Effective Donor Communication Is Personalized

We’re a planned giving marketing company, so a common topic we discuss is effective donor communication.

After thirty years of studying what works in marketing, the answer is still the same: effective donor communication is personalized. As a fundraiser, you’ll have many choices on how to personalize your donor communication.

But today, I want to talk about a very specific one: Personalized URLs (PURLs).

example of website header with a PURL

Two main reasons stand out as to why PURLs are such a powerful tool for effective donor communication.

  1. They make a much faster connection with the donor.
  2. PURLS allow fundraisers to track important information about your donors so you can understand them better.

PURLs make a much faster connection with the donor.

Imagine if you received an email or a postcard with a link on it. When you click/type in the link, you arrive on a page with a header like the puppy image above.

The image, along with the personalized name, immediately makes an emotional connection. WHY? Because it’s personalized. And personalization is the KEY to effective donor communication.

PURLs allow you to track important information about your donors.

PURLs give your donors the feeling of being known and valued. Plus, they help you track how donors interact with your content.

Data tracking is crucial to understanding where a supporter is on their prospect-to-donor journey. With accurate data, you set yourself up to have even more effective donor communication in the future.


example of effective donor communication PURL on postcard

Real-world Example: Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Here’s a real-world example of how personalized messages helped the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

The Challenge:

Grand Rapids Community Foundation told us they have a really good handle on the technical aspects of planned giving. They had gift plans that fit the needs of their donors.

However, they serve a very diverse donor base with different philanthropic interests. Donors might support the arts, education, preservation, or health-and-welfare causes through the community foundation. 

So, it’s a challenge to craft effective donor communication with a marketing message that resonates with all their best planned giving prospects.

Traditionally, direct marketers were limited to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ message.

But copy that speakes to everyone often results in a message that speaks to no one.

We worked with Grand Rapids Community Foundation to engage donors with messaging that was tailored to each segment of their donor base. Now, they could speak to donors on a more personal level.

effective donor communication in newsletter

The Solution:

Grand Rapids Community Foundation already had great branding and compelling content. PGM leveraged these assets to implement a story-based, multi-channel marketing campaign. We spoke to donors through direct mail, email and landing pages – and then elevated the communication with one-to- one personalization.

Using data from the foundation’s donor files, PGM tailored messages to reflect each donor’s individual giving history:

  • We wove data into the stories, such as the number of years they had been giving to the Foundation and their areas of support.
  • The marketing pieces addressed donors by name and thanked them for their specific years of support
  • Donors saw again how their personal support benefits their community.

The CTA guided them to a personalized landing page via a PURL, where they were greeted by name a nd offered an opportunity to download useful information and provide feedback. Their response created actionable leads for the planned giving team at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Personalization doesn’t have to be complicated. Even in it’s simplicity, it’s a highly effective way to improve donor communication!

When you recognize a donor’s loyal giving and targeted support is a strategic way, it feels like you’re paying attention … and it definitely prompts attention in return.

If you want help making your donor communication more effective, call PGM at 484-680-7600.

Planned Giving Marketing’s PSA: Dig Into the Data

Planned Giving Marketing’s PSA: Dig Into the Data

Transcript:  JEFF: The beauty of digital communication right now is that there are a ton of metrics being generated every time you send something out and every time someone responds.  Measuring that engagement is key to understanding who among your marketing prospects...

read more
Talk About the Impact of a Planned Gift

Talk About the Impact of a Planned Gift

The Impact of A Planned Gift Inspires People to Imagine What's Possible PSAs: Practical Solution Announcements for Busy Fundraisers JEFF: You know, traditionally in planned giving the emphasis has been on vehicles and the benefits of those vehicles. It's likely you've...

read more
Increase Interest in Making a Planned Gift

Increase Interest in Making a Planned Gift

Increase Interest in Making a Planned Gift (Without Making an Ask) Really, marketing is just another word for communicating. Marketing allows you to connect to your donor regularly and let them know you understand what's important to them. What's important? The IMPACT...

read more
PSA: Add This to Your Marketing Immediately

PSA: Add This to Your Marketing Immediately

This Super Simple Practical Solution Makes and INSTANT Connection Between You and Your Donors Transcript:  GREG: Make sure you have your photo on any type of piece that's going out. I know most of us are like, "Oh, I don't want to be photographed," but that's so key...

read more

Contact Us

The best way to engage more planned giving donors is with effective marketing. We would love to help. Please give us a call, send an email, or fill out the form to get started.

Planned Giving Marketing
620 W. Germantown Pike, Suite 440, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
P: 484-680-7600 | F: 877-865-6812

© 2020 Planned Giving Marketing. This site is informational and educational in nature. It is not offering professional tax, legal, or accounting advice. For specific advice about the effect of any planning concept on your tax or financial situation or with your estate, please consult a qualified professional advisor. Privacy Policy