Engaging with Donors Virtually

While we are returning to in-person events, many nonprofits have realized the importance of a strong digital presence over the last year. Staying up-to-date on the available technology tools and best practices can help you stand out and remain top of mind for existing and new donors. Here are some ways you can better engage with your donor base. 


Meaningful Contact 

Your email newsletters, social media blasts, and annual mailers about fundraiser events are all great ways to keep in touch with your donor base, but they aren't as valuable as more personal connections. Consider the content and frequency of your communications and make sure you’re only sharing what is valuable to your base. Consider sending handwritten notes (or use a service like our partner IgnitePost) as a thank you for donations, to invite donors to galas and events, or to follow up on recent campaigns. By sharing only what they want and personalizing your communication a bit, your donors will feel more engaged than they do from all the other newsletters flooding their inbox.  


Put a Face to the Virtual Connection 

We often don’t know who is sending emails or posting on social media. By using video messages from members of your organization, you can put a face to the name and make your vision and mission seem tangible. Shifting to virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic was a difficult transition for many organizations, but the power of video content and virtual face-to-face interaction far outweigh text-only communication.

Video content doesn’t need to be professionally shot and edited to make it a valuable tool. You can buy your own equipment, like ring lights or microphones, or spend some time learning how to optimize the use of your existing smartphone or webcam.  


Provide Alternate forms of Giving 

If you rely on annual fundraisers for the majority of your giving, you may be missing a lot of opportunities for donors to engage with you. Make recurring, online donations easy and mention what smaller donations can help you do. It’s often easier for someone to give $20 regularly than it is for them to make a one-time, larger donation. If you accept physical donations, like clothing or food items, make it clear where and when they can drop off their items. The more people rely on the internet, the better your online presence needs to be for individuals to interact with you. Make sure your donation page is clear on your website and optimized for mobile use. Think about how your social media can make giving easy and accessible, and encourage your audience to give. 


In-person or virtually, your donors care about the work you do and the impact they are making. By making their interactions with your organization more personal, you increase the likelihood that they will think of you often and fully support your cause.  

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