B2B Articles - March 03, 2017

Closed Loop Marketing Tactics for Nonprofits

Closed loop marketing aligns marketing and sales to share information and insights in a closed feedback loop.

But it's not just a tactic for B2B marketing teams: For nonprofits, closed loop marketing can generate leads and raise donations thanks to data-driven decisions.

This blog post outlines what closed loop marketing is, and how it can specifically help nonprofit marketing strategies.

What is closed loop marketing?

Closed loop marketing infographicA closed loop marketing approach sees the nonprofit regularly analyzing lead conversion, lead source, and referral data.

Instead of tracking soft metrics (like general website traffic trends), the nonprofit assigns a tracking URL to every marketing campaign sending traffic to the website.

With this hard data, the organization can identify where visitors are coming from, which pages they are viewing, and what actions they take prior to donating.

Closed loop marketing shows explicitly how different nonprofit functions are performing, and what exact campaigns contributed to returns.


Here are examples of business goals that can be tracked with closed loop reporting:

  • Recurring donations and donations monthly
  • Enhanced subscriptions and advocacy
  • Improved hiring efforts
  • Greater awareness of cause

By capturing more information about lead behavior, quality, and donation trends, the nonprofit can enhance its efficacy overall.

Closed loop marketing tactics for nonprofits

A nonprofit with a closed loop strategy aligns their marketing and donor management teams. Together, the two teams can analyze which marketing channels contribute the best donation leads and conversion opportunities.

Using closed loop feedback effectively, marketing and donor teams can:

  • Calculate ROI for specific marketing channels
  • Nurture leads with enhanced targeting
  • Cut costs per lead by shortening the giving cycle
  • Improve communication and collaboration between departments

Data is the backbone behind each marketing decision. As you can see from the following chart, marketers can uncover different analytics, like giving trends, which will drive or suspend different campaigns.

closed loop marketing nonprofits



Data's role in closed loop marketing

Closed loop feedback depends on data capture. Marketing automation software is an important tool to capture truly meaningful data points and overarching trends.

In a best case scenario, the marketing automation software will integrate with a donor database management tools and/or directly with the nonprofit’s online donation gateway.

closed loop marketing nonprofits

Data capture is particularly important for nonprofits to capitalize on online giving trends. Online giving overall grew 9.2% in 2015 compared to 2014, according to Blackbaud research.

Additionally, nearly 14% of all online donations were made using a mobile device:

  • iPad 43%
  • iPhone 42%
  • Android devices 14%
  • other devices such as Blackberry or Windows phones 1%

“We are now past the mobile tipping point when it comes to digital giving… Nonprofits must continue to invest and perfect how they engage donors using the right channel on the right device at the right time.” — Blackbaud

What does this mean for nonprofit marketers?

With improved insight into the organization’s donors, the nonprofit can identify when and why donors are giving — and see which exact digital campaigns helped drive the donation.

Overall, closed loop reporting drives deeper insights into donor acquisitions and which distinct approaches work best. Don’t leave this approach in the B2B realm; closed loop marketing for nonprofits can make a positive difference too.


Blackbaud. (2016). Charitable Giving Report: How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2015. https://www.blackbaud.com/nonprofit-resources/charitablegiving

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