Family Philanthropy Playbook for Community Foundations

Unit 4: Delivery Channels

Channels are how your services are communicated and delivered to your customers. They’re defined by customers’ interactions (or “touchpoints”) with your foundation throughout their relationship.


READ: Getting Started

Relationships with prospective and current donor families rarely follow a linear path. But, it helps to define commonplace phases of the relationship.

Example frameworks for relationship phases include:

  • AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – a model used in the marketing world
  • Awareness, Evaluation, Purchase, Delivery, and Support – relationship phases often used in the Business Model Canvas process
  • Identification & Qualification, Cultivation, Solicitation, Stewardship – the classic fundraising model.

For each phase, you’ll want to determine which channel or touchpoint most effectively reaches your potential or current customer.

  • Channels or touchpoints you control – including interactions with your staff, board members, website, donor portal, e-newsletters, print or radio advertisements, and your office space.
  • Channels or touchpoints you don’t control – including information provided through professional advisors, interactions with donors at advisors’ offices, peer recommendations, and gift planning recommendations by nonprofits.

Some organizations will create a grid of phases and channels and describe the ideal customer experience and messaging in each cell of the grid. The Customer Experience (CX) industry uses “customer journey maps” to visualize the story of a customer’s experience.


DISCUSS: Animating User Acquisition with Storyboards in 6 Steps

Entrepreneur and business advisor Alexander Cowan recommends using a 6-panel storyboard process to document a customer’s journey from awareness to retention. The article also links to an online storyboarding tool and tutorial.


WATCH (7.5 minutes): Customer Journey Maps

Open Change, a consulting firm in the U.K., offers this introduction to customer journey mapping, including an example of customer experience problems in the financial services industry.


WATCH (49 minutes): Creating an Actionable Customer Journey Map

Boldr Strategic Consulting (formerly Balance Interactive) offers this more in-depth resource on mapping customers’ journeys and improving interactions along the way.


BORROW AND ADAPT: Customer Journey Map Templates

You can find free templates for customer journey maps and customer experience maps in the Design Thinkers Academy and at Pattern Service Design.

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