Technology Sophisticating Donor Engagement for Nonprofits

Technology is changing consumer behavior and companies are figuring out how to best use the latest technology to sell products and services and improve brand loyalty.

The nonprofit sector is also evolving by utilising technology to engage with supporters, for fundraising, and manage information. Tremendous opportunities exist for nonprofit organisations to use technology to deliver on their missions in a very effective and scalable way through digital monitoring, leveraging mobile technology and machine learning. Technology innovations provide nonprofits with the opportunity to reduce the time and cost it takes to deliver services effectively, fundraise, and engage with stakeholders.

One of the biggest ways technology influences the nonprofit sector is the way in which it allows nonprofits to sophisticate engagement with their donors. Collecting and optimizing data on past and future donors, developing a deep understanding of what drives them to take action and what makes them tick is key.

Nonprofits already have an immense amount of data, but simply are not making it actionable. They generally know who their top donors are, have some general knowledge of which campaigns work well and how much they need to raise. What nonprofits usually struggle with is aggregating that information, and turning it into calls for action.

Here are a list key ways to utilize technology to help your nonprofit improve engagement with donors:

Engage, not only communicate, with Donors

In today’s day and age, engagement is key in nonprofit communications and the digital marketing space.

It is especially important when engaging with donors. Technology has become a game changer in defining donor engagement for nonprofits, because people are becoming increasingly harder to communicate with, yet easier to reach at the same time. People do want updates from your organisation, they want to attend your events, and they want to donate, but they want to do it their way.

The average busy person receives about 121 emails per day, and checks their phone close to 150 times per day. By sending general marketing emails you might be setting yourself up for failure, so rather try to directly engage with them on social media, as you may be more likely to get a response.

Technology platforms can help you keep track of donor communication preferences, manage the frequency of correspondence, and aggregate information.

Data at Your Fingertips

An organisation is only as smart as its data, and an engagement and development platform could help you harness the power of real-time data and turning information into money. With an effective tool, you can track all sorts of things about a donor or prospective donor, such as their contribution history, engagement history, social media links, and more. Having this data at your disposal will not only ensure that calls and emails are efficient, but that your valuable time results in more funding.

Get the Full Picture

Donors are people, after all, and technology can provide a layout of who a person is, issues they care about, likes, dislikes and more. This information is useful, especially when interacting with major donors. When people feel that you took the time to get to know them, they are more likely to feel appreciated, and more likely to want to support your organisation.

Give You a Social Media Edge

Social media is becoming more integrated as a communication channel. Networks such as Facebook®, LinkedIn®, and Twitter® provide access to networks of potential donors, volunteers, members, alumni, patrons, and supporters.

Connecting with your organisation’s network on social media and doing it in a purposeful, strategic way, social media is a great fundraising tool. Story sharing and insight into the daily activities of your organisation’s work, are great calls for action by major donors and individuals alike. Social Media becomes the platform in which anyone can share in the successes and outcomes of your work.


Data is the most valuable asset in any nonprofit organisation. The ever-increasing amount of data captured, means nonprofits must shift from collecting to analysing. Nonprofits will use this data to understand which communication channels are most effective, how to better fundraise (who to ask for how much), how to effectively facilitate events or peer-to-peer fundraising, how to increase recurring giving, etc. Supporter’s overall propensity and ability to give are integrated into software to make it “smarter,” ultimately enabling nonprofits to be much more successful.

Ride the Mobile Wave

Chances are good that you’re probably reading this on your smart phone, as most mobile phone owners use their phones to go online. This means that your website, donation pages, and email templates had better be mobile responsive, or people may not be able to view them properly on their phones, discouraging them from making a donation, or even engaging with your organisation at all.

The organisations that understand and embrace these changes will be best positioned for success. So make it your goal this year to invest some time and energy into ensuring that your organisation is taking advantage of all technology has to offer. If not, you may be missing out on a chance to grow, and ultimately do more good.