4 Digital Strategies for Donor Engagement & Retention


One of the biggest challenges facing nonprofits today is engaging and retaining donors. With so many options for giving and other financial responsibilities, donors can feel overwhelmed and your organization could get lost in the crowd. Consider these four donor engagement strategies to help you better engage and retain your donors online.

Start a Blog

Blogging is often overlooked by nonprofits, but a donor specific blog is a great way to keep your donors updated on your latest news, events,  and fundraising campaigns. Most importantly, use your blog to showcase how their donations have made an impact in your organization or cause.

Benefits of blogging include:

  • Building trust: Sharing the latest news and behind the scenes updates will help build trust with your donors and potential donors by giving them a holistic view of how their donated dollars are improving your cause.
  • Giving your organization a voice: Personalize your organization by writing about more than just your yearly numbers. Give a voice to who you are and what you do to draw people in.
  • Attracting new donors: Creating valuable content like blog posts will drive traffic to your site through search engines. Distributing those blog posts on social media platforms will increase traffic even more. This increase in awareness could ultimately attract new donors and further engage existing ones.

Launch an Email Marketing Campaign

Did you know 72% of US adults online send or recieve email via smartphone at least once per week? (Forbes 2014)

You have worked hard to acquire donors so don’t let your donor list collect dust. Email marketing is a great way to jump start your fundraising campaign by getting your message in front of the people that understand your cause better than anyone.

Create successful emails by:

  • Starting with a fun and unique subject line. You want your donors to open the email!
  • Offering educational content that answers your donors questions and responds to their needs.
  • Keeping design minimal. Let your message speak for itself.
  • Engaging with donors by asking for feedback, providing a survey, or encouraging them to follow your organization on social media.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising has come a long way, specifically the advanced ad targeting options. Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting option allows you to target only people that have donated. That’s right, you can now set your donor list as the target and Facebook will only serve ads to the people on the list.

Here are a few ways you can now engage with your donors on Facebook via Custom Audience targeting:

  • Target your donors with a special thank you message
  • Keep your donors updated on the latest fundraising campaign
  • Increase your organization’s Facebook page Likes by targeting people that have donated but have not Liked your Facebook page yet
  • Retarget potential donors who showed interest but did not complete the donation process

Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting is a smart and subtle way to engage your donors.

Display Retargeting

According to leading ad platform Criteo, website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70 percent more likely to convert on your website.

Display retargeting is a great way to stay in front of your donors as they browse the web. A few ways retargeting can help your nonprofit include:

  • Converting more donors: Display ads to visitors who viewed the donation page but did not complete the donation process. This reminds them of your cause and encourages them to go through with the process.
  • Showing gratitude: Thank the visitors who donated by showing custom ads expressing gratitude for their donation. They’ll appreciate it and remember you next time giving season comes around.

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