Welcome to part 10 of our blog series, "Level-Up Your Fundraising."
This latest blog series is written to help nonprofits of all sizes navigate through several different fundraising situations. Each tip is designed to help you raise more money with less stress and hassle for your organization.
If you missed part 9 which is all about winning grants by casting the big picture vision, you can view it here.
Part 10: Find – and Use – Good Fundraising Software for Your Nonprofit
Your nonprofit’s fundraising software can literally make or break your development program. Good fundraising software can be the difference between a successful, comprehensive fundraising program run by happy fundraisers and a disjointed, wasteful fundraising program run by a stressed-out staff.
Most modern nonprofits run complex fundraising programs. Even small organizations generally host one or more fundraising events, send out multiple fundraising mailings, raise money online, and engage in face-to-face fundraising with their major donors. Mid-sized and large organizations add to that complexity by adding other fundraising tactics, and employing multiple team members to implement their fundraising plans.
With all that activity, it can be hard to track donor communications and analyze how different donors respond to each of the various strategies you use. Good fundraising software (such as StratusLIVE 😊) makes this much easier by providing a central repository for all your development data.
The right software solution will allow everyone on your team to have instant access to your donor data and information on where each donor and prospect is in the fundraising process.
Likewise, your fundraising software will enable your team to analyze and report on each of your fundraising tactics immediately.
Remember that good donor software makes donor cultivation easier and more effective. Your nonprofit likely communicates with donors in many ways: in-person meetings, phone calls, cultivation events, snail mail and e-mail newsletters, written fundraising appeals, and more. Without good fundraising software, it can be tough to communicate with your donors effectively.
Most fundraising software allows you to print donor thank you letters and fundraising appeals (both e-mail and snail mail) right from within the system. Likewise, your software tracks who receives what, so that you’ll know which donors received each appeal letter, which donors received your newsletters, and which donors were invited to or attended each of your fundraising events. This makes your donor cultivation process easier and more effective by allowing you to communicate with different segments, track donors through your fundraising funnel, and instantly see team member notes from in-person meetings and phone calls.
Equally important is the fact that great donor software will allow your nonprofit to do more with less.
Most nonprofits are short on resources. Rare is the organization that has enough time, budget, and staff to do everything it wants to do to raise money. When your fundraising program is disjointed, this problem is exacerbated. Nonprofits that duplicate work or focus on strategies with a low return on investment are likely to raise far less than they otherwise would and to do so with more stress and hassle than necessary.
Good fundraising software allows your development team to do more with less by ensuring that donor information is at everyone’s fingertips. Instead of having to search through Excel files or review copies of mailing lists by hand, your team can immediately get the information they need to do their jobs effectively.
Even better, your fundraising software allows you to focus your time and resources on those fundraising strategies that work well for your nonprofit. You can run reports that analyze the return on your investments of time, money, and other resources for each of your fundraising strategies and know with certainty which fundraising tactics to focus on, and which to phase out. Good fundraising software enables your organization to effortlessly implement the 80/20 rule and put your resources to work where they will make the most significant difference for your nonprofit.