If you’re like most nonprofits, you’ve probably found that making the most of your limited resources has become increasingly challenging. You might have considered improving your processes or even pursuing digital transformation to continue effectively carrying out your mission.

Before you do this, it’s important to understand one of the key success factors in these types of projects: customer journey mapping. Today, we’re sharing tips for mapping the nonprofit customer journey.

Why Nonprofit Customer Journey Mapping Matters​

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the steps a customer takes when interacting with an organization. Mapping the customer journey can help you better understand your stakeholders’ needs and identify areas for improvement.

If you’re a nonprofit, there are several benefits of creating a customer, donor, or member journey map:

1. Helps You Clarify Your Mission​

Have you considered your organization’s purpose from your stakeholders’ perspectives? This can help you clarify your mission and identify areas where you may need to make changes to better align with your stakeholders’ needs.

2. Helps You Understand Your Stakeholders

Understanding your stakeholders’ behaviors, preferences, and pain points can help you create targeted messaging and programs that resonate with your audience.

3. Increases Stakeholder Engagement

By mapping your stakeholders’ journey, you can identify areas where you can increase engagement. For example, you might be able to provide more personalized experiences or expand your communication channels.

Software Selection & Process Improvement Case Study

In helping the client get its project back on track, one of our primary focus areas was decreasing their customization needs by improving their processes to align with the system's best practices.

How to Map the Nonprofit Customer Journey

1. Define Your Personas

A persona is a representation of your ideal customer or stakeholder.

To define your personas, you need to gather data, such as demographic information and information on their interests, motivations, and pain points. You can collect this information through surveys, focus groups, and interviews, or by analyzing data from your CRM or ERP system.

Based on your findings, you can create personas that represent different segments of your stakeholder base. For example, you might have a persona for a young adult who is passionate about social justice, or a persona for a retired professional who is looking for ways to give back to their community.

2. Identify Touchpoints​

The next step is to identify the touchpoints between your stakeholders and your organization. Touchpoints can be both online and offline and might include actions like donating, volunteering, attending an event, or receiving an email communication.

To identify touchpoints, ask yourself questions like:

  • What are the different ways donors, members, and volunteers interact with our organization?
  • What channels do they use to communicate with us?
  • What events or activities do they participate in?
  • What information are they seeking from us?

3. Map the Customer Journey

This is when you create a visual representation of the journey using a tool like a flowchart or diagram. Using your personas and touchpoints as a guide, map the steps your stakeholders take when interacting with your organization.

4. Identify Opportunities for Improvement

As you create your customer or donor journey map, be sure to include any pain points or obstacles that donors or members may encounter. For example, you might have a confusing donation process or a lack of information on your website.

To identify opportunities for improvement, look at each step of the journey and ask yourself:

  • Is this step necessary?
  • Is this step easy for stakeholders to complete?
  • Is there any confusion or uncertainty at this step?
  • Is there an opportunity to personalize this step based on the stakeholder’s persona?

5. Implement Changes and Measure Success

To address pain points, you might find you need new ERP software or a dose of business process reengineering. This is why customer journey mapping is a critical component of most organization-wide projects – it ensures your new processes and technology align with your vision for the customer journey.

As you begin digital transformation, be sure to track metrics, like website traffic and donor engagement. This can help you identify what is working and what needs improvement, allowing you to refine your customer journey over time.

Does Your Stakeholder Journey Align With Your Organization’s Mission?

Your digital transformation project or process improvement initiative will only succeed if you prioritize customer journey mapping.  

This process isn’t as difficult as it seems. The nonprofit customer journey is unique, but certain universal principles apply when creating a journey map.

You can use this blog post as a starting point for improving your processes and technology to ensure greater engagement, retention, and support. Then, contact our business process reengineering consultants with any questions or for assistance with ERP selection, implementation, or process improvement.

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