Kivi Leroux Miller is the founder and CEO of The Nonprofit Marketing Guide and award-winning author of Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community. We had the opportunity to sponsor Kivi as a keynote speaker at the 2018 Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum conference in Miami. Her topic was probably the hottest in Peer-to-Peer Fundraising right now: retaining supporters.
In her presentation, “Digital Strategies That Boost Retention”, Kivi explains how nonprofit supporters have evolved over the years, and how their expectations are driven by the user experience, personalization and support that they get from brands. Supporters expect to get this same level of experience from nonprofits. In order to keep the attention of your supporters and give them the experience that they expect, create a similar experience to the world’s largest brands:
The Amazon Effect
Amazon has created a completely frictionless online experience, with instant gratification. Nonprofits need to create a similar experience for their supporters. Take a look at the steps and form fields in the registration process and eliminate the extras that you don’t really need. An empty fundraising page can be overwhelming for some of your supporters, so get them started with some basic content and make it easy to add a story, images and video. Think about the user experience on mobile: can your supporters complete registration, build a fundraising page, and share via social and email, on any device? If not, it’s time to rethink your process and simplify. For instant gratification, create milestones and recognition for your supporters’ achievements. Public praise, badges, special reward items all go a long way to recognize and encourage your supporters.
After your event, the work isn’t done. Give supporters a reason to come back and re-engage with your cause on a regular basis: insider information about the event, recognition, even adding off-season milestones and badges can all work to keep them re-engaged. Don’t forget to make it simple for these participants to register, update and start fundraising for the event next year.
The Facebook Effect
Supporters expect for you to know them and to deliver customized, engaging content they want to see. Revamp your communications strategy to deliver personalized content based on their goals and milestones. Give supporters the content that you want for them to use, beyond just their fundraising page. Arm them with the words and an image to create their first Facebook post about the event, give them the tweet that you want for them to share, create an email that they can customize for their contacts. Give them the tools that they need to be a successful fundraiser for your event.
Your supporters want to feel that they are part of an exclusive community working for your cause. Invite them to be a part of your community, and think about giving them exclusive access to social media groups for your cause. After your event, don’t just thank them one time: make a “thank you” communication stream to these supporters to keep thanking them and update them on the impact of their fundraising. Before your next event, remind them about their previous fundraising success to motivate them to do even more this year.
The Google Effect
People expect accurate answers and instant help whenever they have questions and problems. Make sure that everything about your nonprofit, including where Google Maps sends them, is accurate. Be immediately available (or pretty darn close): consider using bots and Facebook Live to become instantly responsive through all of your channels. Make sure that you’re monitoring all of your channels, not just the social channels your nonprofit is the most active on.
After your event, ask your supporters for their advice and input for the following year, and make sure that they know what you are improving based on their input. Share personal stories and the behind-the-scenes content that only your supporters can access. Make sure to develop your communications calendar over a year in advance, and use it right after the event to keep people engaged for the entire year.
Acting like a large company can be challenging for a nonprofit, but your supporters are expecting the same experience from you that they receive from Amazon, Facebook and Google. The biggest difference is that you have the heart and passion of your fundraisers to change the world. Catch the replay of Kivi’s presentation.