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Donor Management: Tools to Segment & Personalize Mailing List

givecentral donor management tools

In the family of donor management tools that non-profit associations should use, the most important one would enable “personalized communication” based on the “segmentation” of its audience.

Each customer is unique, so why would you want reach them with the single approach?

It is a question of not sending a single letter to tens or hundreds of people who have little in common – It is a matter of grouping its recipient donors and personalizing its message for each group (the individualization of the message being the most advanced level).

One of the oldest and best techniques for segmenting a database is the RFM (Recency, Frequency, and Amount) analysis. RFM analysis is simple because it does not require complex statistical analysis or detailed demographic profiles.

If non-profit associations have their donor’s giving history in their database, then they can do an RFM analysis. This analysis is said to be a powerful donor management tool because it brings together three of the best indicators of a donor’s interest in the cause.

In other words they can be classified in the following five groups:

  1. New donors (have just made their first donation)
  2. (Less than one year old)
  3. Old donors (have given before a year)
  4. Regular donors (those who give regularly, for example by monthly contributors)
  5. The donors by giving levels (those who give via a group, once a certain threshold is reached)

Other popular methods of segmentation non-profit associations can use are:

Segmentation by Geographic territories

E-mail delivery by geographic location can provide you with a significant advantage. Spending time segmenting your donors by region, department or city can help you personalize your events and appeals for these donors.

Segmentation by Age/Sex

Email marketing can also be tailored to the age and gender of your donors. The tone of the content, the images used, and even the kind of charity events themselves, can give better results if they target a more specific audience. By establishing alternative advertising methods based on these two demographic criteria, companies can attract a wider audience without too much effort.

donor experience

Managing Donor Experience: The 5 big challenges.

Managing donor experience is a relatively recent concept which has become key to our relational and marketing plans’ success.With all of the new technological advances competing for our donor’s attention,here are the 5 major challenges for small and large organizations this year.

# 1 The Rise of Mobile

Smartphones are taking over. Globally, 1.4 billion smartphones were sold in 2015, according to Gartner. Smartphones have revolutionized consumers’ habits and behaviour. This is undoubtedly one of the most striking phenomena of the decade.

The rate of the mobile usage keeps increasing from year to year. 2017 is no exception to the rule. Organizations that seek to optimize the user experience need to integrate this technology in their marketing and relational plans. Organizations should focus the coming year on improving the mobile donor experience. How?By proposing a mobile application, adapting the website to the mobile phone (responsive design), and using text messaging as a marketing channel.

# 2 Multichannel Intensification

The channels of communication have grown considerably in recent years, especially with the emergence of digital channels: email, sms, mobile application, chat, online questionnaires. Donors often use multiple channels to interact with the organization, and pass from one channel to another (from the mobile to the website, from the website to the physical point of transaction).This trend is expected to continue in 2017.

Organizations have to offer their donors a multichannel donor experience, that is to say:

  • Provide an optimal donor experience regardless of the channel used by the donor.
  • Provide fluidity in the passage from one channel to another, and thus the connection of the different channels. For example, the possibility of finding an offline charity event on the mobile application.

# 3 Combining the digital and physical: the rise of Phygital marketing

Organizations must not only offer more channels of interaction, but must also ensure that the various channels are properly integrated.There must be bridges between the different channels so that donors can switch from one to the other with ease.

There are two main families of channels: digital channels (online) and physical channels (offline). For some years now we have been seeing a blend of these two types.Some use the term “phygital” to describe this phenomenon.

# 4 Authenticity in donor relations

Donors appreciate organizations that listen to them. This includes the integration of social networks into the relationship strategy. Many organizations are hiring people to respond to demands on social networks (community managers).

# 5 Self-reliance

The human side of donor relations counts a lot, but donors also cherish their autonomy. They are increasingly enjoying the services that enable them to solve a simple problem on their own without the help of the organization. Why? Because the donor is looking to save time and minimize their efforts. The development of self-service tools is another 2017 trend of donor experience.

In the search for maximizing the donor experience, you have to keep in mind this seemingly contradictory aspect with the previous point. The principle is: let the donor do what they can do themselves, and concentrate the donor relations on the more complex actions or problems.

An example? Have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on your website that answers the basic questions, or show them how to use the app via tutorials. This helps to manage your donor service, and improves your efficiency.

As an organization, it is essential that you are aware of these developments to differentiate yourself from the crowd and maintain a good level of donor satisfaction. These trends are not new but their importance will certainly increase in the months to come.

donor communication

Time is Money

The words of Benjamin Franklin –“Time is Money” – are particularly apropos for nonprofit organizations. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done, particularly for those organizations running on skeleton staffs. Nonprofit executives often wear many hats, which can keep them from spending enough time developing donors. Wouldn’t it be great to have a mini-me to help get things done and free up time to spend engaging donors and actually fundraising?But how? One way is to put the right fundraising tools in place. Sophisticated tools developed specifically for the nonprofit sector can increase efficiency and productivity. The outcome? You reclaim time for activities that can increase your bottom line.One of the most impactful, must-have fundraising tools is a system in which to track and communicate with donors. Without an effective system you needlessly spend time chasing down information or contacts and likely miss fundraising opportunities as a result. If your system can’t provide informative reports with a push of a button, or provide a easy way to stay in touch, valuable staff time is being wasted. How does your current system compare to the platforms available today?GiveCentral consolidates fundraising, reporting and communications activities in one convenient place. Partnering with GiveCentral is like adding a super-smart, seasoned and productive member to your team to help ease and streamline the workload. Advanced system features put real-time analytics, comprehensive reports and integrated communication templates at your fingertips. GiveCentral saves staff time and hard-earned money on accounting and data management and makes it easier than ever for donors to support your mission.Does your system stack up?

