This may sound familiar to some of our discussions on the topic of All Donors as Major Donors. We do a great job of cultivating and planning strategically with our major and principal donors, but what about everyone else, especially our community and entry level donors? Discussions about cultivating these large donor groups often do not happen because we lack the time to deal with them individually.
Using data mining, segmenting, and social media tools, we can be more intentional and personal. Keeping your database up-to-date with important pieces of information can be extremely helpful. We use geographical, topical, and giving trends to segment our donor pool into groups for whom we can craft strategic and personal messages. For example, we have a special message for new donors or those from a specific area. Then we think intentionally about what themes and stories might appeal to that group and call a few to ask questions about what messages resonate with them.
Social media cultivation feels more like working with a crowd than an individual. Only a few of the many people you connect with will ever respond to the messages you are sending out. Often you will not know who has a dissenting opinion or if someone doesn’t like a direction you are going in until you are already moving in that direction. With social media the value is in the donor interaction. Overall the best way to work with a social community is to be consistent in how you engage them and to encourage thought leaders to help you positively distribute your message.