“Are we leaving money on the table?”
While there’s no way for us to know every organization’s potential, chances are the answer is ‘yes.’ This is where creating targeted donor journeys can make a transformative difference.
Notes Robert Friend, seasoned nonprofit executive and Eventgroove solutions specialist, “ROI could be 20-30% higher than your current activation level with donor journey management. This is because we are being very personal and matching the pitch with the prospect and building donor relationships in an organized way.”
Robert recently hosted a webinar through Nonprofit Tech for Good entitled “Understanding the Donor Journey: Insights and Best Practices for Fundraising Growth.” In it, he discusses the impact of storytelling on the donor experience, outlines donor journey mapping and how to create targeted donor personas, and shares lots of examples. Watch the entire webinar below, and review our recap of the information Robert shares in the rest of this article.
What is a Donor Journey?
A donor’s journey is essentially a highly individualized, guided roadmap upon which existing, lapsed, and potential donors travel to become engaged supporters and advocates for your cause. It’s about building a relationship and connection with your supporters.
“The donor journey Is a series of personal interactions and more important than any single touch point experience you’ll give. It’s an opportunity to galvanize and drive your community. Consider this—if we touch people on a personalized basis, it will connect us to the work that we do in a special way and drive our community into action.” —Robert Freind, Eventgroove Solutions
How To Create a Donor Journey
It all starts with getting to know your community of existing supporters, potential donors, and corporate partners through research and data review.
Is your audience involved? Engaged? How many times a year do they see or touch your nonprofit’s projects or programs? What motivates them? What do or don’t they like? Put yourself in their shoes and gain an understanding of what drives their core beliefs and desires. That information allows us to manage change and growth through donor journey management.
After you research and gather information, you then need to identify the audience for which you’ll create target donor personas.
Identify the audience
Determine predictable patterns and behaviors of your primary and secondary audience. Prizm is a great tool for this. It allows you to overlay the prism database of personas against your org’s database to segment out and understand your audience.
Create target donor personas
What are the ingredients of a journey map?
- Review goals.
- Gather research. Get to know your community through data and research. Put yourself in the shoes of existing, lapsed, and prospective donors to understand what drives their core beliefs and desires.
- List customer touch points and sales channels. How do we touch our community and what are the channels through which we do it? Do we use social media? Letters? Email? Tailor how you communicate with each donor persona.
- Develop an empathy map. Empathy mapping allows us to put ourselves in our constituents’ shoes, which ultimately drives giving.
- Complete an affinity diagram. This allows you to create the story of each targeted donor segment
- Sketch the donor journey. This can be on a napkin or the wall of our office, but it must be done! It’s a super-powerful step because it brings your organization’s donor journeys to life.
- Share the journey map. Share what you’ve created with your organization, board, and team!