Show Us the Money

August 28, 2018

Converting Online Supporters to Donors

Your organization may have a strong digital presence, from a robust e-mail list, a great social media audience to supporters who sign petitions and send action alerts to their elected officials—but what are you doing to turn those ardent supporters into donors? Here’s how you can better connect and inspire them to donate:

  • It’s the e-mail, stupid. Take advantage of every opportunity to acquire your supporters’ e-mails. Data consistently show that e-mail marketing is still the number one most effective method to secure donations. Whether through petitions, action alerts, direct sign-ups on your website, events or paid acquisition through advertising, make sure you’re consistently building your e-mail list.
  • Build your e-mail marketing strategy. Once you’ve got those addresses in hand, make sure you’re sending emails that are compelling, concise, authentic, professional, have a clear call to action and don’t play to people’s fears. Make sure you’re sending along other information in addition to asking for donations.
  • Segment your audience. Know your audience and make sure that what you’re sending them is relevant – otherwise, they’ll just keep on scrolling.
  • Make it all about the donor. Donors want to feel valued. In your messaging, make the donor – not your organization – the center of attention. Use words like “you” and “your,” not “we” or “us,” and talk about the impact the donor could have.
  • Post a variety of content on social media. Don’t be boring! Post varied and engaging content, including news articles, videos of a recent event, links to case studies, blog posts and direct asks for gifts.
  • Test, test and test some more. Test different subject lines to see which one gets the most opens. On social media, learn which content your supporters most engage with.
  • Know the power of peer-to-peer campaigns. These campaigns empower your supporters to raise money for causes they care about, and allow you to tap into your supporters’ existing networks to multiply the impact of your limited resources.
  • Make it easy to give! Your donation forms should be simple, secure and require the least amount of clicks possible.