Four Steps to Create an Engagement Journey

DA Engagement Journey
Over the past few years, many organizations who rely on run/walk fundraisers are experiencing lower than expected revenue. What’s causing that trend? Is the world suddenly sick of putting themselves under physical stress for a good cause? Since millions of people continue to sign up for these activities, marathons, and even more strenuous events every year, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Maybe it isn’t the event itself that has gotten stale – maybe it’s the outdated marketing techniques that go along with them.

With new and more exciting events entering the scene every year, constituents will not settle for the same email campaign that has worked for the last few years. They want a personalized experience that inspires them to get involved by taking ownership of the cause, your cause. Providing that experience requires a mix of the right technology, a great engagement strategy, and a reliance on data to measure what’s working – and what’s not.

If your organization is looking to ramp up fundraising efforts and truly inspire your constituents, a defined path or journey to manage each step of their engagement along the way is a great place to start.

Four steps to creating a successful engagement journey:

  1. Design an overarching engagement strategy. Planning out exactly how and when you’ll engage with your constituents will save you time and significantly improve their experience. An important step in the process is to identify key segments, providing relevant communication and targeting the right fundraising ask Don’t leave social out of the mix – by writing and planning your tweets/posts/photos in advance you will save a great deal of time – even if making last minute relevant changes to posts based on actual events.
  2. Empower your constituents. Many organizations have made up the difference in their fundraising loses by creating DIY fundraising pages. These allow the participant to see exactly how much they have raised, and create a personalized experience for their friends and family. By providing the content to populate the page, all your donor has to do is plug in their information and they’re ready to fundraise.
  3. Engage, and then reengage. Engagement does not stop after the initial communication. It’s important to keep your constituents excited and motivated about the event by reminding them of your organization’s mission. If they donated money, don’t forget to thank them and show them the impact of their donation. Celebrate your star fundraisers and reward them for their hard work. This could mean a shout out on social media or a personalized message from your event director. Give your fundraisers prewritten content to share on social media with their networks – make it as easy as possible for them to engage with you and your cause.
  4. Test and optimize. It is essential to ensure a smooth user experience to promote engagement. In simple language, make it as easy as possible. If your website is hard to use or your constituents can’t donor through their mobile device, you’re going to lose support. You’ve spent the time to execute a strategy – make sure it is working the way you intended! Test your pages and site with people who are not familiar with it so you can get a better evaluation of how it works. Could they find the sign up or donate buttons? Were they able to go from step 1 to step 5 without help? And leverage your technology and its testing functionality to create the best messaging and marketing possible. A/B testing, mutli-variant testing, conversion testing – all of it needs to be considered when looking to improve your performance.

Clearly a successful fundraising event isn’t as simple as following the above steps, but organizations need to consider these points to be successful. Gone are the days when a new donor will suffer through confusing instructions and broken links. Planning and executing a clear path from first touch to second and even third donation will go a long way toward reaching your fundraising goals, and creating a happy constituent who will advocate for your cause for years to come.

For more information, download Heller Consulting’s free white paper, Taking Engagement Seriously.

Download the free white paper!

About Ryan Granzow

I’ve worked in marketing and operations for 8 years, focusing on nonprofits during the past 4 years. I held positions ranging from Online Operations Manager at National Brain Tumor Society to Online Marketing Project Manager and Consultant at two previous nonprofit-focused firms. I enjoy helping nonprofits streamline their technology, fundraising, and marketing strategies to maximize ROI. Utilizing my experience with Salesforce, Luminate CRM, Luminate Online, Blackbaud Sphere, WordPress, and various online engagement tools, I look forward to sharing knowledge that will support my clients’ causes. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Photocommunications from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.

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