Organization is the key to success in any operation, and your non-profit is no different. There are countless situations your organization can map, and by doing so you will create a more efficient and systematized charity.

If your organization is creating a donor experience map for the first time, it is best to start simple and stay basic. By doing this, you can solidify an optimal donor experience whilst learning which formulas work best, which formulas fall short, and manage the performance of your donor experience.

Without further adieu, here are two types of maps your organization may want to implement:

Map 1: Simple List

The simple list is, quite simply, a step-by-step map of your organization’s donor engagement plan. This is based on a trigger action, whereby you will begin the map at step one and continue through the journey until step 10 (or 20, or 50). Every donor action creates a trigger of events. For example, donors who give a gift online will create a ripple effect; receiving confirmation of their gift, mailing a handwritten thank you letter, and added to the newsletter subscription list.

You can make these simple lists any length you want, but keep in mind that this type of donor experience map and its related progression are linear and have only a single dependency. While the simple list is great because it is straightforward and easily implemented, it can also lose more complex trigger events of donor actions.

This is an example of a generic customer journey map:

generic customer journey mapping

Map 2: Decision Tree

A decision tree, more complex than a simple list, will have different pathways depending on the interaction with a donor and the subsequent triggers. The decision tree is an “if, then” map, where each point of contact will have different dependencies and progressions depending on the action of the donor.

One example of this ‘if, then’ progression is newsletter subscription. If an online donor doesn’t want to subscribe to your organization’s newsletter, your map should have a “yes/no” decision tree that alters the course of their donor journey based on their decision. Naturally, you will still want to engage with the donor even if they aren’t interested in the newsletter, so your decision tree will provide different dependent actions based on positive or negative triggers/decisions.

decision tree

The decision tree is a non-linear, more detailed outline. This mapping technique is more complex, but can more effectively align your organization’s action with donor decisions.

Have fun with testing and retesting!

Now that you know how to outline a donor journey map, next you can properly create one.

In order to maximize your map’s effectiveness, your organization must test and retest your maps in order to discover the most successful formula. Consequently, you want your map to utilize only strategies with the best recorded performance and results.

So, make a map, put it to use, and test it. Extract data to learn, support and prove what works best for your organization. Whatever way you are best able to engage with donors and provide a great experience, is the way you need to officially implement on your map and in your operations. This formula, as it becomes embedded in your operational organization, will help to sustain and improve the long-term performance of your non-profit.