Industry Research: Why Donors Give & How You Can Engage Their Interest

Posted by Annette Storckman , October 26


With the annual giving season upon us, donors around the world are beginning to engage more with nonprofits and assess their recurring support. The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University recently released their 2020 findings showing that individual giving increased by 2.2% last year. With more attention on nonprofits, it’s important to look at the reasons why donors give and what you can do to increase engagement.


According to Charity Navigator, emotional attachment to a nonprofit’s cause is the overall reason donors give to both large nonprofits and smaller, grassroots organizations. Emotional attachment is a difficult thing to quantify, but from anecdotal evidence, it seems impact on a donor’s community is often the reason they engage with a nonprofit.


With the understanding that donors often have a stake in a nonprofit’s mission, it only stands to reason that recurring donors would monitor the progress made by the organization over the year when evaluating their annual gifts. In addition, donors who are directly impacted and passionate about a cause will likely bring in more donors from their community.


So how can you best engage your donors’ interest? 


Engage on an Emotional Level


  • Make Your Messaging Consistent

Your branding and messaging are some of the many ways in which donors engage with a nonprofit and should be present on the donation form, emails, campaigns, and any other front-facing resources. Though nonprofits will often conduct a number of different campaigns, a message bar on every page of your site with a succinct mission statement and donate button will ensure donors never lose sight of why you piqued their interest.


  • Maximize Community Engagement

Be sure to make it as easy as possible for donors to engage their communities. Social media sharing and P2P campaigns are one of the most impactful ways donors can spread your message and increase your reach. But if you want to double down, you can bring these tactics directly to your site by displaying donations made in real-time and a running list of top supporters.


Empower Donors with Personalization and Inclusion


  • Direct Donation Control

Donors want to feel like they are a part of your organization. Make sure donors have full control over their giving and easy access to their records by utilizing a donor portal. This holds value throughout the year letting donors adjust their gifts based on their circumstances. In addition, when thinking about the end of the year, it also allows them to easily increase their donation amount or make a quick tribute donation.


  • Company Matching

Did you know that donors are more likely to increase their giving amount when they know Company Matching is available? Give your donors quick, easy access to their employers’ matching programs so they can double their impact.


  • Use Personalized Upsells

You can easily increase your recurring donors and one-time donation amounts by utilizing upsells (like suggested donation amounts and prompts to become a monthly or annual donor). But because upsells are not a one-size-fits-all tactic, you will want to be sure that these are based on donor statistics like region and age.


If you’re not sure where to start with these engagement tactics, Fundraise Up designed its donation platform to easily enact all of these solutions.


You can keep your branding consistent with our white-labeled Elements as well as customizing any front-facing components including emails and Donor Portal. Plus our Donate Button and Message Bar can be displayed on any page of your website, ensuring that donors stay on target.


Our library of Elements also includes community engagement features like Social Sharing, P2P campaigns/management, and Social Proof which displays real-time notifications about recent donations on your website.


We also utilize AI and machine learning to automatically generate smart upsells, proven to double your donation revenue and generate 3x your recurring donors. Not to mention our form natively integrates Double the Donation’s simple employer lookup so Company Matching can be utilized in seconds.


Finally, our customizable Donor Portal allows donors complete control over their donations and P2P campaigns so they are always connected to your cause.


Want to learn more? Request a demo to get started with Fundraise Up’s enterprise-grade donation platform.

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About Fundraise Up

Fundraise Up is a rapidly growing financial technology company headquartered in Brooklyn, NY that provides online fundraising software to enterprise nonprofits. Fundraise Up's AI-powered platform is leveraged by trusted organizations like UNICEF USA to double annual digital donation revenue and triple recurring donor acquisitions.

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