Mar 22, 2022

Understanding consideration — the donor journey

Spirit of Giving Webinar

Trying to get more donors to support your nonprofit organization can be challenging when you don’t understand why they do what they do. Ultimately, donors give to causes they can connect with and trust, so your message and content should reflect transparency and purpose.

To improve your relationships with donors, you should know the stages of the donor journey and how it influences an individual’s decision to engage with and support your nonprofit.

What are the stages of the donor journey?

When you have enough information about your donors, you can easily build stronger relationships with them and increase your nonprofits’ donations and support. Here are the stages of the donor journey and how each one impacts your nonprofit: 

1. Awareness

The first stage of the donor journey describes how well people know your organization — donors will find your nonprofit more easily as long as they know it exists and has a strong relationship with supporters.

Promote your awareness through different tactics that promote your website, fundraisers, and overall messages to create more donor engagement. Implementing methods to invite users to learn about your nonprofit may secure them through the rest of the donor journey cycle.

2. Consideration

This second stage is when donors consider different elements before supporting your nonprofit. The most important step is delivering transparent information about your organization to all users who want to learn more about it and the kind of work you do. It’s critical to get your potential donors to emotionally connect with your values and purpose. 

In the donor consideration stage, users will research your nonprofit to see whether it relates to their expectations, needs, and reasons for giving. Always show them why they should choose you over other organizations by highlighting what makes you unique.

3. Decision-making

After doing research, donors will decide if they want to support your nonprofit. They can also decide to spread the word about your work and what your mission means to them.

To keep your donors interested at this stage of the donor journey, you should make it easy for them to find your signup lists, donation buttons, and any other means of taking action on your page. You can even ask them to share your posts or follow your organization on various platforms so they can stay in touch with your latest updates.

4. Evangelizing

The final stage of the donor journey is when your donor gives you their full support and helps increase your nonprofit’s presence online or by word of mouth. Your donors will want to share their experiences with others and even recruit prospective donors.

At this point, it’s crucial to keep your donors engaged and update them with upcoming fundraisers, events, or opportunities for them to get involved with your cause.

How to put your best foot forward 

During the consideration phase, the prospective donor will research your nonprofit. This means you need to have plenty of informational content to convince the donor your cause is the one they should support. 

The consideration stage is all about building trust. Within a few clicks on your website or scrolling through your content, your prospective donor should feel connected. It’s your job to give them a reason to support your efforts, so make it easy for them. Make sure you optimize and maintain your website and social media platforms for easy navigation.

You can also:

  • Include success stories, infographics, metrics, and data to back up your claims. 
  • Be transparent about where your donor funds go.
  • Share your annual reports and progress. 
  • Create a page for testimonials from other donors and community members.

How to create the right content

There are different types of nonprofit content marketing you can employ to help strengthen your donor journey during the consideration and research phase.

One of the most effective techniques is having a well-designed website. Once donors become aware of your organization, the first thing they’ll likely do is search for you on the internet and browse to find your mission, purpose, and values. It’s important to keep this information on your front page or where users can easily find it.

Keeping your nonprofit web design aligned with supporters in mind can help advance your nonprofit’s ability to attract and retain new donors and volunteers that give you the growth you desire. Here are some key things to remember when creating content for your website or social media platforms:

  • Update your website, blogs, and social media platforms consistently
  • Take advantage of your website traffic to gain donor emails
  • Create tailored messages for different groups of supporters
  • Use different methods of storytelling to create emotional connections with your supporters
  • Incorporate calls to action that lead users to your donation page

How to show your value

Displaying your nonprofit’s purpose to users during the consideration and research stage can help them decide if they want to support your organization. It’s important to find ways to stand out, especially among other nonprofits that do similar work.

Here are some tips and tricks to help show your value in your content:

1. Keep your content aligned

One of your goals for nonprofit content creation is to ensure it answers your audience’s questions or concerns across all platforms. You want to help individuals navigate your content and easily find what they want to help them through the donor journey. You want to show that you meet their needs and understand their point of view.

To keep your communication and values aligned to meet the needs of your audience, you can use data and insight software to collect information on their behavior and engagement.

2. Assess for areas of improvement

Conducting a thorough assessment of your content helps you learn what works well and what needs improvement. For example, your audiences may engage well with your social media content, but you may see less support and engagement on your website for donations or meeting fundraising goals.

Analyzing different areas of your content will help you learn how to update and optimize it to meet your performance objectives.

3. Create a production plan

To keep your content updated, you can create a content upload schedule and plan to track which type of content you want to produce and when.

Whether you want to publish a blog, video, or social media post about your current events and campaigns, using a production plan will help you make deadlines and stick to them. A planned schedule will also help you use your resources accordingly and meet your audience’s expectations more effectively.

4. Track and measure your performance

Once you have a production calendar, you can determine your key performance measure and define what you want your content to accomplish. With every blog post, video, or campaign you share, make sure you track and measure your success to see if your content is helping you achieve your goals.

For example, if you want to boost your donations by 15% or raise your email signups by 10%, you can track these metrics to see if you’re meeting your goals.

5. Know where to put your content

The last stage in an effective content strategy is finding the right channels to distribute your content.

Consider where supporters and donors are likely to engage with your posts and how it can lead them to your donation page or sign up for your newsletter. You can optimize this distribution by using online and offline channels, such as calling supporters and mailing them updates about your organization.

Learn more about how to develop your donor journey strategy with GiveSmart

At GiveSmart, our mission is to help nonprofits meet their goals and provide a better experience for donors.

Our customized products and solutions can help you gain data-driven insight into your donor engagement and performance so you can improve your methods. Our fully integrated platforms will also allow you to gain visibility over your website traffic and campaign success to make plans for future fundraisers and events.

Request a demo today to see how our software solutions can help your nonprofit organization.

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