How to break through the noise of year-end giving with omnichannel engagement

Donors of all ages expect organizations they support to reach out to them through a variety of channels including social media, email and text (Fun fact: one-third of Boomers say it’s acceptable for brands to text them a few times per week!) Luckily, fundraising teams are in lock-step with donor preferences. According to Gravyty’s 2024 donor engagement report, fundraising organizations are embracing an omnichannel approach to building authentic, long-lasting donor relationships. 

And a multichannel approach simply won’t cut it when it comes to engaging donors effectively. While they sound similar, the two strategies differ in a key way. While a multichannel approach does leverage multiple outreach channels, omnichannel takes it a step further by creating a holistic donor experience across all platforms. To create a true omnichannel approach that not only draws in gifts during year-end giving campaigns but also pays dividends year-round, it’s time to become hyper-focused on the personalized donor experience. 

In this blog, we offer advice on how to weave together a cohesive omnichannel outreach strategy to hit your year-end giving out of the park. 

Get a holistic view of donors

You can’t deliver a personalized donor experience without first understanding your donors. Lean on your donor data, behavior and preferences to get a full picture of who you are aiming to engage. With a robust CRM that integrates with your other fundraising technology as well as internal procedures, you can track donor interactions, communication preferences, motivations, giving history and methods, and other key points of data. 

Technology is necessary to get an accurate and relevant profile of donors. Use an integrated tech stack to collect and store behavioral data, engagement data across all channels, and analytics to be able to dynamically segment donors and tailor their experiences.

Unify your messaging

When delivering an omnichannel donor experience, sharing consistent messaging across all platforms is important for reinforcing your brand and mission. Develop and enforce brand guidelines so that no matter who is creating content within the organization, the messaging is in line with your brand identity and ultimately tells the same holistic story. 

Here are a few tips to follow to keep donor communications consistent across the organization:

  • Use a central repository for all content to ensure everyone has access to the latest materials and messaging
  • Conduct training sessions to ensure all team members understand the brand guidelines and the importance of consistent messaging
  • Take advantage of your platforms’ automation capabilities to manage and synchronize communications across channels
  • Develop standardized email and social media templates that reflect your brand’s tone and style
  • Include a brand video in donor video messages to consistently reinforce the overall mission 
  • Use dynamic content and AI tools to personalize communications based on donor data while maintaining a consistent overarching message

Hyper-personalize the donor experience

Fundraising is inherently personal. Someone who chooses to give of their time or money to a cause has a personal and emotional affinity for the organization’s or institution’s mission.

According to Accenture, 44% of donors say that receiving a customized experience would make them inclined to give up to 10% more. And fundraising pros agree: improving donor retention through personalized outreach and stewardship was among the top strategies of their success in 2023. So how can you deliver an effective and personalized donor experience? The short answer: through integrated technology and streamlined processes. 

By creating detailed donor profiles in your donor CRM as described above, you’re able to track interactions, preferences and giving history. Through these dynamic donor segments, you can now create tailored engagement experiences that are built upon what your donors tell you they are interested in and how they prefer to hear from you. For example:

  • Did a donor give during last year’s Fall Giving Day?
  • How much did she give, and through which channel?
  • What content does she most frequently engage with on your website?

These factors can be considered when building a personalized donor journey for year-end campaigns. 

Dynamically written emails, texts, website content, and custom landing pages can address donors by name, reference past contributions, and highlight causes they care about. This level of personalization makes donors feel valued and understood, increasing their likelihood of continued engagement and support, well beyond year-end giving!

Optimize your online presence

There’s no doubt that donors have a digital-first relationship with the brands and organizations they support. In 2023, online giving made up 12% of all donations, and it’s only increasing. Make the giving experience seamless for them by optimizing your digital presence, including your website, social media, emails, text campaigns, and video messages. Follow these tips to optimize the donor experience online:

  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • Simplify the online donation process and offer multiple payment options.
  • Reduce the number of steps it takes to make a donation. 
  • Send automated reminders for donors who “abandoned their cart.”
  • Promote matching gift opportunities where donations are matched by a sponsor or major donor, doubling the impact.
  • Organize fundraising challenges and set specific goals to create a sense of urgency and community involvement.
  • Actively engage with donors on social media platforms.
  • Take advantage of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits to run targeted ads that drive traffic to your donation page.
  • Create high-quality, relevant content that answers common questions and provides valuable information, improving your search engine ranking.

Engage donors through multiple channels

With donors engaging across so many platforms today, it’s tough to know where and when to engage them during year-end campaigns. Only after understanding all the factors that go into a personalized engagement journey can you determine on which channels you will engage your donors. Engaging with donors across multiple channels gives you a broader reach and more opportunities for a donor to take action.

Here are the primary channels to consider when building an omnichannel donor engagement strategy:

Fundraising email

94% of fundraising teams use email in their donor outreach, according to our 2024 donor engagement benchmark report. This channel can be a great way to frequently connect with donors in a personal way for things like appeals, stewardship, event invitations, and impact updates. Use AI fundraising technology like Gravyty to pinpoint the donors for you to email each day, and even provide a first draft for you to tweak and send!

Fundraising video

Video is on the rise as a donor engagement channel. Videos can be sent one-to-one through other channels like email and text or posted publicly to social media for a broader audience. When sent through email, video boosts open rates by 19% and click through rates by a staggering 65%! Send donors personalized video messages following a donation, celebrating a milestone, sharing an impact update, or inviting them to appreciation events. 

Text message fundraising

Almost all American adults (91%) own a smartphone. What’s more, 75% of Millennials and Gen Zs prefer to text rather than talk on the phone. A texting program is a great way to reach donors where they already are – on their phone.  Texting offers a personal and scalable way to connect with donors one on one, making them feel more connected to your organization.

Gravyty’s texting platform lets you send texts at scale and manage two-way conversations with a smart messaging center while integrating with your CRM to track donor touch points, reinforcing a cohesive omnichannel experience. 

Direct mail fundraising

Direct mail is a more traditional approach to donor outreach. It’s not a digital channel, so it’s more difficult to track and measure impact. Use high-quality materials with clear, emotional stories and strong calls to action to motivate recipients to donate. Incorporate elements like handwritten notes, matching gift offers, and prepaid return envelopes to enhance the appeal.

Social media

Social media has undoubtedly transformed the way organizations and institutions communicate with their communities. Social media channels like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, and LinkedIn provide a platform for direct communication, giving your prospective donors a personal view into the inner workings of your organization and making them feel connected. Share a variety of content including short-form videos, graphics, event announcements, polls and fundraising initiatives to engage your community at large. 

Your year-end giving platform

Each institution and organization has a unique donor base with their own preferences, behaviors and interests. But with a smart techstack, you can reach out to thousands of individual donors to deliver a holistic experience that invites authentic engagement and drives giving.

digital fundraising platform for year-end giving

Gravyty’s comprehensive fundraising platform lets you deliver unparalleled giving experiences and reach more donors effectively through AI-powered portfolio management, automated omnichannel outreach, and tailored giving day sites. Book a demo today to learn more.