Spring Spruce-Up

Spring Spruce-Up

It’s Spring, at least according to the calendar (we celebrated the spring equinox on Sunday, March 20th). Now’s the time to start sprucing up your donor database to ensure it is up-to-date and accurate for your upcoming events, campaigns, appeals and communications. Here are some things to scrub for during this important housekeeping effort. GiveCentral can provide the “elbow grease” to help you get these done:

Expunge expired cards and failed payments.

For donors who have set up automated credit and debit card payments, you need to stay ahead of card expiration dates so you don’t lose income.

Discard duplicates.

Scan your system to ensure you don’t have donors in the system more than once (and merge the data into one file if you do). It frustrates donors to receive duplicates of your communications and sends the (wrong) message that you’re not organized and on top of things.

Bail on bounce-back emails.

Although you should be handling these as they occur, time often gets away and they pile up. Take the time to remove defunct emails from your list (it just slows down your auto distribution). But don’t stop there, if you have the donor’s phone number (and hopefully you do), give them a call to get an updated address so you don’t lose the opportunity to keep in touch via email.

Update expiring gifts.

If your online donation system allows donors to chose an end date for recurring gifts, you need to ensure you are encouraging donors to update their profile before their gift is set to expire.

Ditch the defunct event and campaign profiles.

If you are no longer fundraising against a particular event or campaign, be sure to remove it from the list of options from which donors select. Any cleaning professional will tell you the right tools make all the difference. Let GiveCentral do the scrubbing for you. Our system is designed to be the “muscle” that keeps your donor data files current so you can raise more money.We’re here to roll up our sleeves and put our system to work for you. Our system features make it easy to check these chores off your to do list. Feel free to reach out to to learn more. Happy Spring!

GiveCentral Survey Report: 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving

The Times, They are a Changin’ – New Survey Report on Technology and Nonprofit Giving

by Bridget Mayer

New Nonprofit Giving Survey: 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving

Communication and Technology Adoption Key to the Future of Donor Management

front cover of the GiveCentral 2015 "Predictions for Nonprofit Giving" Survey ReportChange is practically synonymous with a new year and this rings true for nonprofit organizations in 2015. The next few weeks and months are a time for fresh fundraising strategies and an overall penchant to shake things up.Technology is one area in particular that is driving forward change within nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the industry. Here at GiveCentral, we’re constantly striving to learn more about technology’s transformative effect on donor giving and how organizations are responding to the digital age’s influence. Whether it be how mobile technology is mixing things up or how donor management tools have changed, it’s important to us to stay on top of the latest trends.We recently conducted a proprietary survey among more than 80 nonprofit senior executives, including senior religious leaders, Chief Executives, Chief Financial Officers and development managers across a wide range of nonprofit organizations. We wanted to identify the best donor management practices and understand the biggest giving-related challenges and opportunities that nonprofits will face in 2015.You can download the full report here. What we found in our inaugural report, 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving, was both enlightening and encouraging. Senior executives of nonprofits recognize there are many challenges ahead—from the increasing level of competition for donors to the pressure of technological change. The good news, however, is that they are preparing for the future.A few statistics in particular stuck out to us as we dove into the data, including the importance of effective donor communication to engage with donors, how donors are becoming more comfortable with online giving and the need for increased technology education. Below, I’ve outlined these findings.To ensure your organization is positioned to increase its donations in 2015, please check out the full report for a comprehensive look at the current nonprofit giving environment.

Lack of Communication Puts Donor Relations at Risk

Many nonprofit executives reveal that the greatest barrier to donor engagement and giving is a lack of communication.

  • Despite 84 percent of respondents reporting their organization embraces technology change, more than one-quarter (27 percent) do not have a formal email communication schedule in place and only 10 percent send weekly donor emails.
  • One-quarter (26 percent) still rely on weekly printed newsletters. As a result, nonprofit senior executives are leaving many opportunities on the table to communicate and engage with donors to build stronger relationships and increase giving.

Donor Fear of Technology Diminishing

Nonprofit senior executives said that although they still face some hesitation from donors when it comes to technology, more and more are becoming comfortable with digital channels.

  • 84 percent of nonprofits recognize the importance of catering to a new generation of donors and embrace technology change.
  • Only one-in-ten nonprofits retain fully manual donation processing, demonstrating the prevalence of technological advances in giving programs.

Donor Education is Key to Embracing Technology Change

While donors are becoming more comfortable with the idea of technology change, increased education is needed to close the gap. At the same time, organizations are confident their donors can move past the perceived complexity of online giving programs.

  • Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents said their donors don’t understand online giving.
  • Yet, only 12 percent of respondents say online giving technology is too complex for their organization to use.

As you usher in 2015’s changes and begin to prepare for the years down the road, we’re hopeful that the donor giving information in this survey from nonprofit leaders is valuable to your organization. Whether it’s gaining a small piece of insight, finding comfort that you’re on track for technology’s demands or even realizing you are behind the digital curve when it comes to nonprofit giving, please let us know what you thought of the survey results in the comments below.Wait, there’s more!To confirm you are positioned to increase your donations in 2015, please contact me at bridget@givecentral.org to schedule an analysis of your donor management practices.