The words of Benjamin Franklin –“Time is Money” – are particularly apropos for nonprofit organizations. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done, particularly for those organizations running on skeleton staffs. Nonprofit executives often wear many hats, which can keep them from spending enough time developing donors. Wouldn’t it be great to have a mini-me to help get things done and free up time to spend engaging donors and actually fundraising?But how? One way is to put the right fundraising tools in place. Sophisticated tools developed specifically for the nonprofit sector can increase efficiency and productivity. The outcome? You reclaim time for activities that can increase your bottom line.One of the most impactful, must-have fundraising tools is a system in which to track and communicate with donors. Without an effective system you needlessly spend time chasing down information or contacts and likely miss fundraising opportunities as a result. If your system can’t provide informative reports with a push of a button, or provide a easy way to stay in touch, valuable staff time is being wasted. How does your current system compare to the platforms available today?GiveCentral consolidates fundraising, reporting and communications activities in one convenient place. Partnering with GiveCentral is like adding a super-smart, seasoned and productive member to your team to help ease and streamline the workload. Advanced system features put real-time analytics, comprehensive reports and integrated communication templates at your fingertips. GiveCentral saves staff time and hard-earned money on accounting and data management and makes it easier than ever for donors to support your mission.Does your system stack up?
It’s Spring, at least according to the calendar (we celebrated the spring equinox on Sunday, March 20th). Now’s the time to start sprucing up your donor database to ensure it is up-to-date and accurate for your upcoming events, campaigns, appeals and communications. Here are some things to scrub for during this important housekeeping effort. GiveCentral can provide the “elbow grease” to help you get these done:
Expunge expired cards and failed payments.
For donors who have set up automated credit and debit card payments, you need to stay ahead of card expiration dates so you don’t lose income.
Scan your system to ensure you don’t have donors in the system more than once (and merge the data into one file if you do). It frustrates donors to receive duplicates of your communications and sends the (wrong) message that you’re not organized and on top of things.
Bail on bounce-back emails.
Although you should be handling these as they occur, time often gets away and they pile up. Take the time to remove defunct emails from your list (it just slows down your auto distribution). But don’t stop there, if you have the donor’s phone number (and hopefully you do), give them a call to get an updated address so you don’t lose the opportunity to keep in touch via email.
Update expiring gifts.
If your online donation system allows donors to chose an end date for recurring gifts, you need to ensure you are encouraging donors to update their profile before their gift is set to expire.
Ditch the defunct event and campaign profiles.
If you are no longer fundraising against a particular event or campaign, be sure to remove it from the list of options from which donors select. Any cleaning professional will tell you the right tools make all the difference. Let GiveCentral do the scrubbing for you. Our system is designed to be the “muscle” that keeps your donor data files current so you can raise more money.We’re here to roll up our sleeves and put our system to work for you. Our system features make it easy to check these chores off your to do list. Feel free to reach out to to learn more. Happy Spring!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s been said that everyone is Irish on March 17th. That saying must not be blarney because it’s etched on a beam in the famous Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. In honor of my namesake’s feast day, here are a few Irish-themed tips for your fundraising success:
Don’t rely on LUCK to lead your fundraising strategy.
To be successful, you need to have a strategic marketing and communications plan in place designed to inspire giving all while making it easy for your donors to do so. Without one, you won’t see much green! See how GiveCentral was able to help one customer increase donations and grow their database.
Avoid the BLARNEY.
When communicating with your donors (and you should be communicating often) ensure your communiques are conversational in tone and are sincere and honest. Make it short and sweet and don’t use jargon. Most importantly appeal to your donors emotions!
Wit and Wisdom.
Famous Irish playwright, novelist and poet Oscar Wilde once said: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” As an organization, showcase and communicate your unique mission and stay true to who you are: your authentic self. GiveCentral can help you find the pot of gold at the end of your fundraising rainbow. Let us show you how! Sláinte!
Individuals account for nearly three-quarters of the nation’s charitable contributions. While the reasons why they give vary, once thing is certain: The request to give resonated with them emotionally and motivated them to take action. Our recent Insights on Nonprofit Giving report revealed major motivators and donor preferences for charitable giving, including:
- Want To…Not Have To Or Should. On the whole, Americans donate because they want to support causes that will help others or society. Fewer than a quarter of donors (22 percent) do so because of an obligation or sense of duty. Giving because it’s how they were raised was also cited as a reason to behave charitably (29 percent).
