Ryan Garnett   

Building Your Donor Journey

by Ryan Garnett on May 7th, 2015

How often do you think about your donor journey? Whether it’s online or offline, thinking about, and building a great donor journey is key to your success.

A great donor journey ensures that your donors don’t get lost along the way. You need to lead them along the path that will lead them to making a 2nd gift, 3rd gift, and eventually a major and/or legacy gift.

This means doing more than just asking them over and over. Once they’ve made their first gift you need to thank them right away. Ideally within 48 hours. From there, you might consider engaging them further with a survey or petition to build their connection with your organization. This is especially important for online acquired donors. We’ve found that it can take anywhere from 3 -7 steps to convert an online donor to an offline donor. Trying to make this conversion is important, as the retention rate for offline donors is far more than online donors.

It’s also important to think about your donor journey on your website. When a prospective donor arrives, what’s the first thing that catches their attention? It should be your ‘donate now’ button. And when they click that they should be immediately directed to the donation form (which hopefully just requires one click to donate).

Beyond donating, donors (or prospective donors) may also be visiting your site to get further involved by hosting an event, learn more about your organization, or find out what impact donations really do have. All of these should be clearly laid out and easily accessible from your homepage. Again, ensuring that whatever link they click leads them down a path that will provide them with the information they’re looking for, and an option to donate.

Building a successful donor journey both offline and online will increase the number of donations you receive, and will improve the long-term value for all donors.

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