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4 Steps to Growing Generosity with Virtuous’ Responsive Fundraising Platform 

Each year, 50% of donors lapse primarily due to inappropriate asks and impersonal messages from nonprofits they support as well as a lack in acknowledgement and transparency. 

“Donors not only want to understand the impact of their gifts but value organizations that intentionally foster meaningful relationships with their donors,” says Una Osili of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Fortunately, there’s a way to better connect and foster relationships with your donors! Fundraisers can leverage the responsive fundraising framework in partnership with Virtuous’ nonprofit CRM to move the needle on generosity for their organization. 

To see how the right nonprofit CRM and responsive fundraising work together, let’s dive into the four steps to growing generosity with Virtuous’ Responsive Fundraising Platform! 

What is The Responsive Framework?

Responsive fundraising puts the donor at the center of your organization’s fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the unique needs of each individual supporter. The responsive approach enables your nonprofit to build trust and loyalty through personalized engagement. The responsive framework is a repeatable four-step process that fundraisers can use to treat each donor with the personalized attention that they deserve. Responsive nonprofits learn more about what is important to their donors and how to provide the most value through the following four steps: 

In a hyper-connected world, your supporters  want to feel like they are members of a community. Supporters want to understand how they are contributing to your organizational impact. Perhaps most important of all, your supporters want – and deserve – to be thanked sincerely and personally for their contributions. 

Responsive fundraisers look to create authentic connections that serve your supporters  in the right way. Let’s dig in more to each phase of the Responsive Fundraising cycle to understand it better! 

The Four Steps of Responsive Fundraising

Step 1: Listen

In order to build authentic relationships with your supporters, you need to first listen to what signals they are giving you. These donor signals – whether direct or indirect – can  equip your team with the knowledge they need to deepen relationships with your supporters. Listening first allows you to build relationships based on what is meaningful to your donors, and those are the relationships that last. 

Virtuous’ nonprofit CRM has the tools you need to listen to your supporters and focus on the donor signals that matter the most. Virtuous’ fundraising tools include the following items that make it easy for you to listen to your supporters: 

Step 2: Connect

Regardless of the channel – email, mail, phone, or your website– or medium – in-person or digitally –  you’ll want to connect with your supporters in a responsive way that is one-to-one, contextual, and collaborative.

In traditional fundraising, connection with donors was cultivated by sending out mass appeals to everyone in your database. That approach is impersonal, and does not inspire generosity for most supporters. Sending out personalized, contextual, and collaborative appeals is a much more effective way to create dynamic, responsive campaigns.

The challenge with creating so many personalized communications is that nonprofit staff don’t have the time to write individual letters to everyone in their database. Fortunately, Virtuous’ marketing and automation tools make it easy for fundraisers to act on those donor signals at scale.

In order to accomplish this, Virtuous’ fundraising tools include: 

Step 3: Suggest

Once you’ve listened and connected with your supporters, you should have the information you need to move to the next phase: Suggest. The idea at the core of responsive fundraising is that everyone has unique value and something to give. As you listen and connect with your supporters, you are uncovering the unique value they can contribute to your organization. 

Keep in mind that not all suggestions are financial in nature. You may find that inviting someone to an event, asking them to share your mission on their social media platform, or sharing your upcoming volunteer opportunities may make more sense than asking someone to financially donate. 

As you get to know your supporters better, Virtuous makes it easy to track that information and take the next step. With Virtuous you can suggest the next action item for your supporters that is most aligned with their personal interests and ability to get involved with tools such as: 

  • Smart gift arrays
  • Project asks tied to donor passions
  • Data-driven non-financial asks

Step 4: Learn

Responsive fundraising is a continuously improving process. Experienced fundraisers know that no fundraising initiative is “one size fits all.”  The only way to truly know what works for your organization’s supporters is to measure the success of your initiatives. The results you get will help inform what you do next and how you do it.

In order to learn, you need access to data and analytics. Tracking the effectiveness of your various initiatives is the only way you can know for sure what is and what isn’t working. Virtuous has robust data and analytics tools that you can use to get the information you need, but is easy enough to use that your team can focus on actionable insights that inform your fundraising efforts. 

Virtuous makes learning easy for nonprofits with tools such as: 

Key Takeaways: 

  • The responsive fundraising framework can help you grow generosity and stay connected with your supporters at scale. 
  • Using Virtuous will free up your team to focus on implementing responsive fundraising and connecting with your supporters
  • Growing generosity and scaling your fundraising efforts without losing connection and personalization requires fundraising software like Virtuous that has robust automation that can be customized for your organization’s donor journeys. 
  • Learning and continually improving is a key part to growing generosity to your organization, and tools like Virtuous makes it easy to access and understand data that provides actionable insights. 

GV-One has everything you need to launch community-generated video campaigns. Starting at:

  • No long-term Commitment: Month-to-Month subscription start and stop at any time
  • Self-service Instant Access vs. 2-4 week implementation process
  • Get up to speed fast with on-demand training

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