- Helping Hands. To help people in need was the most often cited reason to give (58 percent), followed by feeling fortunate and wanting to give back (39 percent) and for religious reasons (29 percent). Contrary to popular belief, only 15 percent of respondents said they give for the tax deduction.
- Emotional Connection. Nearly 20 percent of survey respondents said they were emotionally moved to donate by someone’s story, making donor communications a key component of every marketing plan.
- Online Giving On The Rise. While donating in-person in cash is still a “comfort zone” across all age groups, electronic giving options are popular, with one in three Americans indicating such. Significantly, those with higher incomes show greater preference for electronic methods. In fact, 18 percent of those earning under $20K showed preference for electronic giving methods, whereas 44 percent of those earning more than $100K showed preference.
- Credit And Debit Trumps Transfer. While 23 percent of those 18-34 years old said they prefer using credit or debit cards on computers, tablets and mobile devices, only 8 percent prefer using money transfer services on those devices for giving. The same preference for credit and debit payment options versus money transfer services holds true across all age brackets.
- Regional Giving Differences. People living in the West donated the most, contributing to charity twice as much as people living in the Northeast ($1,224 and $599 on average respectively). Those in the South contributed on average $660, leaving those in the Midwest in last place with a $587 average total.
What’s The Takeaway?
So what does this all mean? Understanding the why behind donor contributions helps you nurture and strengthen those relationships, setting the stage for future donations and a long term relationship. It’s important to have both a strategic fundraising plan and sophisticated, multi-function tools in place to capitalize on your donors’ desire to support your cause.
Download a copy of GiveCentral’s Insights on Nonprofit Giving report, which features easy-to-implement recommendations borne from survey findings.
It’s Super Tuesday. As thousands of voters head to the primary polls, I thought it would be interesting – and fun – to look at charitable giving patterns along political party lines. Our recent Insights on Nonprofit Giving report revealed some interesting partisan similarities and differences.
Where Party Lines Agree
According to the national survey, regardless of whether people identify as red or blue, they donate for the same reason – wanting to help people in need.What’s more, generally speaking, Democrats, Republicans and Independents prefer the same methods of giving – with top preferences being cash in-person and checks in the mail. For example,
- In-person with cash:
- Republicans, 33 percent
- Democrats, 29 percent
- Independents, 32 percent
- By mail with a check:
- Republicans, 28 percent
- Democrats, 31 percent
- Independents, 32 percent
- By credit or debit card using a computer:
- Republicans, 19 percent
- Democrats, 23 percent
- Independents, 19 percent
Where Party Lines Diverge
We are, however, divided when it comes to how much we give.Average contributions over the last 12 months by Democrats and Independents are roughly the same: $598 and $596, respectively. Republicans, on the other hand, average nearly double that amount at $1,146.
When looking at the median amounts, there is somewhat less deviation, though Republicans still lead the pack at $300, with Democrats and Independents in a dead heat at a median amount of $200.Other relevant statistics include:
- Republicans may favor tax breaks: Republicans were almost twice as likely as Democrats to indicate they’d made a charitable contribution for a tax break: 19 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Though these statistics are generally within the survey’s margin of error, it may still be something to consider.
- Feeling fortunate motivates Democrats more: Only 36 percent of Republicans gave because they “felt fortunate and wanted to give something back,” while that’s what inspired 42 percent of Democrats to give. In both cases, this was the second most popular reason to make charitable donations.
Democrats and Republicans rally together
The most popular reason for giving – “I wanted to help people in need” – was chosen by 56 percent of both Republicans and Democrats.
Across the board, the reasons cited for giving were altruistic. 58 percent said “I wanted to help people in need.” A significant 39 percent told us, “I felt fortunate and wanted to give something back.” And tied for third place were religious reasons and “It’s just part of how I was raised,” at 29 percent each. Only 15 percent of those polled indicated they donated because they “wanted a tax deduction.”While the survey results won’t tell us the candidates that will come out on top, it does provide some interesting insights. Perhaps we’re in less of a race than we might have thought.GiveCentral’s Insights on Nonprofit Giving report is full of other insights, tips and recommendations. Be sure to get your free report!