Over the years, nonprofits have developed various models to explain donor behavior. Most of the ones I have seen have been very linear. The most famous is the donation (donor) funnel where a donor moves over time from one stage to another.
Perhaps at one point the world was that simple. For today’s connected donor, it is no longer a linear path to engagement.
The connected donor is following a journey of experiences with your brand. The visual is more a loop that includes awareness, consideration, evaluation, mission engagement (advocate or participate), sharing the experience, where they start to become loyal and continue engagement through another journey along the loop. This level of engagement requires dedicated monitoring, not just listening, to shepherd people along this delicate journey. In this new world of constant distractions, the journey can go astray without proper leadership.
This is why intentional journey design in creating the experience before, during and after it is experienced is so critical to relationships with connected donors. If people can’t connect with the intent of your mission, then they won’t contribute to the intended outcomes you desire to see.