Your cause matters, a lot. You are changing lives and the people that support you are vested partners of a work they are passionate about. But how does someone who never heard of you become such an advocate? Specifically, what is the path that leads someone to caring and how can you easily lead others down that path?
The goal of every nonprofit is to move people forward along this pathway. They may come in at different places, but we always want to move them forward.
When it comes to new donor acquisition, particularly through digital channels, you need to think about how to take them from Passive to Engaged as quickly and effectively as possible. How can you connect to a new user and interest them in your heart, educate them about your work, and inspire them to take an action?
It is easy to think everyone will fall in love with your cause once they hear about it. We would love for a simple display ad to do the job, but usually it takes more. Sometimes it takes a story, a video, or a compelling explanation. Other times significant education is needed, and sometimes it takes an experience.
First, we must grab a potential donor’s interest. Perhaps an image can do that. Then they need to become informed; that requires some degree of information. Then they must feel compelled to engage, which is an emotional shift coupled with an action. This is a process. Sometimes it can happen in moments for causes that are clearly defined and easily relatable. But when a cause is more complex and nuanced, the process takes more time and more touch points.
In any event, you must think about how a given donor acquisition strategy will navigate the pathway from passive to interested to informed to engaged. This is the pathway to new donors and the pathway to success.