How To Engage Major Donors Online For Your Nonprofit

To engage with major donors at your Nonprofit organisation, you’ll need to increase online reach, create compelling messaging and increase the percentage of visitors who perform a desired action or action, e.g. sign-ups and donations. In the marketing world, this is known as conversion optimisation.

What is conversion optimisation?

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a holistic way of understanding and appeasing your donor’s motivations and experiences. By improving your donors’ user journey, you can increase the percentage of users who undertake a desired action on your website and improve your website conversion rate.

One of the most important elements of CRO is the thorough planning of marketing initiatives before they’re launched. But before you kickstart your CRO journey, you’ll need to identify and understand your donor audience.

Donor personas: Understanding your audience

It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of social media followers if none of them will donate or spread the word. A donor persona will help you define the characteristics, likes, needs, expectations, desires, motivations, demographics, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours of a segmented group of donors. By finding out about your audience’s characteristics, you’ll be able to help them engage with your organisation in the way they like to be appealed to.


When creating a donor persona, you might want to ask:

  • What type of person are they?
  • Why might they be passionate about your organisation’s work?
  • How can you help them to understand the impact of their contribution?

How to improve engagement and increase your audience

Once you’ve understood your audience and how it is best to engage with them – you’ll need to start thinking about how you can make the most out of your relationship. Here are five ways to improve engagement and increase your audience:

  1. Look within your network.
    Engaging with current donors can help to open the doors to many more. Create content that donors can easily share, that is insightful and action-driven, so your audience can share it within their networks.

  2. Help donors to see the results of their donation
    Major donors want to see the results of their investment, so make sure to correlate your communications to the impact they’ve made directly. Tell donors how many supplies were delivered as a result of their donation, so they know how much they’ve made a difference.

  3. Pitch to their personality
    No two people are the same, but your audience persona might have trends. Use your donor persona to adapt your communication styles and drive home the messages that will resonate most with your audience. Pay close attention to the language you use and the way you visually appeal to your donors. Do you feel like they will be receptive to it?

  4. Appeal to their business side
    Major donors with a business approach will want to understand how your organisation is performing and which areas you are focusing on. By producing annual or quarterly reporting, you can increase awareness of the challenges you face while increasing your ability to engage, ask for donations, and support.

  5. Major donors may be worth more than just their money
    A recent report showed that 71% of donations given to charitable causes in the US came from individuals. If you can attract major donors as advocates for your mission, you can create even more awareness and brand recognition. Collect data in a non-obtrusive way, then use this data to build out grading criteria. Once you know which donors are more beneficial to your organisation, you can invite these donors to contribute to your mission as brand advocates.

  6. You can further create engagement plans or user journeys that provide information about how someone can be more actively involved. When doing this, you’ll want to ensure that they can contribute to your fundraising, marketing, or operational initiatives or can add value to another part of your organisation as an advisor.

What are the benefits of creating engagement plans?

Engagement plans help provide a consistent experience, which solidifies the relationship between your organisation and a donor, as well as the impact they can make.

Top benefits of creating engagement plans for donors:

  • You can reduce manual work processes and automate labour-intensive tasks;
  • Donors can receive streamlined, on-brand communications;
  • Donors can benefit from personalised communications that you create at scale;
  • Donors form a relationship with your brand and the key messages they interact with

What to consider when creating an engagement plan

Salesforce Marketing Cloud blue background

85% of Nonprofit professionals say that technology is the key to the success of their organisations, yet only 23% report they have a long-term vision for technology. Many Nonprofits use marketing automation tools to engage with their donors that do not integrate with their CRM. This leads to data silos and exhausting manual processes as fundraising and marketing teams work out of sync and jeopardise lead generation processes.

Built on the number one CRM system, Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud (NPSP) helps you break down silos work and manual work processes by providing a shared view of your organisation’s fundraising, marketing and leadership programs as well as automating engagement processes. One of the top Salesforce NPSP features is the engagement plan. This Salesforce NPSP feature allows you to assign and track or associate tasks with constituents, donations, or anything else tracked inside a Salesforce record. This could include sending a ‘Thank you’ email, donor impact notification, or scheduling a meeting or lunch.

With Salesforce NPSP, tasks and processes can instantly be automated and associated with your donor. A Salesforce NPSP engagement journey might work like this:

  1. Immediate: Thank you e-mail to your donor
  2. One week later: Intro note from the recipient of the donation
  3. One month later: E-mail with the impact of that donation

This type of automation helps give your team a more analytical approach to your fundraising by providing them a clear view of how volunteers interact and engage with your processes – so you can see what works.

When used with a clear strategy, this can help both marketing and fundraising teams to ensure that their constituents receive the right messages, at the right time, with clear actions to convert and cultivate donor engagement. And all of this information is available with just a few clicks so that you can easily track the ROI of your marketing and fundraising initiatives.

Developing a Salesforce NPSP engagement plan

If you want to develop a Salesforce NPSP engagement plan, but don’t know where to start, then you should contact an accredited Salesforce partner like ourselves.

When creating an engagement plan, you will need to ensure that you take a cross-collaborative approach with your Salesforce partner to help you get an overview of what you need to accomplish – and how it might be best to set it up. This will help you understand what you can create and customise.

Pracedo will help you create engagement plans with contacts, accounts, opportunities, and campaign records. And if your needs extend beyond this, then we will help you bring to life any ideas you may have.

When meeting with any Salesforce partner to kick off a project, you should consider:

  • What are the tasks that need to be done?
  • If the tasks need to be completed in a specific order? If they do, what is the order?
  • Who should be responsible for each task?
  • If applicable: What is the specific time that needs to pass between each task?

As premium Salesforce partners, we help customers to establish their goals and identify the true business needs to ensure a future-proofed solution in line with their growth needs, market and competition. This process is known to help customers better understand and establish their specific business challenges and workflows, so they’ll know what to implement and how they can support its success.

If you’d like to explore how we can help you engage major donors, please schedule a call with one of our experienced Salesforce consultants who can help springboard your organisation to success.


Pracedo is an award-winning Platinum Salesforce Consulting Partner that delivers Salesforce implementations to charities, NGOs, and enterprise customers across the globe. Pracedo builds powerful partnerships that can impact more than just revenues. As a Premium Salesforce Partner in London and Melbourne, we have the experience and expertise to help you maximise your Salesforce investment and build improved customer pipeline processes and communication cycles. Everything we do is powered by our unique purpose, which puts people at the heart of our work. That’s why we pledge to give 1% of our product, time, and profits back to our community.

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