A donor communication plan that will keep your donors engaged

As you construct a donor communication plan, be mindful of the level of intimacy implied by different types of activity or communication channels. Always be respectful of the individual donor’s request for privacy, keeping in mind that there are degrees of anonymity.

Heurista Planning Session

The following recommendations guide the frequency of communication specific to donor relations and stewardship. If the donor giving solicited through the same channels, the two communication calendars must be coordinated and the overall number of instances kept within reason.

Twitter                           1-3 posts per day (and not every day)

Instagram                      1-3 posts per day (and not every day)

Facebook                       1-3 post per week (mix up the schedule)

Blog                                1 post per week and link to this content on other channels

Email                               1-2 per month (best for actionable content)

Mail                                 2-3 per year

Phone                             1-2 per year (volunteers may receive much more)

Small group events        As warranted by engagement, cultivation and gift level

Large group events       At least 2 invitations per year

Visits                              As warranted by engagement, cultivation and gift level

As your success in engaging and maintaining an audience through social media grows, monitor the activity level of your promoters (those who advocate for your organization within their own networks) and the audiences they attract. Recent advances in the monitoring of social media activity are allowing fundraisers and their donor relations counterparts to correlate social media engagement with donor interests and likelihood to give. A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy explores the uses of this developing technology.

In my experience, one would need a large volume of social media activity to warrant across the board social media activity monitoring. I would start with old-fashioned notes about who is especially active within your social media network. This is best accomplished if social media activity is recorded in your donor database like any other donor interaction.  Record “likes”, comments and reposts or shares.

If you are already doing this sort of analysis, please share your experience. What types of technology are you using?  What impact on donor engagement are you seeing?  Are you able to correlate social media activity with additional giving?