Improving Donor Stewardship With Donation Forms and the DMS

The number one reason donors stop giving is that they feel like you no longer care about them

More specifically, donors stop giving because:

❌ They were never thanked for their donation

❌ They weren’t provided with information on how their donation was used

❌ They didn’t receive relevant communications

❌ They felt as though the charity didn’t need their gift

Many of you reading this already enjoy the simplified thank-you process with our Customizable Donation Forms and DMS. But how do you effectively address the remaining problems in the list above?

You can find the solutions in the DMS.

Today, we’ll explore how you can use that information to keep donors part of your organization longer.

In this article, you’ll learn how to leverage the donor data from Customizable Donation Forms to create Smart Groups in the DMS, helping you show that you care about your donors more personally and efficiently at scale.

Table of Contents

Donors Who Support a Specific Campaign or Fund

Celebrating organizational wins with all your donors in regular newsletters and other general communications is one of the most rewarding aspects of the charity sector.

But it’s also important to acknowledge and show appreciation to donors who took the time to give to a specific campaign or fund. Considering that giving is a deeply personal gesture for most Canadians, they’ll want to know how their contribution directly and distinctly impacts the campaign or fund they gave to.

Reproduced from 30 Years of Giving in Canada

Sharing campaign and fund-specific wins with these subsets of donors reminds them that their contributions make a difference. It reassures them that your organization cares about them and needs their ongoing support.

Because the details from Customizable Donation Forms automatically sync to the DMS, you can quickly segment donors into Groups or Smart Groups by campaign or fund, then use these segments as targeted email lists to share your campaign or fund-specific wins.

How to Segment Donors by Campaign

How to Segment Donors by Fund

First-time Donors

In 2021, AFP reported that the annual retention rate for new donors was 18.6 percent. To put that stat into perspective, on average, if a charity managed to attract 100 new donors in 2020, only 18 would return to donate again the year after.

There is a silver lining here, though. It’s an opportunity for your organization to stand out and provide a refreshing experience that will give you an edge in converting first-time donors into loyal supporters.

Again, many of your donors likely support a specific campaign or fund. Leverage this knowledge by sending campaign and fund-specific emails to first-time donors with the DMS.

In these emails, you could:

  • Build camaraderie or a sense of belonging by sharing an impact story about other donors who provided a gift to the same campaign or fund
  • Cultivate trust by outlining how their gift will support the campaign or fund – bonus points for being as specific and inspiring as possible!
  • Make them feel welcome and part of an exclusive group by offering special promotions, such as a discount code for your next ticketed event
  • Let them know you value their opinions by asking for their feedback about your campaigns and funds

To target these subsets of donors in your emails, simply create a Smart Group of first-time donors segmented by campaign or fund.

How to Segment First-time Donors by Campaign or Fund

Small Donors

All donations, however small, have the potential to blossom into something bigger. 

Even the smallest donation is evidence that the donor wants to be a part of your cause in whatever way they can.

Younger Canadians, for example, tend to make fewer donations but express their generosity in less financially straining ways, including volunteering and spreading the word about your cause.

In the 2022 Giving Report, we identified: 

  • 30 percent of Generation Z (18-24 years) and 26 percent of Millennials (25-39 years) reported volunteering their time
  • 32 percent of Generation Z and 44 percent of Millenials reported they donated clothes, food, and in other ways other than monetary contributions
  • 42 percent of Generation Z and Millennials share or promote causes important to them on social media, compared to 37 percent of Generation X and only 24 percent of Baby Boomers

Yet, 6.5 of every 10 charities say they didn’t implement strategies to engage younger Canadians in 2022!

Just because some donors are not making significant contributions right now doesn’t mean they won’t do it later! Be sure to invite these donors to volunteering opportunities, events, and encourage them to engage with your organization in other non-financial ways. 

Here’s how to segment these donors in the DMS to send those types of targeted communications.

How to Segment Small Donors

Of course, remind them that every dollar matters but emphasize that any kind of support from them is valued and appreciated. The more diligent you are at keeping these donors in your organization’s ecosystem, the more likely they’ll donate when ready or have the means to do so.

Final Thoughts

Charities can utilize the data from Customizable Donation Forms in the DMS to build donor segments to communicate their appreciation to donors more personally and efficiently. In the steps outlined above, we recommend you create Smart Groups so your lists will be automatically updated depending on new contacts and changing donor behaviours. Those who prefer to manage these groups manually can add segment donors into Groups rather than Smart Groups.

The most exciting part is that each of these segments only took a few dozen seconds to build! As you evolve and optimize your stewardship strategy, you may unlock new insights and build on these segments listed above to create new Smart Groups that work better for your organization!

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