Donor Journey Mapping

Updated: Feb 21, 2018

One of the most important parts of #RelationshipFundraising is to map your #DonorJourney(s). By doing this mapping exercise, you achieve 5 things: -

You create a blue print for everyone in your team to follow

  • You make life simple and take the guess work / decision making out of how and when to respond to / communicate with your donors

  • You create patterns of good stewardship, which become the standard rather than the exceptional

  • You create a level of expectation from your donors and supporters which helps to build the relationship between you and them

  • You plan for the development of donors and for their movement up the donor pyramid

So how do you start mapping your donors' journeys?


1) Start by identifying all of the points at which a person becomes a supporter or donor to your charity. Don't forget to include those who take part in events on you're behalf and those who give in memory of a loved on or in thanks for support / care you've given a loved on

When I did this exercise with a client recently, we put a large copy of the donor pyramid on the wall and added each of our touch points to the pyramid so that we had a visual representation that everyone could see.

2) Then work out all of the other opportunities there are for those same people to engage with your organisation, either at the same level but more regularly, or at a higher level. With the actual visual representation, this was much easier to achieve and to comprehend.

3) Then map what a journey might look like as a donor makes their way up that pyramid

4) Then identify what kinds of engagement, development, support and nurturing you could / would undertake to assist them on that journey

5) Decide how often and by what means you want to communicate with them and about what - make sure you ALWAYS say 'thank you!'

6) Make sure that you make time for these every month in your work scheduling.

7) Plan your year's calendar of mailings and donor communications around these journeys

8) Assign a person to be responsible for each element of that journey so that nothing gets overlooked or missed

9) Accept that there will always be donors who don't conform to your expectations, and that you will need to prepare for donors moving down the pyramid as well as up

10) Make sure your interaction with the supporters and donors is personal and individual. Don't just send a letter, pick up the phone. Don't write to 'Dear Friend', call them by their name. Don't just expect them to take your word for it, have your patients / service users / volunteers play their part in that nurturing and encouragement

If you'd like to find out more about Donor Journeys and how we could help create your map, get in touch!

Claire xx



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