Personalizing donor communications is the key to strengthening relationships and stewarding long-term supporters.
And the key to personalization? Data!
One piece of the donor profile puzzle that’s often overlooked is employment data. In this blog post, we'll explore how nonprofits can utilize donor employment details to better understand their supporters and develop targeted strategies that produce impact.
Specifically, we’ll share how understanding your donor employment data can help ...
- Strengthen donor relationships
- Inform your corporate engagement strategy
- Influence the audiences you target
While it's important to understand the engagement habits and giving motivations of your donors, gaining deeper insights into their employment statuses—including the specific companies and types of businesses they work for—can provide a wealth of invaluable information about your audience. From there, the data you collect can be leveraged to enhance your donor and corporate relationships even further.
Let’s dive in.
1. Strengthen donor relationships
Detailed insights about your donors’ employment statuses can significantly inform your organization's relationships. Why?
For one thing, it allows you to tailor and personalize your messaging further, ensuring that no two donors receive the same piece of communication. If Jane from Forge Computer Company clicks on an email that references her by name, along with details specific to her company’s workplace giving initiatives that she qualifies for, she’ll know that message was meant just for her.
Best Practice: Provide employer-specific outreach regarding workplace giving opportunities.
Knowing where your donors work empowers you to provide details about tangible ways to stretch their giving even farther—including with applicable workplace giving opportunities. After all, tens of thousands of companies offer generous philanthropy initiatives like matching gifts, volunteer grants, and more.
Sharing targeted details and associated next steps regarding an employer’s programming can showcase how easy it is to participate. This will encourage donors to get further involved with your cause, thus deepening their connection to your team and increasing their likelihood of retention. After all, donors love amplifying their impact with workplace giving initiatives that allow them to get involved beyond just a traditional donation. Offering specific examples of how they can do so is an effective way to drive participation.
Not to mention once you alert donors of their eligibility, you’re more likely to ultimately receive a corporate match!
Here’s an example: “Jane, thanks for your recent donation to our mission. Your support makes such a difference. Did you know that your employer, Forge Computers, matches team member gifts to organizations like ours up to $10,000 per year? Click here to complete a brief matching gift request form online or browse the matching gifts page on our website here to learn more.”
Using donor employment information this way can even go to show that your organization is dedicated to responsible financial stewardship. By demonstrating that you do the most to stretch each donated dollar as far as possible, you showcase effective management while instilling trust and transparency. Often, the result is that donors are eager to support your efforts now and long into the future.
2. Inform your corporate engagement strategy
Workplace giving programs are an excellent way to engage donors in their employers’ philanthropy. But they’re certainly not the only type of corporate engagement to keep an eye out for. After all, strengthened partnerships with mission-driven companies can provide a much-needed revenue stream that empowers your team to more effectively fulfill its mission.
Luckily, your donors’ employers can be some of your best prospects when it comes to seeking broader corporate partnerships—such as event sponsorships, volunteer engagements, in-kind giving, community grants, cause marketing initiatives, and more. Of course, to identify those opportunities, you must first establish a record of where your supporters work.
Best Practice: Identify companies in your existing network with which to seek partnerships.
The most impactful corporate relationships, like those with individual donors, rely on connections to inspire engagement and drive value. One of the best ways to get your foot in the door with potential corporate sponsors is by communicating shared values, goals, and audiences—all of which is easier when you know your donors work for the companies.
And if you employ matching gift software to identify workplace giving opportunities, you can even utilize the tool to pull a list of the most-searched companies among your donor base in seconds!
Here’s an example: “Dear Forge Computer Company Sponsorship Team, I am writing to you on behalf of the Tech Forward Foundation to request a corporate partnership for an upcoming event. We believe your company would be the perfect match! Our audiences overlap a lot already; more than 620 of your employees have given to support our mission in the last year. And we see that you’ve doubled many of their generous donations, which goes to show that your company cares deeply about giving back to the causes your team members care about.”
3. Influence the audiences you target
Understanding the types of companies your donors work for can also provide valuable insights into the demographics, behaviors, and interests of your target audience. For example, if you notice that a significant number of your donors work for technology companies, you may want to focus future marketing efforts on reaching other tech industry professionals.
This will allow you to identify new prospects, build stronger relationships with existing donors, and develop increasingly impactful fundraising strategies that speak directly to the interests and motivations of your target audience. Keep in mind that the more effective your marketing efforts are in reaching your ideal audiences, the more you can expect in terms of return on investment (or ROI), the more efficient your messaging becomes, and the more enthusiastic your supporters will be toward your cause.
Best Practice: Analyze donor data to uncover trends and patterns.
The more you know about your audience, the better you can identify trends and patterns in giving behavior. This might mean discovering that donors from certain industries are more likely to make high-level donations or that those employed by other types of businesses often give at specific times of the year.
When you understand your donors' backgrounds, you’ll be able to tailor your marketing messages and outreach efforts to better resonate with them. From there, you can develop specific campaigns that reach donors and prospects where they’re at, use language that appeals to them, and partner with other organizations they’re likely to be involved with already!
Here’s an example: “Are you passionate about using technology to produce positive change? Do you want to be a part of a movement that is driving innovation to make the world a better place? We’re the Tech Forward Foundation—and that’s exactly our goal. We’re looking for tech professionals like you to get involved. Find out how to support the cause here!”
By analyzing donors' employment data, your team can piece together a more well-rounded picture of your organization’s supporters—at both the individual and broader levels. This allows you to identify opportunities for workplace giving participation, corporate sponsorships, and more and leverage the funding sources in your network more effectively.
So make the most of the information at your fingertips! Implement the tried-and-true tips mentioned above in your nonprofit fundraising and donor engagement strategies, and see how your employment data can benefit your organization. Best of luck!