Could your nonprofit use a rapidly growing list of new donors? Of course, the answer is a resounding yes!

Turbo-charge your nonprofit’s ability to make our world a fairer, healthier, and more humane place with a growing list of new donors. Each of your supporters connects to a wide network of friends, colleagues, and family members, opening doors to more donors.

The New Economics of Donor Acquisition

The engagement funnel strategy is rooted in a natural and time-tested relationship-building approach. With the added power of technology, it’s a lot like online dating. Online, people can quickly, cheaply, and safely discover those who share their interests. A friendship may stay online with emails, texts, and social networking, but when the circumstances are right and things move offline, the relationship deepens.

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The Engagement Funnel

The engagement funnel follows the same natural progression, but with one important distinction: nonprofits are seeking long-term relationships with thousands of supporters.

The strategy follows a proven three-step process:


  1. Connecting around interests. In large numbers, people with interest in your mission, programs, and services can be actively brought into your online community. Using the engagement funnel, a large number of these online visitors can be converted into donor prospects — people who give you their contact information. Nonprofits are providing value-added reasons to opt-in and become prospects, such as webinars, petitions, quizzes, and contests.
  2. Branding as relationship-building. Nonprofit branding is the process that moves potential donors to be active, long-term supporters. Like relationship-building, branding is a process that builds trust, confidence, and appreciation for your nonprofit. It goes way beyond the logo, the tagline, and the well-told story.
  3. Crafting the asks. “We’ve done good, so please give.” That’s the shorthand for many nonprofit annual appeals. Success in acquiring new donors demands a different kind of ask, one that explicitly shows how a donor’s gift — even a small one — makes a clear and meaningful impact in creating a better world.

A well-crafted ask will encourage many of your donor prospects to make a small gift to your organization. That’s the power that drives crowdfunding — your next wave of major donors will be found in your growing list of prospects and small donors.

Want to learn more about the new economics of donor acquisition? Check out our Introduction to Donor Acquisition Video.