Using Automation Tools Beyond the Fundraising Letter

Personalizing donor communication is necessary for any successful fundraising effort. Potential and loyal donors don’t want to be addressed as Dear Friend.

Fundraising staff must show donors you know who they are, how they prefer to be addressed, and that your nonprofit is grateful for their support. The message they read shouldn’t feel like it could have been sent to anyone. Your communication must make them feel special.

While this can be challenging for small teams, automation can help individualize communication with less time and effort.

Personalization should go beyond an individual salutation to be successful. The most effective communications have other customized data fields, such as ask amounts or recognition for their years of giving.

Automation tools can help any fundraising department personalize fundraising letters, fundraising emails, and other communication efforts specific to the donor.

Delight your donor base by using automation to enhance fundraising efforts.

So many things are possible with automation. If you can create a decision tree, an automation workflow can be designed to achieve the desired outcome.

Automation can help take the donor experience from forgettable to remarkable.

Recommended Ways Automation Can Help Personalize Donor Communication

Tools such as the Power Automate connector, working with a Blackbaud database, or customized automation workflows through AutomateGenius can ease the time and effort required to individualize donor communication.

If your team can dream it, it can likely be achieved with the right tools.


1.) Create a new donor welcome series

The days and weeks following the first gift are crucial to building a personal connection with that donor and ensuring they want to give again. This is also a significant opportunity to increase giving.

A welcome series of emails is recommended to help create a great first impression. While creating and sending an email series to every first-time donor might seem daunting, automation can help.

A workflow can be set up to send a series of emails to a first-time donor email list that includes:

  • A thank you email for making a first-time gift
  • An email that contains a welcome video or link to an article about your organization
  • An email asking the donor how their giving experience with your nonprofit was
fundraising email workflow

2.) Give your major gift officer an email assistant

From time to time, we all wish we had an assistant; let automation act like a support staff member to your major gift officers. Use a workflow to send major gift officers draft emails they can review and send.

Imagine coming in every morning to a handful of emails thanking first-time donors, wishing a major donor a happy birthday, or thanking a donor for making their 50th gift to your nonprofit.

Automation can be set up to send these messages to the draft folder for review or send them out automatically. These tools can help your staff send more effective fundraising emails.

These emails from an actual staff member have better open rates than those sent through a mail service like Constant Contact.

Or use these tools to help with email campaigns that follow direct mail, and be sure to include a link to your donation page. The opportunities to enhance fundraising appeals are limited only to what your team can dream of.

3.) Send gift acknowledgments

Automation can be created to send email gift acknowledgments when donors make gifts online. AI tools like Chat GPT can also help craft these messages.

Automation can assist in generating gift acknowledgments that are sent to a folder. An administrative assistant can then print and send them to the relevant staff for signing before mailing them out. The ideas for improving efficiencies are endless.

4.) Alert your team when important stuff happens

Especially at larger organizations such as dioceses or universities, it can be challenging to keep up with alerting staff when important events occur. Automation tools can help set up notifications via Slack or email that let fundraising staff know when things happen with donors in their portfolios.

These alerts create opportunities to show donors that you care. Community members want to hear from your nonprofit, and personalized emails from an actual staff member will be more impactful than an email marketing campaign through mass email.

5.) Send quicker tax statements

Your nonprofit organization might have a donor who wakes up on January 1 and wants to start their taxes. Automation can help meet their sense of urgency and create and send tax statements to donors.

These suggestions only scratch the surface of what automation tools can accomplish. Consider using automation to assist with fundraising email best practices, follow-up to fundraising events, and even database cleanup.

Consider how automation can help enhance your next fundraising campaign and increase response rates from more email addresses.

Raising money is not always easy; technology can help elevate your team’s efforts. For more advice on automation to personalize donor communication, check out this webinar today.

To learn more about how automation can help your nonprofit, ask for a demo of AutomateGenius today.

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