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Personalization Goes a Long Way in Donor Relationships

Personalization Goes a Long Way in Donor Relationships
Personalize communication with your nonprofit donors to
increase loyalty and financial giving.

It makes sense, right? If someone says, “Hello, Amelia,” instead of, “Hello Valued Donor,” several things occur psychologically in almost an instant.

  1. Amelia is recognized as a unique individual
  2. Recognition leads to Amelia feeling relevant and/or known
  3. Relevance leads to a positive psychological position, potentially feeling valued and/or heard
  4. Positive attitudes lead to positive outcomes

Many statistics support that donor and customer relationships grow, and so does financial giving, with personalization.


1) Personalization versus Customization

Personalization is the practice of designing or tailoring an experience of product to meet a specific individual’s needs or a specific group’s needs. Customization allows a user to modify the experience or product on their own. Customization may be part of personalizing something, but it is different.

2) The Impact of Personalization

There are many reasons why personalization is effective and why. Here are just a few of those reasons and some potential positive results:


a) Break through the clutter of mass advertising. The average person sees thousands of advertisements a day from multiple direct and indirect platforms. Ads are directly targeting users, but many are not personalizing that ad.

b) Get an increased response rate because the donor feels relevant.

c) Personalization drives impulse and repeat purchases.

d) Personalization increases the chances that a donor will post or leave a positive comment or review.

e) Personalization increases the likelihood the donor will tell friends and family about the organization, experience or product.

f) Personalization increases loyalty.

g) Personalization means showing a donor the real outcome of their gift.

h) Personalization can increase the value of financial gifts.

3) Ways You Can Personalize Your Donor Experience.


a) Train employees and volunteers to interact personally. Use first names and pay attention to preferences, including titles, professional titles, surnames and nicknames.

b) Use your donor’s preferred name for every communication not just for seemingly direct interactions. It should be a simple note and adjustment in your software to ensure this happens with every communication.

c) Take note of donor preferences for communication and follow through with them. Take note and take action on their preferred methods of communication, the kind of information they want, and how they respond to it. (Sometimes what someone thinks they want isn’t what actually works, and it may not even be what they really want when they experience it. So ask questions, and stay in communication.) For example, some donors may not want thank you letters. Instead, they may prefer thank you calls from a volunteer. Or maybe, one time, they would like a graduation picture of the student they helped send to college.

d) Follow up on donor feedback. Essentially, this is customer service. But, it’s different because your donors are mission partners, who want customer service attention to their requests because they are either giving money towards your mission or volunteering their time, both of which are extremely valuable. If a donor makes a suggestion or criticism, even if you can’t utilize that or implement it, take the time to follow up with the suggestion explaining how you followed through on it or why you could not. This may seem like too much, but it is relationship management and it fuels a positive and personal donor relationships. It could also help you further personalize and customize the donor’s experience with your nonprofit.

e) Offer choices whenever possible, whether it is choosing a way to be contacted or their role in volunteering, give your donors and supporters the opportunity to choose.

f) Create personalized experiences based on data driven analytics from previous interactions. Did the donor respond to the direct text message using their name but ignore the last several personalized emails? Analyze this and adjust.

4) Charity Engine Can Help You Personalize Your Communications

a) Charity Engine allows you to customize your operator experience from the very beginning. You can personalize your own experience on CharityEngine.

b) CharityEngine’s CRM software allows you to personalize your integrated communications to your donors, be it through advocacy texting, digital emails, or another connected campaign. Charity Engine’s donor-centric platform also allows you to create donor profiles, a full download of which is available in real time.

c) CharityEngine delivers metrics on your donors interactions which will help your organization further personalize and tailor the experience for your donors. You can learn more about how donor metrics can help your nonprofit fundraise here.

Personalization seems intuitive, and it is. Implementing it into your nonprofit’s processes may be a little more challenging. Statistics support that personalization improves a donor’s experience building a positive opinion of your nonprofit, increasing the duration of the relationship as well as increasing fundraising results. For profit statistics suggest it could increase the frequency of giving as well.

Connect with us for a free demo and trial of CharityEngine’s nonprofit software and experience how CharityEngine can help you improve communication with your donors.

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