Why Integrating Offline and Online Giving Will Be Key to Your Fundraising Success
The evolving role of offline and online giving and how it affects your mission
by Jordan GoodWe’re living in a time of nearly unparalleled technical innovation. Software and devices that would have seemed unthinkable 5 or 10 years ago are now essential parts of our daily lives. At the forefront of innovation is the Internet. Who would have thought so much of our lives would be intertwined with cloud-based services, websites and software? For nonprofit organizations, technical innovation in software and technical solutions is revolutionizing how we operate, and integrating new technologies into your existing giving programs is crucial.Is online giving a part of your organization’s fundraising strategy? In our 2015 survey report: Predictions for Nonprofit Giving, 48% of respondents received online donations, while 58% received paper check donations. As more donors look for ways to simplify giving and make tracking their donations easier, online giving will become less of a convenience and more of a necessity for nonprofit organizations. Here are just a few of the ways integrating your offline and online giving will be essential to your fundraising success:
- It will save you considerable time (so you can focus on your mission). I used to work for a church, and I know that often times there are multiple systems for managing payments —one for automated clearing house (ACH), one for checks and cash, one for credit cards…you get the idea. With integrated giving solutions such as GiveCentral, your organization can manage all of these giving options in one place. Plus, it will save all data about your donors in one place—perhaps a donor makes a cash donation at one event, but makes a credit card donation for your annual giving campaign. All donation records are saved and available in one place.You save time by not having to enter data into multiple systems, or not having to pull and compare that data at tax time or to reconcile accounting. With the security and capabilities of integrated giving solutions like GiveCentral, the process becomes so much simpler, your staff or volunteers are able to focus their time on more mission-critical tasks.
- It can help you provide better service to your donors. When all of your donation data is in one place, running reports or sending donor communications is made much Today, donors want and expect to see detailed reporting on their giving, especially at tax time. When they receive one, simple and easy-to-understand communication without any mistakes, they’re able to easily take that document for their tax preparation. You make your donors’ lives easier, and make it easier to give in the future. Plus, by leaving a positive impression with donors, they’re more likely to spread the word about your organization to their family and friends.
- It will make “now” easier, while preparing you for the future. When was the last time you wrote a check at the grocery store? Have you noticed you carry less cash and are using a credit card more often? This is the shift that’s happening across the US today—people are using traditional payment methods like cash and checks less, and are leaning more toward credit cards, online and mobile giving. Entering accounting data into two, three or even four systems for all these giving methods takes time and can lead to errors.With GiveCentral, you enter data for all donations in one place, and once a donor record is set up, that donor is tracked for all donations and communication. You won’t have to integrate data across systems or spreadsheets in order to pull accurate reports— all the information you need is in one system (plus, using one system like GiveCentral versus multiple systems for each reduces costs, saving time and making accounting easier). Accounting right now becomes simpler by integrating your offline and online giving. And when the inevitable happens—people simply stop using cash and checks to donate—you’ll have the infrastructure in place to not miss a beat.Your donors will be happy because they can continue giving in the way that’s most convenient for them, and your employees and volunteers will be happy that they don’t have to change how they input and manage donations. Everyone is happier, and you have more time and energy to focus on your mission.
I love helping nonprofit organizations with GiveCentral. I get to see firsthand how it helps them operate more efficiently, save money and have more time to focus on mission-critical tasks.Time Savings in ActionOne organization had an employee who spent a significant amount of time processing donations—she was regularly processing more than 100 checks at a time. Manually inputting that data was incredibly time consuming—she reported that literally half of her time was spent on just this one task. GiveCentral can scan checks and automatically input the data into your records. And for repeat donors, the system will automatically recognize when a check comes from that same person, reducing time even further so you don’t have to re-enter their information. The system automatically adds the latest donation to their profile. When the leader of this organization realized they could free up half of an employee’s time to work on more mission-critical tasks, their eyes lit up. Just this one functionality of an integrated offline and online giving solution changed their operations dramatically. Yet there really is so much more.Our website provides many resources and information, or you can call me directly at (312) 929-2306. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have or help you understand how integrating your offline and online giving will boost your fundraising efforts.