Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations Tags : Common Sense Web Strategy Tips & Tricks

The Digital Donation Funnel

Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations Tags : Common Sense Web Strategy Tips & Tricks

There is more to digital fundraising than simply broadcasting to your supporters.

Suffice to say, it is why so few charities and NGOs have any serious luck when it comes to raising meaningful money online. That, as well as generally having too little traffic to their websites, though that is a separate topic.

Developing a strategy around digital fundraising is made up of a number of pieces and steps.

You need to first understand who the audience is and what role they will have in your non-profit organisation. You need to identify who will likely convert into volunteers and/or financial supporters, and highlight what the best method of communication is for each stakeholder in order to reap the most successful return on resources.

The unique donor conversion funnel that non-profits use to pave the steps for a prospective online supporter, is not a new concept to many third sector digital marketers.

Although each phase will vary from charity to charity, there are some basic similarities that we can explore.


Understanding your audience

Gaining a solid understanding of your market segments and their location in your donor funnel means you can focus on relaying the right message at the right time to improve your chances of converting them into a paying supporter.

Marketing personas are a great tool to use to create a well-rounded view of your charity’s marketing segments as this forms personification and can be used as a reference point within campaigns.


Gather your existing data

Start by pooling the data you already have, collating all available qualitative and quantitative information about those who have already interacted with the brand.

From recent event sigups and newsletter subscribers to regular financial contributors, to pinpointing demographics through your organisation’s social network profiles, you already have a tremendous amount of information freely accessible to understand your current evangelists.

There are a number of great tools that can be used to mine persona data such as:


And don’t forget to identify your current website analytics data to source clues to identify user intent and behaviour.     


Probe for more detail

Demographic data will always need supplementing with further information in order to create a full picture.

So by expanding your research to include qualitative customer feedback it will enhance insight into your segment’s decision making process.


Build a data-centric set of personas

Now you can begin to piece together a set of marketing personas that blend all your research into a series of documents, making sure each one us focused around a single personification of a market segment. Remember to maintain your persona profiles and keeping them fresh by adding new data regularly.



This is where you will begin to raise the awareness of your cause in the mind of the supporter. Though each campaign needs to be creative and innovative there is value in learning from past attempts from similar organisations.

GetUp!, is a great example as it identifies campaigns based on the interests of its members, such issues usually revolve around social justice, economic fairness and environmental sustainability and members can help vote on issues which they believe most need attention.

Remember to use your social media accounts to share insight into the good work being done, the people being helped or the situations that need assistance from your supporters.



To drive real value from your awareness campaigns you need to learn to engage properly with your supporters.

By evaluating the responses from these campaigns, you will be able to identify those who have shared, commented on, and helped broadcast your message.

You must interact with these people as they are already open to your brand and interested in furthering your cause. Discuss with them your next campaign to help drive social sharing of future releases and use their influence to create a network of vocal supporters as well as the SEO benefits will gain you huge value.



Now that you have engaged a user who understands and has a genuine relationship with your brand as well as empathy for the cause, we want to make the process of them becoming a paid supporter as smooth as possible.

Make sure it’s an easy process but keeping web form fields to a minimum as well as website load times to stop users from bouncing away from your signup form at the last minute.