Grow recurring donors with Twilio Segment

Introducing’s Solution Blueprint for nonprofit donor engagement, featuring an all-new Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT Segment Destination (beta).

By Jeff Eiden

In this time of macroeconomic headwinds, nonprofits face growing fundraising challenges. Donors are tightening their spending, and in turn, giving less. In 2022, the number of new individual nonprofit donors fell nearly 20%, while retention of new donors is down 15% year-over-year. This dynamic puts pressure on fundraising programs — driving the cost to acquire a new donor up, and the lifetime value of each donor down. 

To drive efficient fundraising growth amidst these headwinds, leading fundraising teams are delivering personalized experiences across the entire donor journey. It turns out that personalization makes donors feel 5x more engaged with your organization, and their donation sizes are 10-15% larger. These data points show how personalization can help recession-proof a nonprofit’s fundraising program by strengthening the relationship you build with each new donor.’s solution blueprint for nonprofit fundraising

One key way that personalization increases the lifetime value of each new donor you recruit is by converting them to a recurring giver at a high rate.’s new Solution Blueprint demonstrates how nonprofits can use Segment’s Constituent Data Platform (CDP) to empower fundraising teams to create truly personalized experiences that drive more new donors to become recurring givers.

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Watch the full demonstration of’s Solution Blueprint for growing your recurring donor base.

The demo showcases three main ways that Segment can help delight donors and boost recurring givers:

  1. Build a modern data foundation, featuring a new Blackbaud Segment Destination. Unify data about your donors across touchpoints, and sync that data to your donor CRM. The demo features a new Segment Destination for Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT (beta).

  2. Achieve complete view of donors. Create golden profiles of your donors that aggregates information about them into a source-of-truth profile that lives in Segment.

  3. Deliver personalized donor engagement. Activate the data from your golden donor profiles to deepen your relationship with donors using what you know about them.

    1. Your messages will be tailored to the preferences of each individual. 

    2. You’ll communicate with them at the right times on the right channels.

    3. And you’ll have the intelligence and orchestration tools to do this at scale.

The demo features Owl Rescue, a fictitious nonprofit organization focused on owl conservation, and follows LucyRodriguez’s end-to-end journey to becoming a recurring donor.

Unify donor data featuring our new Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT Segment Destination


Achieving personalized donor engagement in practice is actually quite hard. The main roadblock to personalization is bad data

Many nonprofits use a constellation of purpose built point-solutions to power their digital donor engagement programs. These tools may include:

  • A website

  • A fundraising platform to power donor checkout

  • An online advocacy tool that allows supporters to sign petitions

  • Communication tools for email and SMS outreach to donors

These separate solutions were not built to interoperate and often create donor data silos and inconsistencies. Without a complete and accurate view of their donor, creating personalized donor experiences becomes all but impossible. 

The demo shows how a nonprofit can use Segment to fix their data problem by creating a modern donor data foundation. Segment unifies your donor data across touchpoints currently stuck in silos, and syncs that data to your donor CRM of choice. The example nonprofit — Owl Rescue — unifies data across a Wordpress-hosted website, online fundraising forms powered by FundraiseUp, and petitions from Engaging Networks to create a complete picture of their new donor in their CRM, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT. 

As our new supporter Lucy navigates Owl Rescue’s website, makes her first gift, and signs her first petition, all of this activity is tracked by Segment and automatically sent to Raiser’s Edge. With this foundation in place, donor data is kept clean, standardized, and trusted across systems. 

Keep in mind your organization may use other data sources than the ones in the demo. That’s absolutely expected, and Segment can be customized to work with your organization’s unique data stack. Our goal is simply to show one realistic example.

New! Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT Segment Destination

The demo showcases our all-new Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT Segment Destination. Tens of thousands of nonprofits rely on Raiser’s Edge NXT’s purpose-built donor CRM as the platform that drives their fundraising programs. 

Our new Segment Destination automates and streamlines the process of getting upstream donor touchpoint data into Raiser’s Edge. Our Destination initially supports mapping to 3 Raiser’s Edge objects:

  1. Constituent - create or update new donor records based on their digital activity

  2. Gift - keep accurate records of constituent’s donations made across giving opportunities (fundraising forms, matching gift platforms, in-person events, etc.)

  3. Action - capture a constituent’s online petition signatures, volunteer engagement, and more

Because the Raiser’s Edge NXT Destination is built using Segment’s Destination Actions framework, customers will enjoy an easier setup process, improved customizability, and increased transparency. 

Golden Profiles create a complete view of your donor and unlock custom audiences


With a modern data foundation in place, golden donor profiles provide a 360-degree view of your donors across touchpoints. These golden profiles serve as the basis for unlocking personalized experiences for across communication channels. This relies on Twilio Engage, a new product within Segment.

The demo shows how traits about our first-time donor, Lucy, are captured across multiple touchpoints to create a golden profile for her. For instance, her profile captures her specific interest in Barn Owls based on the petition she signed, and the details of her one-time donation. These custom traits are aggregated from Owl Rescue’s website, fundraising tool (FundraiseUp), and advocacy platform (Engaging Networks) into a single view of their donors.

Based on Lucy’s tracked activity – making a one-time donation and signing a petition – Twilio Engage helps this organization add Lucy to a custom audience for promising recurring donor prospects. These are traits that Owl Rescue has identified as indicators of a supporter that has a high likelihood of converting to a recurring donor. These audiences, powered by Twilio Engage, will enable our nonprofit to deliver targeted messages across multiple channels, including SMS and email.

Deliver personalized engagement through real-time donor journeys


Lastly, Segment enables any nonprofit to activate the data from their golden donor profiles to orchestrate journeys that deliver personalized experiences for donors across channels. Twilio’s industry-leading SMS and Email platforms natively integrate with Engage, allowing you to reach the right audience, at the right time, on the right channel.

In the demo, with our audience built that identifies promising recurring donors, we can now use a journey from Twilio Engage to trigger a personalized SMS appeal to our donor and tailor the experience of becoming a member based on her previous engagement.

A week after Lucy makes her first donation and signs a petition, she gets a text. It’s from Justine, a program director for Owl Rescue. Lucy is thanked for her donation last week and for the specific petition she signed to protect Barn Owls in California.  It really feels like Owl Rescue knows her and is aware of all the ways she’s supported them. And it feels that much more personal getting a text message from the program director. She feels important and valued.

The text sent by this Journey uses merge fields that auto-populate traits from Lucy’s Segment golden profile – like her name and which species of owl she’s interested in. That’s what made it feel so personalized to Lucy and made her take the next step toward becoming a member.

lil owl plushie

Finally, using Segment’s Profiles API, Owl Rescue is able to completely customize the webpage asking Lucy to become a member based on data from her golden profile. From her previous petition sign, they were able to offer a tailored thank-you gift (a Barn Owl stuffed animal!) that resonated with Lucy & provide an update on the progress of the advocacy work she cared about most.

This is ultimately what helped convert Lucy into a monthly giver – these personalized touches help Lucy feel valued by Owl Rescue in a way that built loyalty throughout her engagement with the nonprofit. This was all made possible by Segment.

Partner with to begin your journey to personalized donor engagement

If you are running a digital fundraising program, feel the pain of siloed data, and are looking to grow your recurring donors – the team is here to help. 

Talk with a expert who can understand your organization’s unique fundraising goals and needs, and create a plan for how Segment can work for you.

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