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How Can Nonprofits Use Data? 3 Strategies to Improve Donor Engagement

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Looking for better ways to use impact and donor data in your nonprofit? Here are three strategies for using data to improve donor engagement.

Illustration of donor's hand donating money in the form of a large coin

Data is one of the most important tools a nonprofit can use to support their community (and cause). While data can help nonprofits make informed decisions within their org, it’s also one of the best ways to improve donor engagement. Here are some of the ways you can use data in your nonprofit.

How to Improve Donor Engagement

Donor engagement is every interaction between your organization and your donors — it includes everything from mentions in your email newsletter to recognition at your latest fundraising event. 

The goal of improving your donor engagement is not only increased financial support — although that’s definitely included — but also inspiring your donors to share your nonprofit with their personal networks to get more visibility and in-kind donations.

Improving donor engagement requires a well-thought-out and planned donor outreach strategy (aka how you interact with and thank your donors). One of the best ways to do this is to integrate your impact data into your donor outreach using these three strategies:

#1. Annual Reports

One of the most common places to use your impact data and highlight your donors and donations is in your annual report. This is a great opportunity to showcase your donors and bring more attention to the support they’ve provided and the impact they’ve made.

A great example of this — and even taking it a step further — is the 10,000 Degrees’ Annual Report and Donor Appreciation Booklet, where they recognized donors and the amount they donated.

#2. Visualization

Graphics and visuals are some of the most impactful ways to share your data with your donors (and community) and increase donor engagement. Data visualization can simplify complex data in your nonprofit and present it in a way your community can understand. 

Visualization is also a powerful tool for aiding storytelling on your website and in your marketing materials. Storytelling is how you share with your supporters how your organization (and their donations) helps your community.

When your donors know HOW they’re helping and the impact they’re making, they’re more likely to engage with your organization by sharing your accomplishments or giving again.

#3. Social Media Marketing

With the ability to reach thousands (if not millions) of people daily, sharing your data on social media to connect with new and current donors is a must. 

Not only can you share how your donors are making a difference, but you can also share statistics regarding your community — both positive and negative. This can help you bring more attention to what your organization is trying to accomplish and connect with others who share the same values.

Graphics, quotes from beneficiaries, and videos are all great ways to share your nonprofit’s data on socials.

What to Consider in Your Donor Engagement Strategy

There are two things to consider in your donor engagement strategy: awareness and interaction. Awareness focuses on staying up to date on your nonprofit and its programs, while interaction is focused on encouraging your donors to take action — whether that’s volunteering, attending events, or donating.

Adding data to your engagement strategy adds an extra layer of trust and transparency — numbers are much easier to believe (and understand) than words. When used in just the right places, it can be the missing piece of the puzzle that convinces your community to donate or share.

Is your nonprofit gathering data, but doesn’t know where (or how) to use it in your marketing? Take the first step and create an annual report that uses your impact data to tell a story, break down complex ideas, and give your donors easy access to the numbers behind your nonprofit by booking a call with our team today.

Published
July 7, 2024

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