Multichannel Donor Relationship Development

Multi-channel Donors

What are multi-channel donors and why do you want them? Multi-channel donors contribute to your organization in multiple ways. They donate through different platforms and volunteer their services to your cause. They will be the most engaged and most consistent contributors to your nonprofit organization’s efforts. So, how do you obtain multi-channel donors?

Finding multi-channel donors isn’t difficult. They are literally everywhere. They give on your email campaigns. They give through your fundraisers. They give through your donation drives. They give through your website. They share your posts on social media. They volunteer themselves to help with your fundraising events. They attend your events. They include their friends in many of these efforts they choose to do for themselves because they like what they see. They want to support your efforts and they often choose to become multi-channel contributors by their own volition. These are the easy ones.

The goal is to expand the number of multi-channel donors beyond the eager ones, but to more fully engage the careful observers, the intrigued yet semi-distant, and those who want to see how you grow before they get more involved. Donors who engage through multiple platforms and efforts are more likely to remain with your organization longer than one time donors. This means that you need to engage them and facilitate the development of a longer-term commitment. This results in encouraging multi-channel involvement. The longer they stay, the more involved they become, the higher your bottom line becomes.

A multi-channel donor contributes 4 times as often as an online or offline-only donor and they contribute more than monthly donors, online-only donors, and offline-only donors. ~Donor Perfect

You need to learn more about your donors to effectively engage them. Track the different ways in which individual donors are engaging with your campaigns to learn more about what motivates them. Gaining loyalty involves understanding what strategies inspire them to engage in new ways. It is important to remember that you are creating donor experiences. The ease of participation, the way it makes them feel, and how important it is to their personal beliefs matters significantly. It is easier to accomplish this through the use of donor management software.

Engaging Digital Presence

Your digital presence needs to be donor-centric. Ensure it is engaging, and builds across all platforms to have the highest outreach and cross-platform support. This will help to incite a more emotional connection, which motivates donors to take action and demonstrate their loyalty to your cause. Ensure that social media posts, website and blog posts, as well as email campaigns provide opportunities to engage, donate, and offer volunteer opportunities.

Online forms that automate cross-media processes can help to promote your efforts in ways that the donor may not have already engaged, such as your email list. Also, include social media engagement buttons on your website and email campaigns. Ensure your donation platforms are supported in your social media pages, email campaigns, and on your website so that real-time contributions can be on-going throughout the year.

With the change in demographics for future donations, it is important to be relevant to the generations that are more technologically savvy. Mobile connectivity is increasingly relevant in today’s nonprofit donor stewardship efforts. It also makes it easier to participate in nationwide nonprofit focus days such as #GivingTuesday. Ensure that you have the following in as many platforms as possible:

  • Online Forms
  • Donation Buttons
  • Registering for events
  • Online volunteer sign-up forms


Email communications are important for donor retention and for building multi-channel donor stewardship. After the initial email onboarding phase, be sure to keep them engaged with ongoing informative email campaigns that support your current fundraisers, events, and volunteer opportunities. Share the good news and include photos where appropriate!


Your nonprofit website is the public forum that represents what your organization is about. The digital world is well established, and websites are frequently seen as proof of legitimacy. As falsely accurate as that statement is, this is something donors and foundations look for. They want a visual representation that they can refer to at their own free will and in their own time. A consistent presence is critical.

Be sure to have stories, photos, and testimonials that provide additional insight into how the community is engaging with your efforts. This is something that foundations want to see before considering grant funding for any nonprofit. Your donors will feel more compelled to join in the support when they see they are part of a larger community effort. There are many platforms you can use to build your website, but there are some that are made specifically for nonprofits and are designed support your online donation efforts easily.


Face to face engagement is magical. It provides a deeper connection to your donors and makes them feel physically part of the action. This is where you will find more people interested in volunteering for future events or other office needs that your organization may have. Capture these leads through platforms such as VolunteerLocal. These events can also be used to drive one time donations and sponsorships from corporate donors. This is the time to mix and mingle and get to know your donors in real time.


Today’s text-heavy communities are eager to donate through simple SMS texting opportunities. Promote your campaign. Tell them how much you are seeking to raise. Explain the project funds are being raised for. Invite people to contribute. Texting has a high response rate as people see them faster than they do emails. Give it a try and see how much you can raise in a short period of time using texting as your campaign platform.

Be sure you have a platform that is set up to accept text donations before you pursue this type of campaign. Instructions include what they must text, where they text to, and how to pledge an amount. This is also a great campaign where volunteers can be used to track responses and track payments received to keep your donors aware of how successfully the campaign is working. Don’t forget to send a follow-up text to all donors thanking them for their contribution and to opt-in for future text message events.

Online or Offline Auctions

Thankfully, much has changed in recent years regarding support for auctions, either online or offline. Auction management software can provide your multi-channel donors another outlet to support your cause, while also engaging in something that simultaneously benefits them.

Direct Mail

Old school direct mail hasn’t lost its appeal. It does cost more, but people do like something they can hold and hand to others. It also has a higher response rate than email campaigns. It’s not just for the older generations people of all ages like to receive well designed campaigns in their physical mailbox. Be sure to include this in your larger fundraising campaign efforts.


It can be easy to feel like you are doing a lot when strategizing your multi-channel fundraising efforts. If you provide streamlined and consistent messages, you will find that they are quite easy to implement and the reinforced extra reminders keep your donors more engaged than with one or two methods of campaigning alone.

Those who engage on multiple platforms are your biggest fans. They will not let you down and they love to receive what you send them. Show them the love in return by giving campaigns that inspire and engage them in ways that really mean something to them. They are in this right alongside your organization. In a way, they are part of the team. Include them in the effort by having volunteers help manage the implementation of your campaign. Just ensure that all efforts are consistent routine efforts, and above all else – engaging!