Donor Communication Done Right: How to Use Moments [+Templates]

What if you could receive a notification at just the right time to reach out to your donors? Donorbox's Donor Moments feature alerts you when a certain donor activity is triggered, allowing you to be more proactive in your donor relationship management. Read on to learn how this feature works and the best way to use it.

7 minutes read
Donor Communication Done Right: How to Use Moments [+Templates]

Personalization and timing are the pillars of effective donor communications. Keeping track of important donor milestones and activities can be difficult, and without the right tools, it is impossible to notice donors’ individual milestones and reach out personally. These milestones can come and go without your donors taking note of them. But for a nonprofit, they are opportunities to reach out to donors, communicate and forge stronger relationships.

Moments helps you achieve that. We know that communication done at the right time is key to building strong donor relations. This functionality on Donorbox works to help you stay current with donor activities and send personalized updates to them.

Let’s look at how you can use Moments to effectively increase donor engagement, understand your donors more closely, and communicate more effectively.

What is Moments on Donorbox?

Moments are notifications on Donorbox that tell nonprofits when a donor performs a particular activity or event. These notifications are triggered upon key donor activities, immediately alerting nonprofits so they can send personalized updates and communicate more effectively with donors. The feature is designed to help nonprofits amp up donor engagement and build stronger donor relationships.

The triggers occur during the following donor activities:

  • When the first donation is made,
  • the first year mark since the first donation was made, or the first-donation anniversary,
  • when the donor cancels their recurring donation plan,
  • when the donor increases their recurring donation amount.
  • they gave a different address in the last donation,
  • and they gave a different phone number in the last donation.

How it works

Moments can be found on the Donorbox dashboard. Click “Engage” and as the options expand, select “Moments“.

how to use donor moments - Donorbox

In the below screenshot, you can see a Moments notification for the first one-time donation made by a donor. The list shows the date of the triggered notification, the name of the donor, moment type (Moments to Contact), and the time remaining until this notification will be removed. You can also add filters like the type of notification you want to see and the days remaining before they’re removed. These filters help you time your communication in a better and more strategic way.

From this Moments list, you can either dismiss a notification or record communication notes to Donorbox.

To record your communication, first, click on “Record Communication”.

how to use donor moments

Next, select the channel through which you contacted the donor and type in the details of the conversation. And click “Record Communication”.

how to use donor moments

Once you have taken an action, the notification will be removed from the Moments list.

How to Make the Most of Moments?

Moments features help nonprofits stay current with key donor events, so they can send personalized and more effective communications to donors.

We believe that in building relationships, time is of the essence. Effective communication means conveying the right message at the right time.

Moment #1 – When the first donation is made, make it personal

When a donor gives for the first time to a nonprofit, appreciating their support personally can make or break a lasting impression of your organization. A grateful note speaks volumes about the people running the nonprofit, building a lasting trust that is important.

If you never acknowledge their donation, though, the donor will feel your organization is ungrateful, or they’re going to forget that they donated to you altogether.

You may think that the end of the year or holidays are the right time to thank your donors, but think again, the first time a donor connects with your nonprofit and gives, and receives a personal note thanking them for their gift. In which case is the donor more likely to form a deeper connection with your organization?

Acquiring a new donor is not easy, similarly for the donor, discovering your organization and believing in your cause, and choosing to donate, has been a journey. As a nonprofit, you must make their journey worthwhile by making them feel special and an important part of your journey.

Moments features lets you know when you receive a gift from a new donor for the first time, take this opportunity to send them a personalized thank you note and share how their donation will be used.

Learn how to craft your thank you note from our blog on how to write a thank-you letter, explore different ways to thank your donors, and take cues from our guide on writing donor acknowledgments.

Here’s a downloadable donor thank-you letter template from Donorbox to help you write your own thank-you letter to your first-time donors.

Moment #2 – First year anniversary – build a lasting relationship

Remembering your donors’ First Anniversary is as effective as thanking them for the first time they give. The first year anniversary since the first gift from a donor is a special event – it marks the day when the donor first connected with you, the start of your relationship!

This is a good time to reach out to them, thank them and share the work you were able to accomplish over the year.

This Moment trigger helps you take a step further into personalizing donor communications and making the donor feel valued. Personalizing your approach is more effective than remembering donors on holidays or at the end of the year.

