The Key to Real Impact Through Digital

Why does your cause matter to a donor? With more choice than ever before, why does a donor engage with your organization?

Successful fundraising involves (a) intimately understanding the values and priorities of the donor and (b) communicating with the donor in terms of shared values and key drivers that motivate the donor to take action.

When you fuse these two strategic elements together, you lay a foundation for lasting donor engagement.  And in today’s digital age, the opportunities for such relevant dialogue have greatly expanded.  Let’s call it the Dialogue Age.

Many nonprofits try to appeal broadly to as many people as possible. But if you want real impact through digital, you’ll want to invite dialogue and tailor your messages so that they resonate with the interests of individual donors who may differ in terms of key motivations for engagement.

In the digital landscape, “profiling” is an exercise of articulating a succinct set of donor-centric attributes to leverage success.  To underscore why this is so important:

  • The cost to acquire a new donor is 6-7 TIMES that to retain an existing one.
  • Only 29% of first-time donors renew their gifts and roughly one out of every two donors renew their gifts each year.
  • People who are "very satisfied" are TWICE as likely to give again next year as those who are simply "satisfied."
  • A 10% improvement in donor retention can yield up to a 200% increase in average lifetime value.

Realize a few things:

  • Identification of key motivational drivers helps in forming relationships and enabling dialogue to sustain loyalty.
  • Traditional demographic attributes such as wealth, gender, age, etc. don’t get to the key drivers behind donor engagement.
  • Motivational attributes are living, breathing “articulations” that you will want to review – and modify – often. People change.

Failure to embark on donor-centric communications … trying to be everything to everyone … will result, sadly, in making a real connection with no one.

Be bold and tap into what your donors truly want.

If you’ve caught the vision and want to create this sort of relevant engagement for true donor loyalty, we’d love to help you make that happen. Send us an email at and let’s get started!

John Payne