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CSM Tip: Now Is The Time To Focus On Engagement!

**Posted on behalf of Lauren Crawford**

My son is almost 4 so, naturally, we enjoy a good game of I Spy. Humor me and play along.

I spy constituents that like your organization…
I spy constituents who want to receive updates from you…

Any guesses? No, it’s not the dog. Okay I’ll tell you - I spy an opportunity to increase open rates for Giving Tuesday and End of Year! But it’s May? Yes, it’s May and what you probably don’t realize is that now is the time to start focusing on constituent engagement (if you’re not doing so already). Think about how you personally open emails. Are you more likely to open an ask email from an organization you haven’t heard from in a year or one that has been sharing and communicating with you regularly over the past year? I’m almost always going to glaze over or delete the email from someone who is randomly emailing me to ask for a donation.

While this list is not extensive, I want to highlight a few ways to start engaging with your constituents by sharing meaningful content:

1.    Check your welcome series. Do you have one setup? If not, now is a great time to put together a series of emails that will welcome new constituents to your organization. If you already have a welcome series, review the emails and ensure all of the information is still relevant and all links in the email are active.
2.    Send at least 1 communication each month, at the minimum. If you’re not already sending a monthly eNewsletter this is an easy way create regular communication with your constituents.
3.    Share interesting stories, spotlight employees, volunteers or those who are impacted by your mission. Most importantly, share content that will help people feel they have a personal connection with you.
4.    Invite constituents to events and also share results of events.
5.    Report on how money is used. Donors want to know you’re fiscally responsible and how their money is being put to work.
Luminate also offers the ability to segment your emails and send targeted content. Do you have content that would be more applicable to donors vs prospects? How do you talk to different audiences in different ways? It’s important not to mass email everyone on your list all the time.

Lastly, plan out your communications on a calendar. Not only is this a good way to visually see how many touches you have with your constituents but it can help keep you organized, especially if there are multiple departments who want to share information. For the rock stars who are already ticking several of the boxes above, a calendar can help make sure you’re not sending too much email.

I’m confident if you start regularly communicating with constituents now, you’ll have better open rates around Giving Tuesday and End of Year. I spy increased engagement already!

Posted by Rachel Shields on May 18, 2017 11:46 AM America/New_York