Girl meets boy.

He follows up by leaving a voicemail at her work.

She calls him back at home.

He replies by sending an email to her at work.

She responds via text message.

Then he emails her at home.

Queue the (mis)communication channel overload. Getting rejected by seven different technologies is exhausting – in relationships and in fundraising.

Many times organizations create strategies based on convenience or recycle tactics that were successful for the masses. But just because one form of communication is successful with a majority of your donors doesn’t mean that you should use it to communicate with your entire house file or prospect pool. That would be like using the same pick up line on every girl in a bar, hoping one works.

Here are five steps to take to better accommodate the different preferences of your constituents:

  1. Make a list of all the ways you communicate with your constituents.
  2. Start tracking how they are engaging with each channel.
  3. Build groups that respond best to each channel.
  4. Create strategies that target each group through the channel it prefers.
  5. Test the strategies you put in place to make sure they are working.

Once you’ve built the foundation for your new integrated multi-channel communications plan and have secured that first gift, you can start experimenting with multiple layers of communication to each group, intermingling the groups, testing different messages for each group, and lots more. I like to think of this as the honeymoon phase.

But as my married friends would say, relationships take work. It is important that you maintain your relationship by continuing to track and test engagement factors and check in every once in a while to make sure you are communicating in a meaningful way. The most important part of a successful relationship is communication. Don’t miss out on the one because you weren’t accommodating his or her communication preference!

Check out the eBook for more donor acquisition advice!

npexperts acquisition cta 3 Donor Acquisition Tips Everyone Learns on Their First Date

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy Palo is a senior consultant on Blackbaud’s strategic services team with an emphasis on peer-to-peer fundraising. She brings more than 10 years experience in the event fundraising space enjoys helping nonprofits implement solutions to increase revenue through innovative online fundraising strategies. Prior to joining Blackbaud in April 2012, Nancy worked at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in California and New York where see oversaw the Society’s peer to peer fundraising campaigns, raising more than $30 million during her eight years with the organization. She studied communications and business at the University of San Diego and works remotely from her home office in her 400 square foot apartment in New York City. Connect with Nancy on Twitter at @fundraising101.

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