Managing a healthy donor pipeline flow can be a challenge, even for organizations with the best leaders and development directors. With each step that’s required to move donors through the pipeline, development directors must learn how to pay attention to the details while keeping the entire structure of the pipeline in mind.

If you want to build a healthy donor pipeline that seamlessly moves your donors from making their first gift to becoming a lifetime supporter, here are four steps that will help:

Step 1: Fill the Pipeline

You can’t optimize your donor pipeline if you don’t have an active base to fill it with. Developing an intentional strategy for acquisition and reactivation is the first step to building a healthy donor pipeline.

Are there any links in your donor pipeline? What can you do to solve them?

Step 2: Keep the Pipeline from Leaking

Your strategy for moving donors through the pipeline will only be as effective as your ability to retain and steward donors. Evaluate your preventative maintenance strategy.

What are you doing to retain and steward donors so they don’t fall out of the pipeline?

Step 3: Prioritize and Prime the Pipeline

Knowing your donors enables targeted messaging, allows you to be deliberate in your communication, and enhances your ability to successfully upgrade and downgrade your donors when and where needed.

How are you using data to prioritize your pipeline and develop a strategy that will resonate with your donors? Have you created a clear internal pathway for your constituents?   

Step 4: Connect Your Pipeline to the “House”

The final step to optimizing your donor pipeline is to integrate it into all aspects of your organization. When you connect your donor pipeline to the “house” by sharing information across silos, it ensures that all departments are functioning cohesively and coordinating their efforts to create a seamless donor-centered process.

Are there processes within your organization that encourage silos and the lack of sharing of information regarding your donors?

Forgetting to view the donor pipeline strategically and comprehensively can cause leaders to make snap judgments about their donor strategy. This approach usually leads to “drought” in one area of the pipeline while creating bottlenecks in others.

If you want to manage your donor pipeline effectively, consider how each element affects the others. Define the key metrics that identify areas of growth or improvement. Develop a strategy centered around your donors and ensure that your entire organization is working together.

Are you issuing an RFP to find a partner to help take your fundraising program to the next level? We’d love to be considered! As an agency built by fundraisers for fundraisers, Allegiance Group + Pursuant has helped hundreds of organizations raise billions of dollars through our direct response, direct mail, digital, and analytics services. Contact us today!

Ready to develop a strategy that is centered around your donors?