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!
by Bridget Mayer
New Nonprofit Giving Survey: 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving
Communication and Technology Adoption Key to the Future of Donor Management
Change is practically synonymous with a new year and this rings true for nonprofit organizations in 2015. The next few weeks and months are a time for fresh fundraising strategies and an overall penchant to shake things up.Technology is one area in particular that is driving forward change within nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the industry. Here at GiveCentral, we’re constantly striving to learn more about technology’s transformative effect on donor giving and how organizations are responding to the digital age’s influence. Whether it be how mobile technology is mixing things up or how donor management tools have changed, it’s important to us to stay on top of the latest trends.We recently conducted a proprietary survey among more than 80 nonprofit senior executives, including senior religious leaders, Chief Executives, Chief Financial Officers and development managers across a wide range of nonprofit organizations. We wanted to identify the best donor management practices and understand the biggest giving-related challenges and opportunities that nonprofits will face in 2015.You can download the full report here.What we found in our inaugural report, 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving, was both enlightening and encouraging. Senior executives of nonprofits recognize there are many challenges ahead—from the increasing level of competition for donors to the pressure of technological change. The good news, however, is that they are preparing for the future.A few statistics in particular stuck out to us as we dove into the data, including the importance of effective donor communication to engage with donors, how donors are becoming more comfortable with online giving and the need for increased technology education. Below, I’ve outlined these findings.To ensure your organization is positioned to increase its donations in 2015, please check out the full report for a comprehensive look at the current nonprofit giving environment.
Lack of Communication Puts Donor Relations at Risk
Many nonprofit executives reveal that the greatest barrier to donor engagement and giving is a lack of communication.
- Despite 84 percent of respondents reporting their organization embraces technology change, more than one-quarter (27 percent) do not have a formal email communication schedule in place and only 10 percent send weekly donor emails.
- One-quarter (26 percent) still rely on weekly printed newsletters. As a result, nonprofit senior executives are leaving many opportunities on the table to communicate and engage with donors to build stronger relationships and increase giving.
Donor Fear of Technology Diminishing
Nonprofit senior executives said that although they still face some hesitation from donors when it comes to technology, more and more are becoming comfortable with digital channels.
- 84 percent of nonprofits recognize the importance of catering to a new generation of donors and embrace technology change.
- Only one-in-ten nonprofits retain fully manual donation processing, demonstrating the prevalence of technological advances in giving programs.
Donor Education is Key to Embracing Technology Change
While donors are becoming more comfortable with the idea of technology change, increased education is needed to close the gap. At the same time, organizations are confident their donors can move past the perceived complexity of online giving programs.
- Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents said their donors don’t understand online giving.
- Yet, only 12 percent of respondents say online giving technology is too complex for their organization to use.
As you usher in 2015’s changes and begin to prepare for the years down the road, we’re hopeful that the donor giving information in this survey from nonprofit leaders is valuable to your organization. Whether it’s gaining a small piece of insight, finding comfort that you’re on track for technology’s demands or even realizing you are behind the digital curve when it comes to nonprofit giving, please let us know what you thought of the survey results in the comments below.Wait, there’s more!To confirm you are positioned to increase your donations in 2015, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an analysis of your donor management practices.