we make it easy to improve your donor experience and start building stronger, more successful campaigns. Interested in learning more? Reach out to us today.


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