How to drive more donations and keep your data organized
This guest post is written by Lomesh Shah, CEO of NonProfitEasy. Lomesh spends much of his time immersed in the nonprofit industry both as an industry leader, speaker, and in service to several organizations as a board member and volunteer. Outside of the industry, Lomesh is a technology junkie and will give anyone willing to listen an assessment of the latest trends in anything from espresso makers and mobile gadgets to electric cars and wind power.
As a nonprofit fundraising officer, you have your hands full with identifying and stewarding prospective donors, planning fundraising events, and maintaining relationships with existing donors. You shouldn’t have to worry about manually sifting through data to organize it so that you can gain actionable insight into your fundraising strategy.
If you are reading this then two thoughts are likely running through your head: I want to know how to get out of my fundraising slump, quickly followed by, but I am worried about managing all the extra data.
Don’t worry! After reading this article you will feel empowered to make the necessary adjustments to your organization’s fundraising strategy without any added stress.
It is a simple fact that most nonprofits would not survive without donor support.
Therefore, fundraising is essential to the very survival of your organization. So what do you do when, despite your best efforts, you are still at risk of falling short of your fundraising goal?
Consider tips for generating more fundraising revenue. Your nonprofit should:
Get creative with your fundraising ideas
Provide access to quick and easy donation tools
These tips will surely bring in more donors, and more revenue. But with more donors comes more data. So how do you avoid being overwhelmed by the additional time and resources necessary to manage this data? Your team can:
Use Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud
Hire a Salesforce Consultant
If you follow these directions, you can increase your nonprofit’s capacity to do good.
Are you ready? Let’s get started reviewing ways to generate more revenue!
1. Encourage crowdfunding
So, you want to raise more money for your nonprofit but finding new donors is always a challenge. The solution is simple: crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is an excellent alternative to the traditional methods of stewarding donors. The process takes some of the responsibility for fundraising off the shoulders of your fundraising officers and spreads it among your community members.
To learn more about how to boost awareness of your organization, and generate more revenue, check out Fundly’s guide to crowdfunding!
You should choose your crowdfunding platform carefully to make sure that it is equipped for your nonprofit’s needs.
When you manage your campaign, make sure your crowdfunding platform allows you to:
Upload photos and videos. Use multimedia to draw in more site visitors and maintain and pique their interest in your cause. This will help add a human element to your campaign and allow potential donors to empathize with your cause.
Regularly post updates. Storytelling is key for any fundraising campaign. You should regularly update your community on the status of your campaign and elaborate on the good you have already been able to accomplish.
Share on social media platforms. Social networking is the key to crowdfunding. It will allow your fundraising campaign to dramatically increase awareness of your cause. When people see their friends liking or sharing a fundraising campaign online, they will likely want to join in!
With this fundraising strategy, you can employ the full power of social sharing and your donors’ personal connections.
2. Get creative with your fundraising ideas
If you want to appeal to the most people with your nonprofit’s fundraising, you need to think about what your prospective donors want. Just like not all nonprofits are alike, not all donors are alike. Different donors will be more likely to respond to different fundraising ideas, so you need to be flexible and try a variety of techniques.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Your community will value your hard work and creativity and view your organization as willing to take on new challenges with an open mind.
These ideas can be anything, reflecting the needs of any demographic in your community. Consider some easy, but tried-and-true methods like:
Holding a Carnival. You can bring your community together for a night of fun while raising money. Charge for tickets and sell concessions throughout the day to raise a little extra money.
Hosting a charity auction. You can ask for donated items from local businesses or community members and then host a dinner where people can bid for their favorites. With this event, people are paying for the experience as much as the items themselves and there are plenty of ways to make running these events easier on your organization.
Sponsoring a walkathon. These events allow your community to physically come together and show their passion for your cause. Entrance fees and small charges for custom designed merchandise (e.g., water bottles, wristbands, t-shirts) have the potential to bring in considerable funds for your organization.
These are only a few of your options. Click here to read a massive list of fundraising ideas for any audience.
Remember not to overextend your team when planning an event. Make sure you are equipped with the right tools to organize, promote, and manage your campaign with maximum efficiency.
3. Provide access to quick and easy donation tools
While different donors will prefer to give their gifts by various means, your donors will largely prefer online donation methods. To accommodate this, you need to integrate with the right tools.
Online donation tools allow your community to donate from the comfort of their own device. Make sure your donors don’t have to search for the online donation tool. There should be multiple donation buttons that all lead to your site’s donation page.
With all roads leading to donation, your site’s visitors should have a seamless journey from the discovery your organization to making a donation towards your cause.
Donors want an easy and informative experience with your organization. Online donation tools will enable more people to connect to your organization than would if they had to be exposed to you only through a sponsored event or meeting.
Online donation tools drive more and more revenue to your organization without the time and resources that in-person donating entails. The increase in donations can easily be managed by an integrated online donation system.
Now that you know how your nonprofit can raise more money, you may have begun to panic a little at the thought of managing all that new data. But there are easy ways to bypass this stress as well! Now, we can cover ways to keep data organized, despite an increase in volume.
4. Use Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud
Salesforce is a CRM, or constituent relationship manager. It’s now an essential in the nonprofit world. There is no need to sit hunched over a spreadsheet for hours as you attempt to sift through data and crunch numbers. CRM software, like Salesforce, does all of this for you.
If you are new to CRM software, you may benefit from a complete guide to nonprofit CRM tools, but the facts are simple. CRM software helps nonprofits like yours to organize all of their data into a centralized location and help leverage this data to optimize nonprofit-donor relationships.
Salesforce can empower your nonprofit to maintain and grow donor relationships by offering in-depth analysis and data on each donor and volunteer interaction.
Look for a CRM that has:
Customizable fields. Make sure you can segment and filter your data by any variable you designate (e.g., gender, location, age, wealth bracket). This will allow you to understand who gives to your organization and better help you plan an effective and efficient fundraising campaign.
An easy-to-use interface. Don’t make more work for yourself by using a CRM that is not designed for ease of use. This software is meant to reduce your workload, not add more work to your plate
Third party integrations. The best CRM software will come equipped with integration features, like the Salesforce integration with DonorSearch to produce 360io, so that you can analyze and manage your data all in one place.
Increasing your fundraising capacity should only be a good thing. Never celebrate new donors by typing away at spreadsheets or worrying about remembering information. CRM software will free up your time to continue driving more donations without the stress.
5. Hire a Salesforce Nonprofit consulting partner
Are you still worried about integrating new software into your nonprofit’s operations at a time when your fundraising is in flux? You are in luck because the solution for that is simple as well: hire a consulting partner, like Idealist Consulting.
The benefits of a CRM are obvious—you can be more organized, more efficient, and know your donors better. But like any effort to build your company, there may be a learning curve that you didn’t anticipate.
To ease the transition, make sure you meet with a consultant to provide an outside, expert opinion that can help you determine what exactly you need from your software and how to use it.
You may consider asking the consulting partner:
How many team members will I need to get this up and running?
What tools are essential for a nonprofit of my size?
What kind of integrations should I be on the lookout for?
No matter what, come to the meeting with your consultant as prepared as possible.
A Salesforce Consulting partner can help you set goals, customize your Salesforce instance to better cater to your needs, and migrate all of your data to the system.
With these tools, adding new data to the system and managing old data will be effortless.
Fundraising just got a whole lot easier
With the right tools in your belt, you will never have to worry about managing your data as you are planning, executing, and reflecting upon your fundraising events. With these fundraising and organization ideas in mind, it is possible to increase awareness for your cause and raise money and still managing to keep your data organized!
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