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1 Month Down, 11 To Go: Where To Invest In Your Outreach In 2021

Well, it feels like no time at all, but January is almost behind us. If you’re anything like our clients, your winter/spring digital acquisition is in full swing; your 2021 kick-off email series have begun to deploy, and your renewal DM has dropped — with the follow-up not far behind.

The decision you need to make now is where to invest in your outreach for the rest of Q1, and then onwards through the rest of the calendar year. The simple answer is – digital. Going into 2020 consumer transactions (and donor giving) online were already increasing. The global pandemic only accelerated this trend.

But digital is a big place. There are many opportunities for your organization to invest in — and that can be daunting (in truth, the sheer number of options for digital investment lead too many charities to never take action at all).

So, to help you move the needle with digital in 2021, here are my top 3 tips for strong, digitally-led fundraising this year.

1. Optimize your donation forms: Donor experience is a massive competitive advantage, and the one place that almost every charity is dropping the ball is with their online donation form. More often than not these forms miss the mark aesthetically, are time-consuming, and overwhelm the donor with requests-for-information — all of which take users out of a positive digital donor experience.

2021 is the year to test yourself out of the old, cumbersome donation form and optimize the donation form experience.

2. Get contextually relevant with your audiences: Haphazard fundraising is no longer enough. With all the information we have (and donors expect us to have) on who they are, their giving interests and their giving history, the expectation is that any and every communication they receive is one that is designed for them — which means it’s contextually relevant. This is all about audience segmentation. Where to start? Determine the critical identifying characteristics across your donor base and potential audiences.

2021 is the year to get hyper-relevant with your communications; analyze your audiences, discover their unique identifying features, parse out what drives them to take action, and communicate in a way that speaks to that.

3. Map, then automate: We know the donor journey is a big deal — but we also know that building the best possible digital donor journey is a balance of optimizing the donor experience and the internal capacity of your organization, particularly if you’re currently deploying your outreach in-house and (even more challenging) manually. The best digital donor journeys are complex and responsive enough to feel like a consistent, 2-way conversation between yourself and the donor without placing a significant burden on your team as your volume of donors grows.

2021 is the year to invest in a hyper-personalized journey that takes advantage of automation. Start with your blue-sky donor journey, optimized based on your donors’ previous engagement, with key interaction points mapped out — then invest in the tools and partnerships to automate that process so that as donors continue to engage (and give) their relationship with you can evolve automatically, leaving your team open to focus on acquiring new donors or advancing your relationship with current donors.

In 2021, if you’re not digital-first, you’re falling behind. To stay relevant and competitive, charitable organizations need fundraising that is fully integrated, founded in insights, and digitally-led.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out using the form below or get in touch by emailing

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