You’re engaged. Congratulations!

in Cultivation & Stewardship,Marketing for Nonprofits

Your nonprofit is engaged in diligently engaging your supporters.  Congratulations!

Or are you?

Not all ACTIONS qualify as engagement.  For example, these actions are NOT engagement:

Receiving an email
Receiving a direct mail letter, catalog, etc.
Inviting a supporter to an event
Talking to a supporter face-to-face or on the phone
Clicking on a pay-per-click ad

Although I don’t classify the list above as forms of engagement, those are desired actions. And they move people one step closer to engagement.

What’s next? Here are a few engagement actions but they’re not great indicators of strong support or solid loyalty:

Opening an email
Opening your text message
Clicking on a link within your email
Signing up for a webinar
“Liking” your Facebook page

So don’t rely too heavily on those types of actions when evaluating the success of your campaigns.

Instead, set your sights on the following. When you’ve got donors, members and advocates taking these actions … then you’ve got exciting engagement taking place:

Calling your call center
Filling out a survey
Participating in a contest as a contestant
Voting in a contest or poll
Attending a special event, conference, or webinar
Recommending you to their friends and family
Using you nonprofit’s mobile app
Forwarding your emails to their friends and family
Posting a review of your nonprofit, webinar, or event on your Facebook page
Requesting information
Volunteer to help in some way
Scanned your mobile barcode
Clicking through AND watching your online video or listening to your podcast
Post a comment on your blog
Making a donation or joining your association (once they do this, strive to get them truly engaged with the preceding 14 activities)

Again, although everything listed above is the result of a supporter TAKING ACTION, not all actions are forms of engagement. And not all engagement activities are created equal.

Create goals and move toward the deepest levels of engagement. It’s these deep forms of engagement that reap the greatest rewards for your nonprofit in terms of funds raised, higher retention, etc.

What forms of deep engagement are working best for your nonprofit? Please share anything I missed by adding a comment to this post.

Related posts for more useful information:

12 Donor Cultivation Tactics … includes info on involvement / engagement

Donor cultivation and fundraising tools keep growing … an ideal engagement channel

How to engage donors and members