7 Tools Every Fundraising Campaign Should Be Using For Donor Development

7 Tools Every Fundraising Campaign Should Be Using
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7 Tools Every Fundraising Campaign Should Be Using For Donor Development

This holiday season, I am helping to spearhead digital donor development efforts for a local nonprofit charity. For the first time in the history of the 79-year-old organization, they will take to social media and online advertising to help broaden exposure, cultivate new audiences and hopefully raise some initial funds from online activities this year.

 7 Tools Every Fundraising Campaign Should Be Using

There are so many tools in the donor development tool box. Here are just a couple of them that we are putting into play with this holiday campaign:

Remarketing For Donor Development

One of the must-do activities for all online marketing. Using paid and organic methods to drive traffic to our landing pages and organization website, remarketing allows us to take advantage of that investment of bringing people to the site and then being able to keep showing ads to those visitors once they leave the site in the following weeks of the campaign. Eventually enough exposures to the branding and messaging should being a decent portion of that initial donor audience back to the site to present a call to action for donation.

Donor Development Online Tools

Landing Pages With Donor Call To Action

Spending money on paid advertising and earned media so that the potential donor comes to your website is important. But where are you send them is even more critical. Sending them to just your homepage is not ideal because there are so many distractions on the page for people to click through and disappear. Therefore creating specific landing pages that target subgroups of your audience helps you speak directly to each affinity groups needs and passions. For example, the charity I am working with now works with 11 other nonprofit organizations, therefore we produced 11 separate landing pages highlighting a different story specific to each of the 11 nonprofit partners. Then, when someone who knows one of those partner organizations comes to that specific landing page, they are presented with something familiar, and something that will potentially resonate stronger for them as they receive our call to action to donate. Leadpages and Instapage are too reliable resources that we use for this purpose often.

Downloadable lead magnet

Asking people to donate on the first try is successful for only a very small percentage of cold traffic that you can garner. That’s why we produced a simple PDF report that profiles “12 amazing charities you need to know about before you make your next donation to a nonprofit” and offer that in exchange for a name and email address. Once they are on a list, we deliver the report, as well as a sequence of nurturing emails that introduces them to the cause, background and history, and appeal to give. The point is to build a relationship that demonstrates relevance over multiple touch points instead of asking for a donation upfront without any trust or authority. Infusionsoft and Drip email marketing platforms are two tools that we use for various campaigns over and over again.

creative donor development

Donor appreciation messaging

I find that many nonprofit communicators focus too much on receiving the money and not enough on who is giving the money. The donor is the hero, and you need to let them know and let everybody else know that you appreciate their partnership.

The donor is the hero, and you need to let them know and let everybody know you appreciate them Click To Tweet

They’re simple ways of doing this of course. First, sending a thank you note within the first 24 to 48 hours of their donation that is different then the tax deductible receipt. Second, we are highlighting a “supporter of the day” on our social media channels. We are producing simple social media text over image graphics that we post daily that highlights an individual or couple or family’s name from recent donations received. Third, this is not as intuitive for most people, but clearly communicating where the money is going and how it’s being used is the way to thank the donor. It respects that they are an actual partner and deserve to be in the know. It’s not just about receiving the money and running off and doing good work. If you don’t have a designer on staff, there are so many accessible tools out there today including Canva online.

Google Nonprofit Ad Grant

One of the first things that my team helps facilitate for nonprofit clients is to secure a google nonprofit ad words ad grant. The net outcome of this program is that you gain access to $10,000 a month of free advertising on a rolling basis. You can get a little tricky to get approved, but my team has had a 100% success rate so far so we have been able to utilize paper click traffic to bring up to 5,000 to 6,000 visitors a month to an organizations website.

Facebook Pixel

This one is related to the remarketing tactic above, but the Facebook pixel does much more than that. Even if you were not Spending any money to advertise on Facebook, you should install a Facebook pixel on all of your website’s pages. The advanced insights alone will help you make better marketing decisions. Facebook custom audiences is one function that gives you ninja level skills in hypertargeting any ad campaign on a very efficient level for your budget. For example, you can target ads and show them owing to people that have been on your website for more then ## minutes — where we assume that anyone that has been on your site for over ## minutes that they are likely a good candidate to present your giving call to action. So you might take the top 5% longest visitor engagement segment and ask for a larger donation amount in your messaging, vs a tripwire low dollar ask for people who were on your site for 30 seconds.

email signature with donate call to action

Email signatures

Think of how many emails get sent, forwarded, replied etc. Your email signature is prime real estate for a nice and elegant “P.S.” which includes a link to your donation page. Make sure everyone on your team modify his new email signature for the duration of your campaign. Ask key volunteers, high-capacity donors, etc. It is one no cost way that a supporter can help support you in a tangible way of getting the message out. And you should be guilt free of asking anybody and everybody you know to add that PS to their email signature.

There are many other tactics that I will share with you over the next couple of weeks as we go through this holiday campaign.

But I would love to hear your response and reaction to the 7 Donor Development Tools You Should Consider for your next campaign.


Kenny Jahng is a content marketing advisor and communications strategist who helps nonprofit, cause-driven and faith-based organizations / churches. You can connect with Kenny on Twitter @kennyjahng

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