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5 Ways To Use Account Engagement for Nonprofit Marketing

By June 4, 2018

By: Karin Tracy, VP Marketing, Fíonta

If you do a little research into Marketing Cloud Account Engagement and Marketing Cloud Engagement, you’ll quickly read that Account Engagement is for Business-to-Business (B2B) communications (for example, a company marketing their products or services to other companies) and Engagement is for Business-to-Consumers (B2C) communications (for example, T-Mobile selling phones to actual people).

Well, neither of those comparisons are particularly useful for nonprofit organizations or associations and…both Account Engagement and Engagement can be transformational for nonprofits or associations. This blog focuses on the ways nonprofits and associations can use Account Engagement to communicate with donors, members, staff, volunteers, and others.


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1. Fundraising

Most nonprofit organizations fundraise and depend on the generosity of individuals and/or corporate donors. Account Engagement is a perfect fit for organizations looking to automate funding asks, to reach out to the right individuals at the right time, and to track the success of fundraising campaigns.

In addition to email marketing and customer journeys (described in more depth below), Account Engagement offers prospect grading and scoring. Scoring is an indication of how interested the prospect is in your organization, while grading measures how strong a fit the individual might be based on their profile. Every action or interaction a prospect takes can be scored both positively and negatively. As they provide information or insight into their behavior, their score may rise or fall. Grades are based on explicit information about the prospect like job title, organization, location, or custom fields that are relevant for your organization.

Your development team decides at what point a user has a high enough score to merit any particular interaction – from a phone call, to an in-person meeting, to an invitation to a coveted event. With the power of Salesforce behind Account Engagement, the development team can view all interactions along with donation history right at the record level.

2. Events

Pardot has a built-in connector with Eventbrite, the easy-to-use event management toolAccount Engagement has a built-in connector with Eventbrite, the easy-to-use event management tool. If your nonprofit hosts in-person events – fundraisers, capacity-building workshops or training, volunteer events – and uses EventBrite, then you should use the Account Engagement connector.

All activity and engagement captured by Eventbrite, including RSVP and attendance, is written to the individual’s Account Engagement record and synced to Salesforce. Even knowing that an invitee did not RSVP or didn’t attend an event can be helpful to know, as it may suggest an event didn’t hit the mark or wasn’t of interest.

Event attendees can easily be dropped into an engagement path to receive follow-up communications. And, to tie this back to fundraising, your development team can see whether a potential or recurring donor has attended events before reaching out for an ask.

3. Managing volunteers

Manage volunteersVolunteers are often the lifeblood of a nonprofit organization and volunteer managers can find themselves doing repetitive work in support of their volunteer teams. Repeatedly answering the same questions, sending the same documents, following up with volunteers: wash, rinse, repeat.

Identify volunteers by either syncing a custom field in Salesforce or uploading a CSV file to Account Engagement directly. With these individuals identified, you can easily create dynamic criteria-based lists. All the other information associated with that individual’s profile is helpful, too. You may want to target all volunteers in the Washington, DC area or volunteers who have a special set of skills, for instance.

4. Impact reporting

Impact ReportingNonprofit budgets – especially for operations – aren’t usually huge. Every dollar spent needs to be accounted for, development and marketing need to understand what the return on investment (ROI) was, and the executive director expects to understand how impactful marketing communications have been. At the very surface, Account Engagement’s email reporting looks quite similar to that of a MailChimp or Constant Contact. Opens, clicks, unsubscribes…these statistics are present and displayed in a graphical manner, easy to quickly digest.

Where Account Engagement shines, however, is in closed-loop reporting. Closed-loop reporting is tying constituents back to the initial touch. How did that person find your organization, what did they do on your website before they gave you their email address, what local or online events did they participate in, what action precipitated their eventual conversion? With this 360-degree view of constituents, development and marketing can determine the actual dollar cost per person and make determinations about the success (or not!) of an individual campaign.

We haven’t even discussed the power of having your Salesforce data connected to Account Engagement. Imagine combining campaign impact reporting with any set of fields (data) in Salesforce.

Example queries may be, “How well did our online fundraising events do in Q1 and Q2 with donors who have historically donated between $250 and $500 a year?” or “Did we increase the number of volunteers in the Los Angeles area by greater than 15% over the previous year?”. If you can imagine a question, you can get answers with the power of the data captured in Salesforce and Account Engagement.

5. Webinars / Training

Webinar and TrainingMany nonprofits communicate at scale with volunteers or staff and save a ton of staff time with recorded webinar or training sessions. There’s no limit to how creative you can be with a recorded webinar – you can provide software training, convey best practices in donation management and fundraising, or educate staff about the organization’s history and values. For constituents, bring an Annual Report to life with video and narrative, show how donations are spent on mission, enable capacity building with focused topic areas, and so on.

How does this tie in with Account Engagement? Using one of Account Engagement’s webinar connectors (WebEx, ReadyTalk, or GoToWebinar), all activity surrounding the webinar will be recorded to the individual’s record. Were invitations opened or clicked on, did a constituent register for a webinar, attend, stay until the end, respond to followup emails or a survey? Did that person take an action in the days or weeks afterward that ties in with the webinar topic? Just as you can measure campaign success (as described above), measure the return on webinars or training sessions. 

These are just a few of the ways that Account Engagement can demonstrate a measurable impact on your nonprofit organization’s fundraising and communications efforts.


Learn More About Account Engagement


About the Author
Karin TracyKarin Tracy has been a communicator and storyteller for as long as she can remember. Equal parts left- and right-brained, her creativity is matched with a high attention to detail and a love of data. She then joined the executive team at Fíonta following a successful 10-year stint as the owner of a graphic design firm, preceded by years of agency experience throughout the DC area. Some of her proudest moments at Fíonta have included her work with Greater Than AIDS and Women’s Refugee Commission. After 6 years managing Fionta’s award-winning web design and development team, Karin became a Salesforce Certified Account Engagement Consultant and assumed responsibility for all corporate marketing initiatives and the development of Fíonta’s Account Engagement practice.

Karin lives in a renovated loft apartment in downtown Los Angeles with her husband, three dogs, and a cat who believes he’s a dog. In her spare time, you can find Karin at the gym or on a mountain, knitting or crafting, while listening to a novel or podcast. Karin also acts as a mentor to local low-income high school seniors as they apply to college and for scholarships through Kid City Hope Place.