Back to Blog

Digital meets traditional: Sync donor touchpoints to create great relationships

Did you know it costs 10 times more to attract a new donor than it does to keep a current donor? Building (and maintaining) donor relationships takes the integration of both digital and traditional communication tactics. These touchpoints are critical in keeping trusted relationships with your donors. As you think of ways you can engage with donors year-round, think of how to combine digital communication channels with traditional channels.

Digital touchpoints


Establishing a routine email marketing strategy as recurring means of communication is an easy way to keep donors informed of key information, dates and general updates.

Social media updates

Keep your social media channels updated on a regular basis. Think about the real-time content that can make a difference and be sure to integrate your social content with traditional content. For instance, if you start a direct mail campaign, create digital imagery and content that can mirror the mailed pieces sent out.

Thank you videos

Have your executive director, foundation president or department leaders create customized thank-you videos that can be emailed or sent via personalized links to your donors. The personal touch will set you apart from others out there.


Text communication can be an effective way to reach donors who are navigating atypical schedules. It’s also a great way to offer quick links and bits of info where the reader can then choose to click to learn more.

Traditional touchpoints

Postcards or direct mail

With many Americans still working from home, postcards, letters and other direct mail approaches can be effective. Make it easy for donors to use those materials to connect with you online by providing short URLs or even scannable QR codes and links that direct them to your fundraising landing pages or other digital channels.

Special events

While many may be holding off on traditional fundraising events, think of ways you can take the traditional event model and apply it differently. YouTube events, Facebook Live or Twitter chats are unique ways to invite donors to an ‘event’ and engage with them even if you can’t do so in person.

Phone calls

Utilize your network of volunteers to make outreach calls to donors. Use your CRM to pull reports on those that have lapsed in giving, those that haven’t given in awhile or those who have increased their giving levels. Use these phone calls to check in, to say thank you or to just see how your donors are doing during this time.

Townhall meetings

These are great when you’re able to hold them in person, but if you can’t, think about opening up a once-a-month virtual town hall meeting with key leaders. Or, invite volunteers to an online happy hour, learning lunch or webinar. It doesn’t always have to be directly business-related or about the ask.

Update visits

Same thing here—if you can visit with donors in person (or virtually), add those touchpoints to your list. This is an especially great way to engage if you are thinking about any type of large fundraising drive or capital campaign in the future. Get to know your donors in person and on several different occasions just because; establish solid relationships before making an ask.

Your donor base may span many generations or even locations. That said, each of us has a varied preference of how we like to be communicated with—and those communication preferences may have changed during times of crisis. That is why it’s even more important to explore multiple ways of engaging donors; to meet donors where they are and communicate with them using their preferred channels.

No matter which channel you use, think about your messaging. Does it provide education? Does it serve an immediate need? Does it explain how your organization is using funds to make a difference in the community? Whether your message is done through digital or traditional means, try to bucket the content into one of these key areas as a way to show impact:

  • Emotional content
  • Story-centric campaigns
  • Social advocacy and awareness

Using an integrated approach to incorporate donor touchpoints, while tracking it all in your CRM, is the best-case scenario for continuing great relationships with donors for years to come; even in the best (and worst) of times.

In fact, while many people have continued to give during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have pulled back on the amount of their gifts. Thinking about strategies for engaging even the smallest of donors during times of distress will help keep those donors engaged and keep your organization top-of-mind as those donors get back to their typical giving levels in the months and years to come. For more ideas, check out our post “Tips for Fundraising in Times of Uncertainty”.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

Grow your monthly giving program with our resources

Learn More