Maintaining a genuine relationship with donors is essential in keeping your nonprofit organization running. But how can you measure or quantify donor relationships?
One of the most important things in being able to keep your effective relationships with donors is having a 360-degree view of the engagement activities taking place with them. These interactions have to be visible across the entire organization and be easily defined.
It may seem counterintuitive, but data – raw information – is an important key to cultivating strong donor relationships. This data should be regularly reviewed and analyzed, and it should be used to help define your communication strategy with your donors. Understanding what resonates with your donors starts with accurate and consistent tracking of your interactions, and adjusting your strategies based on what works.
Based on our experience in the CRM space, there are five key benefits to tracking these engagement activities accurately and consistently:
In today’s fast-paced world, one of the most utilized methods of communication is email. While we could argue the finer points of whether email is a meaningful way to engage with donors, it is a reality we all use email as an arrow in our engagement quiver.
A challenge in many business systems is the difficulty of tracking these emails. If your organization uses something like Excel, tracking of email would probably consist of just indicating an email was sent. It would be difficult to store the actual email content, which makes true, effective tracking nearly impossible.
If you are using a large and complicated CRM tool, you would likely have an add-in for your email system that is clunky, buggy and requires as many as six clicks to track one simple email.
This was a challenge we faced head-on when building DonorDock – how do we take this important and widely used channel of engagement and make it easy to track these interactions in the system?
Our solution is firstname.lastname@example.org. The idea with email@example.com is to take a complicated process and simplify it. If you are emailing with a donor and need to track the interaction, you simply CC or BCC firstname.lastname@example.org on your email or reply. The system will pick up the email, and within a few minutes it will create an email activity with the subject and body and associate the activity to the contacts it was sent to.
No special email clients, or clunky tools. Just a simple CC or BCC and you have a copy of the interaction that lives on in DonorDock, even after you delete it from your inbox. Here is an example of the DonorDock Reductionist Theory on full display.
In order to build better relationships with your donors, I would encourage you to make consistent and accurate tracking of engagement activities a cornerstone of your relationship strategy. Don’t let it stop there, though.
Tracking data for the sake of tracking data is just wasted time. Make sure you are reviewing and USING your data to build organizational knowledge and business intel, and that you are using it to make the best possible decisions for the benefit of your organization.