Think of how special your donor will feel when you send a note similar to:

On this day, last year, you chose to support us in caring for our beloved animals at Esther’s Animal Farm. We want to thank you for your kindness and generosity.

In the last year, your donation has brought Mia the life-giving medical assistance she needed to recover from the tumor. Today she is a healthy pup spreading joy to everyone she meets. Thank you!

The first year anniversary is also a great moment to make a donation appeal and ask the donor to continue their support. Especially if they are not a recurring donor, this might be the time to ask them to support you monthly or annually.

Moment #3 – Cancel recurring donation – time to get in touch!

Your donor has supported you for several months or even years, and suddenly canceled their recurring plan? It’s worthwhile learning what is causing them to leave. Recurring donors are the backbone of your nonprofit fundraising, so when you lose a recurring donor, we notify you immediately.

What should you ask?

Ask the leaving recurring donor what is causing them to leave.

They might be unable to afford the amount on a recurring basis. Ask them that if not monthly, will they consider giving quarterly, half-yearly, or annually?

Sometimes donors leave because they cannot see where their donation is going and they are not sure how you’re using it. Ask the donor if there is anything you can do to get them to stay. Perhaps a meeting explaining to them about the work you have been doing could reel them back in.

In some cases the donor might be losing faith in your cause, you can always try to explain to them why your cause is still relevant and the touchpoints that led them to support you in the first place.

Donorbox has curated some fundraising scripts including a sample reactivation call script to help nonprofits reach out to their lost recurring donors. Download it from here.

sample donor letters

Moment #4 – Changed recurring donation to a higher amount than before

Your donor is clearly happy with the work you are doing and has committed to a higher donation amount… this calls for a celebration!

This moment is important because it is a clear indication that the donor is a bigger supporter than before. This is a good time to reinforce the trust and let them know that you appreciate their contribution.

Reach out to donors when they upgrade the recurring donation amount and let them know how much you value their support. Your donor will feel special and more connected with your cause seeing their contribution acknowledged personally.

You may also discover what is making the donor support you more and make your communication more contextual. Perhaps you have been proactive in sharing your impact reports, or your donors are more responsive to your newer campaigns – it will be worth discovering what is attracting larger donations so you continue applying that more.

Moment #5 – Donors gave a different address while making a new donation

Your existing donor has made a new donation and they’ve inputted a different address than earlier during this process. This situation triggers a moment alert for you so that you can check the new address they’ve given and make one of two decisions – update or dismiss.

This moment is especially important because it may so happen that the change in address is not precise. In that case, you can get in touch with your donor and check if they really wanted it to be updated or not. Accordingly, since your donors’ personal details are important for your communication, you can either update or dismiss the new address.

Moment #6 – Donors gave a different phone number while making a new donation

This moment alert isn’t very different than the previous one – just that this time your donor has changed the phone number. Again, this is a crucial information about your existing donor. If you make donation appeal calls or send texts for an urgent appeal to donors, correct phone numbers are important.

So when this moment notification is triggered, you can reach out to the donor and check if there was a typing mistake or they intended to change the number. Accordingly, either update the number in the respective donor record or dismiss the change.


These 6 moments are crucial in your donor management as well as fundraising strategy. And as you’ve seen, Donorbox makes it simple for you to keep track of them and reach out to your supporters at the right time. In addition to Moments, Donorbox also helps nonprofits with features like Donor Management and QuickDonate. On one hand, these features help you level up your donor management plans and on the other hand, they also make the donation journey of your donors the best that there can be.

Explore Donorbox‘s simple-to-use and donation-boosting features such as Recurring Donations, Crowdfunding, Text-to-Give, Peer-to-Peer, customizable Fundraising Pages, etc. Donorbox also enables you to run Membership campaigns and create online Event-Ticketing forms. All these features have helped 50,000+ organizations across 96 countries raise $1.6 billion+ in donations. Sign up for free and be a part of this success story.

Donorbox Premium gives you access to fundraising coaches and technical experts with years of industry experience and a set of high-powered tools. pricing is personalized for each nonprofit. Book a demo now to take your fundraising and donor management to the next level.

Check out the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog to discover the latest trends and tips in fundraising, free resources, and helpful guides to run your organization better. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive a curated list of the best Donorbox resources in your inbox every month.

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Raviraj heads the sales and marketing team at Donorbox. His growth-hacking abilities have helped Donorbox boost fundraising efforts for thousands of nonprofit organizations.

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