Customer Experience

How to improve donor relations with personalized communication

Strengthening relationships with members and donors is always top of mind for nonprofits. One of the most important ways of achieving this is by thanking those who have taken the time to give. This communication is crucial to help patrons feel appreciated and to remind them of how much their contributions make a difference.

Nonprofits obviously want to thank donors the right way. But what exactly is the right way? Donors haven’t been silent on the matter. A Giving USA survey found that 69% of donors prefer to receive “thank you’s” via email, while only 14% want handwritten letters. Additionally, even fewer would like to receive text messages, printed postcards, social media messages or phone calls. Why not communicate with members through their preferred method?

Sending personalized emails can be an easier way to communicate with donors than creating handwritten letters or sending postcards. Especially when considering that nearly 70% of the U.S. population (roughly 200 million individuals) donate money. That’s a lot of collateral pieces that need to be sent. In addition to the workload involved in creating these thank you’s, nonprofits must get them into donors’ hands quickly and efficiently. Luckily, there’s an easy way to automate and streamline this time-consuming process.

Personalizing automated messages to focus on what matters

Some may say that automation has its downsides because it can come at the expense of personalization, and the least nonprofits can do is ensure donors get a personalized experience. This can be as simple as automating an immediate response when an inquiry is made through a website or as detailed as reminding a donor or member what they gave in the past, and more importantly, why they gave. Customer communications management software like OpenText™ Exstream helps nonprofits not only communicate with donors using their preferred channel–like email–but also to tailor the content they send to boost the engagement of these special members and to increase brand loyalty.

In addition to giving donors the attention they deserve in the format they prefer, technology that automates and personalizes these messages frees nonprofit teams to focus on other mission-critical initiatives. At Christian Blind Mission (CBM), for example, the charity needed technology that would automate day-to-day inquiries and requests while providing personalization to a large pool of donors.

“We send roughly 100,000 letters each year,” says Alexander Kindinger, Head of IT at Christian Blind Mission. “At Christmas time, there are a couple of thousand letters each day. We have 500,000 active donors, and if each one of them gets some kind of communication each year, then you can imagine the number of documents we produce with OpenText CCM. Each document is now generated by an automatic system with many rules and if-then connections. And it’s working pretty well.”

In the end, the automation capability and the ability to personalize content allows CBM to focus on what matters. “All this contributes to CBM’s mission to change the lives of the poorest persons in the world—to change them forever, to raise awareness, to leave something good behind. It is such a valuable goal,” concludes Kindinger.

Providing support in a timely manner to relief efforts

From the latest devastations wrought by tornadoes to war-torn countries like Ukraine, nonprofits need to immediately react and provide relief efforts while continuing to drive donations. And the same technology that frees nonprofits to focus on their mission and to thank donors in the format they prefer also delivers the automation and analytics needed for this fast-paced and changing world. Automation lifts the burden of having to drive manual processes, while analytics provides nonprofits with predesigned requests when immediate relief efforts are required.

Nonprofits that benefit from customer communications management software have had the means to quickly get ahead of a crisis and show their much-appreciated support by leveraging this technology’s omnichannel capabilities to reach customers through smartphones, social platforms, email, SMS and push notifications. OpenText Notifications can help meet the message delivery of a humanitarian disaster in a timely manner, reflecting how deeply a nonprofit cares – which is critical when there are so many people who clearly want to help in any way they can. Just remember when members engage with these efforts, it is important to sincerely thank them—and the sooner the better.

OpenText’s Customer Communications Management software helps bridge the relationship between members and nonprofits by making it personable, timely and efficient. Learn more about how we can help personalize your donor’s experience.

Cindy Petsche

Cindy Petsche has been helping nonprofits and associations select technology solutions to further their missions for 20 years. She currently oversees OpenText's nonprofit segment and is passionate about helping organizations personalize their donor communications and manage documents and digital assets.

Related Posts

Back to top button