First impressions lead the way when nonprofits initially attract their donors, but like any budding relationship the key to sustaining interest is through continued meaningful engagement. By including a nurture series in your communication strategy you will build deeper connections with your supporters which will translate into longer lasting relationships. These conversations will keep donors up-to-date on how their money is helping and how to further their involvement with the cause. There are four key ingredients in creating a valuable nurture series: goals, personas, content and analysis.

Goals
Small goals can go a long way. They keep communication alive and the waters “warm” so your donation ask doesn’t come out of the blue…Following the S.M.A.R.T methodology when forming goals will help greatly. This method ensures that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. So, rather than saying you want to “raise more money” you are instead saying “we will raise $5,000 from local donors for equipment at the animal shelter.” This allows your nonprofit to focus on a specific target audience and drive clear, tangible results. By following your nonprofit’s work and achievements, supporters will feel a stronger tie to the organization and will have a fuller sense of gratification by seeing how their contribution is helping the world.

Personas
As always, you need to figure out your audience. Segmentation can greatly increase the effectiveness of your communication. Create personas for the people you’re writing to in order to make your emails sound more sincere and personable. If your audience is local donors helping the animal shelter then your personas may be divided into groups, such as cat vs. dog owners, non-pet owning animal lovers or the charitable wealthy donor who contributes to multiple nonprofits. These different audiences will change your approach in conversation, forming a better, longer lasting relationship with donors in each segment.

Content
Once you know your audience and have the different personas in mind you can begin creating the content that will suit the personalities of the donors you are communicating to. You want to ensure that your content aligns with their wants and needs as well as your goals, values and brand identity.

Analysis
After establishing the nurture series for your donors you must analyze your work to see how you are doing. Open and click through rates will tell you a lot and you should always measure these two performance measures of email communication, but there are more questions that you need to ask and analyze. Which emails and which times performed better? Are first time donors returning? Is the interest and involvement of your donors continuing to grow? This analysis will show what changes need to be made for further improvement in your nurture series.

Your nurture series will encourage a lasting relationship between your organization and your supporters. Nurturing donors keeps your cause on the top of their minds and helps to establish continued involvement between both parties.

Check out Blackbaud’s npExperts EBook to learn more about the four key ingredients for a successful nurture series through marketing automation.