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Three Simple Donor Engagement Strategies That Bring Results

Engaging donors can be a time-consuming and grueling task for busy nonprofits, but it is probably the most important part of fundraising. Donor engagement is not only tied to attracting new donors but keeping the ones you already have! 

There are three simple but important ways to engage donors for those organizations that are just getting their feet wet in the fundraising realm.

1. Social Media

Social media is a huge resource when it comes to engaging new donors. If you don’t currently use social media for your nonprofit, then you should really consider creating a Facebook account if nothing else.   

“Social media is one of the most powerful tools in any nonprofit’s arsenal. With incredible reach and a low price point, there’s no reason not to make use of it—and every reason to do so.” –  .

If you’re running a campaign or event, you should aim to share it on Facebook and/or Twitter at least once a week starting a week before the campaign or event goes live. Once you get within a week of the end date, you should plan to share it at least once a day to create a sense of urgency.

Posting updates can be a huge way to entice potential donors to get in on the action. Many may feel compelled to get involved based on seeing that you have met 70% of your fundraising goal. This can really help you get those final donations to reach 100% of your target.

2. P2P Competitions

Competitions can really bring out new, highly motivated donors. And using peer-to-peer (p2p) fundraising is a great way to create a friendly and lucrative rivalry! 



You can promote that you’re using p2p fundraising for a campaign or event on your website, Facebook, Twitter, and even add it to your newsletter to increase exposure.

You should encourage as many people as possible to sign up to fundraise on your behalf and motivate them with the potential to win prizes.

These prizes don’t have to be large, expensive, or monetary. Are you an SPCA? Your prize can be a picnic with the pooch! Don’t have cuddly animals? You can give away swag as prizes; a free water bottle, T-shirt, sunglasses, or hat.

Are you looking to attract businesses? The winner can have their logo on your next newsletter paired with bragging rights! This is the time to get creative!

A great example of using p2p competition can be found in the fundraising event, WNY Lupus Walk:

Donor Engagement
Click to view the details of this event, including prizes and a list of fundraisers!

3. Thank You Messages

Engaging your past supporters can be a lot easier, but only if you are thanking your donors. If someone is taking the time to donate a portion of their hard earned money, your organization should be taking the time to thank them.

95% of donors would appreciate a call from a board member within 1-2 days and 85% would likely give a larger gift in response. 93% would probably give again with a written thank you and a meaningful report after of the difference the donation made to your organization.

This seems easy enough, however, 94% of donors report that they never or rarely get thank you calls or even know how their donation made a difference.

With automatic thank you messages on the GiveGab platform, you can take this first step. Thank you messages can be as easy as, “Thank you for supporting our effort to make this world a better place!” But adding more information could encourage more engagement from the donor.

You could easily say “Thank you for your monetary donation for our capital campaign. Our organization couldn’t run without donors like you! Your donation can go toward helping meet the needs of our organization such as A, B, and C. If you would like to learn more about what we will do with your donation, visit our website here.

Personalize the italicized text to fit your organization and campaign so you have a message that thanks your donors, tells them where their donation can go towards and encourages them to learn more by sending them to your website.

Donor Engagement
Example of a personalized thank you message .

After your campaign ends, take an hour or so to have a board member call each donor. This can be a simple two to five-minute call thanking them again for taking the time to support your organization. It may seem tedious and trivial, but 93% would likely give again and 85% would likely give more. That hour or so could turn into more money for your organization with little effort.

Make sure to let your donors know about your plan for how the donations will be used as well as any other campaigns or events that are coming up. Thank you messages and calls will help you retain your valuable donors, so give it a try!

So 1, 2, 3 can be so easy! Use social media, create competitions for peer-to-peer fundraising, and thank the donors you already have! Good luck and Happy Fundraising!  

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