There is a four word phrase that we use as our development philosphy here at work, “Find, Win, Keep, Lift“. This describes the process of donor relationship development and probably is not unique to our office. I got to thinking this morning about how this philosophy should be applied to a non-profit’s website and internet strategy.
A Matter of Definition
- Find – The process of attracting new constituents to your organization.
- Win – Turning visitors into donors.
- Keep – Turning one-time donors into regular, periodic givers.
- Lift – Regular donors increase their giving and become advocates for the organization.
The following diagram illustrates the thinking that I have been working on. While this is far from an exhaustive look at the process, it is a method of applying this philopsophy to each part of the relationship process.
Donors can come into the cycle at any point on the circle. It is not meant to illustrate a closed loop. There may be donors who are already on the relationship cycle as a result of ongoing offline activity. Once a donor is in/on the loop, regardless of how they entered, the website should facilitate the movement of the donor around the circle. Ultimately, non-profits should desire to have all of the donors in the upper left quarter of the circle where they have become advocates for your organization and are not finding new donors for you.
Traditionally, a website has been thought of as a tool to find constituents. Or at least as a way of informing the constituents that are already part of the family about the ongoing activity of the charity. The process of developing a website with information about the charity is nothing new.
What is new, is the shift towards using the website as a tool to keep and lift donors into new relationship dynamics with the organization. Donors that have become advocates for your organization are one of the strongest resources that you will be able to rely on.
Using this model, a non-profit’s website (and ultimately its overall internet strategy) should be evaluated on how well it accomplishes these four criteria. The website itself does not need to have a lot of fancy bells and whistles but should incorporate those items that are necessary to build a relationship with the charity’s donors and facilitate the mission of the charity.