3 Easy Automation Workflows for Nonprofits

Automation workflows are becoming more prevalent in the fundraising world. However, implementing automation and understanding the theory behind good automation is an ongoing challenge. The responsive framework provides an answer for the foundational theory that should inform all of your fundraising practices, including automation workflows. 

The cycle of responsive fundraising takes into account the hyper-personalized experience that most individuals have come to expect from their favorite brands. Implementing responsive fundraising at scale through automation workflows will help your organization develop better donor relationships and grow generosity. 

Why Should Nonprofits Use Automation?

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence and digital marketing have permanently changed the pace of interactions between organizations and individuals. Nonprofits are no exception. 

To stay competitive and remain top of mind with donors, nonprofits must get creative with their fundraising and communications strategies. That means creating a personalized, meaningful journey for donors that will effectively recognize donors for their impact and thank them for their contributions to your mission. 

Luckily, you can easily accomplish this with the automation features built into the Virtuous platform. Haven’t had the time or bandwidth to look into automation? Now is a great time to start! Here are a few quick and easy workflows you can set up yourself that will immediately upgrade your donor experience, save your team time, and help you exceed your fundraising goals. 

Automation Workflow #1: New Supporter Welcome Series

Don’t miss the opportunity to greet and welcome new supporters upon their initial contact with your organization. Whether they signed up through your website, added their name to an online petition, or attended a local event you hosted, it is the perfect time to make a good impression. Here is a simple recommended flow:

Email One: Glad To Have You With Us! 

Make sure to say “Dear [First Name]” instead of a generic “Friend” or “Supporter” and sign it from your Executive Director or an organization leader (you can even include a digital signature for a nice extra touch). Say thank you for joining. Restate your mission statement and vision. Finally, let them know what kind of communication they can expect from you in the future. 

Email Two: Resources For You

Don’t take for granted that new supporters (or long-time supporters!) are aware of the many resources your organization offers. If you have a blog where you post consistently, a social media feed with great information, or a page where you share information about upcoming events, make sure your supporters know where to find them! 

Email Three: How to Get Involved

Similar to email two, make sure your supporters know that there are various ways to participate with your organization. Of course, you would love it if every supporter was also a donor. However, by offering supporters non-financial ways to get involved, you stand a good chance of converting those individuals into donors down the road. Ask donors to promote your work on social media, participate in upcoming surveys or petitions, and become volunteers for in-person or virtual events. Let them know where they can stay up-to-date on the latest opportunities. Don’t be afraid to add a small donate button as a P.S.! 

Email Four: Get in Touch

Go the extra mile to help supporters put a name to a face. Let them know that their comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome and appreciated. If you have a staff member in charge of volunteers or community engagement, this is a perfect opportunity to share their name and contact information. You might also consider adding contact information for a member of your development team. Then you can direct supporters to them if they have questions about how to donate. Your supporters will appreciate this transparency and feel more comfortable reaching out!

Automation Workflow #2: Donor Thank You Series

When an individual takes the time to make a contribution to your organization, it deserves timely recognition. Make sure your donors know just how much their generosity means to your organization. Old fundraising lore says to thank donors within 72 hours and to try to thank them at least seven times. With automation, you can achieve both and more! Here is a simple flow to help you start:

  • Email #1: Donation Confirmation and Thank You
  • Letter: Donation Acknowledgement Letter
  • Email #2: The Impact of Your Gift (talk about what your organization is able to do because of this donation!)
  • Phone Call: Automatically assign a task to a member of the team to call the donor and say thanks personally (this is a great job and learning opportunity for interns!) 
  • Email #3: The Beneficiaries of Your Gift (talk about who benefits from your programs as a result of this donation!)
  • Postcard or Handwritten Note: (this can be reserved for donors who gave above a certain amount)
  • Email #4: Thank you from a board member or executive director  

Automation Workflow #3: Prospect Pipeline Series

Workflows can be used for more than just outgoing communications. You can also use them to structure a set of tasks within the system to help you streamline your donor pipeline. The following flow outlines a simple prospect identification automation that will help you identify your best prospects and build relationships with new potential major givers. 

  • Step One: Set the filter to flag anyone who made a gift of $100 or more within the last 24 hours 
  • Step Two: Tag as Prospect
  • Step Three: Create a “Prospect Research” task and assign it to a member of your team

From here, your designated researcher can build a profile on this donor, including demographic and geographic information, wealth capacity and giving history, and familial or professional affiliations which could indicate the donor’s ability to make a major gift. This information can be added to the donor’s record in Virtuous. If they are a good match, your researcher can choose to assign them to a “major donor prospect” organization group for further cultivation. 

Bonus Tip: If you have the Donor Search integration, you can add a wealth screening append to this workflow to automatically pull wealth information into the donor’s Virtuous record!

Ready to Get Started?

Don’t wait another minute, get started building these simple automations today. You are guaranteed to strengthen relationships with your donors, bring new major givers into your portfolio, and save yourself time by automating administrative tasks. That way you can focus on what really matters – your mission! 

If you are looking for additional support to get these automations laid out and off the ground, reach out to us at Devine & Parker Consulting for a free discovery call. We look forward to helping you achieve your responsive fundraising goals!

What you should do now

Below are three ways we can help you begin your journey to building more personalized fundraising with responsive technology.

See the Virtuous platform in action.  Schedule a call with our team for personalized answers and expert advice on transforming your nonprofit with donor management software.

Download our free Responsive Maturity Model and learn the 5 steps to more personalized donor experiences.

If you know another nonprofit pro who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via Email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

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“Virtuous truly understands nonprofits and the importance of our mission. And their open access to data and built-in custom reports gave us access to the data we need.”
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