From communication with donors to automating daily tasks to specific donor insights and trends, donor management software can help your nonprofit get the most out of your most crucial asset - your patrons. Donors are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. How do you manage this crucial component of the nonprofit world? Nonprofits still rely on Excel sheets, phone calls, emails, and even letter mailings for their day-to-day operations. Nonprofits still rely on Excel sheets, phone calls, emails, and even letter mailings for their day-to-day operations.
You do this through "donor relationship management ", where you carefully and proactively develop relationships with new donors and engage current donors to maximize donor retention and investment.
Technology to the rescue
There is a growing need for nonprofits to manage donors' data better. Tracking donations, tracking donors' information and communication, and better understanding the most crucial aspects of a nonprofit's life, the oxygen that runs through veins if you will. Entering the stage is specific donor management software.
How does donor management software work? It helps nonprofits understand and improve their relationship with their donors. Donations can be tracked; donors can be better communicated with, and much more. A donor management software program is also ideal for nonprofit organizations with overgrown excel spreadsheets (if you start dreaming of Excel at night - you're probably at that stage) and are looking for software that provides more than just data storage. Donor management software can help you gain important insights from the data; not just store it.
But before we give away everything in this opening paragraph - let's look at seven reasons why your nonprofit should consider using donor management software. Continue reading to find out more!
#1: Donor management software can help you…track donations
When you use donor management software, you can keep track of all donations made to your nonprofit. Sounds basic? A lot of nonprofits struggle with this crucial step. Excel sheets are the most common way nonprofits track donations nowadays.
Tracking means managing. A managing tool is extremely handy when it comes to thank-you letters or letting donors know how their money was spent. Not to mention when you want to ask for more donations.
#2: Donor management software can help you better communicate with donors
One of the key benefits of using donor management software is that it helps you better communicate with donors. Nonprofits have various ways to keep in touch with their contributors. They communicate with their patrons through email, social networking sites, and even snail mail (sometimes going old-school is the most beneficial). They connect with donors to ask for donations, thank them for their contributions, and convey how their money is being spent. So, it's vital to have the right software to manage all communications.
This software can send thank-you letters, update donors on your nonprofit's progress, and even solicit donations. Communicating with donors regularly can build stronger relationships and keep them engaged in your work.
#3: Donor management software can help you make better use of your data
Another benefit of donor management software is that it can help you use your donor data. You can track donor contact information, donation history, and donation preferences. Having this information readily available can be very helpful when the time comes to solicit donations or send thank-you letters.
A donor management software can help you track more than just donations. You can also use it to keep track of contact information, pledge dates, and donation amounts. This information can help create reports and analyze your donor base.
You will also be able to see which donors are the most generous and track any trends in giving (remember - we said "insights" are crucial, not just storage).
#4: Donor management software can help you cultivate new donors
Technology can be a valuable tool if you're looking for ways to cultivate new donors. This software can help you identify potential donors and track their giving history. Using this information, you can solicit donations from individuals more likely to give.
#5: Donor management software can help you retain existing donors
Donor management software can also help you better retain existing donors. This software can help you track donor giving history and identify trends. By understanding why and when donors give, you can tailor your communications and solicitations to meet their needs better. This, in turn, can lead to higher rates of retention.
#6: Donor management software can help you save time
Time is the human race's most crucial resource. In the nonprofit world, it's even more scarce than other industries. If you're looking for ways to save time (and who isn't???), donor management software can be a valuable tool. This type of software can automate many of the tasks associated with funding and donors, such as sending thank-you letters or tracking donations. This can free up your time to focus on other aspects of your nonprofit.
Benefit #7: Donor management software can help you save money
In addition to saving time, donor management software can help you save money.
Saving money is important in any organization, but it is critical in nonprofit organizations, where money is always tight, and every penny goes towards doing good in the world. Nonprofits rely on donations and grants to survive, so it is crucial to be as efficient as possible with every penny and dollar. Technology can help nonprofits save money in several ways.
First, donor management software can help nonprofits automate tasks that would otherwise require paid staff. For example, donor management software can automate sending thank-you letters to donors. This can save nonprofits a significant amount of money in labor costs.
Second, donor management software can help nonprofits track donations and identify trends. This information can be used to solicit donations from individuals or groups who are more likely to give. This can help nonprofits save money on advertising and marketing costs.
Donor management software can be a valuable asset for any nonprofit organization. Donor management software can help nonprofits operate more efficiently and effectively by automating tasks, saving time, and saving money. If you're looking for ways to improve your nonprofit, consider investing in donor management software.
Do you need donor management software if you have a small nonprofit organization?
Donor management software are very beneficial, no matter the size of your nonprofit organization. A smaller nonprofit organization means fewer staff members and a smaller, tighter budget to work with. Because of this, it might seem like investing in donor management software would be an unnecessary expense. This is not true. Although spreadsheets can perform the most basic functions any nonprofit organization needs, there are still limitations to those functions. A big issue that many small nonprofits encounter is that, over time, the management of their donor data becomes increasingly disorganized and hard to understand. You eventually find that just using one spreadsheet is insufficient for all your needs, which further adds to the disorganization and confusion. This becomes an enormous pain and disadvantage for the staff members as it eats away at their limited time and resources. Therefore, investing in the right donor management software is beneficial for your nonprofit organization, regardless of size.
When picking the right donor management software for your nonprofit, it is important to do research. There are many choices out there, and some might have many functions and capabilities, but you have to ensure that they meet your nonprofit's needs. While going for the most popular donor management software might seem like the best choice, it might not be beneficial in the long run if it ends up requiring more maintenance than expected. This can be a problem since your nonprofit might not have the budget for the added maintenance.
Choose a donor management software that comes with training so that your entire team can be clued up on its functions. You'll be using the software regularly, so you want to ensure everyone knows how to use it. It is also important to ensure that the software is scalable and simple but still powerful and able to meet your needs. There are many types of donor management software out there, so be sure to choose donor management software specifically for nonprofit organizations. Take full advantage of the trials, demos, or free light versions, if there are any, as this will give you the perfect opportunity to check if the software is what you need. Check for reviews and testimonials of the software, as this will give you a better understanding of how other users found the software and any problems they might have encountered. It is also important to check the cost of the software and whether it is an expense, you'll be able to afford.
Things to look for in donor management software
Knowing what the software can offer you and understanding your exact needs is crucial if you're unfamiliar with donor management software and have decided to make the leap into technology. Your nonprofit is unique, every nonprofit is a unique snowflake (we're serious, we believe that the mix of employees, management, board, donors, and of course, field of operation - makes every nonprofit unique ), so you need software that steps up to the diversity challenge. So these are the features that can help any organization, with tweaks that can make it custom-made.
- Communication history - this shows you how often you've communicated with your donors and the different forms of communication you've used with your donor, e.g., email, calls, chats, etc.
- Email marketing - This would be the mass emails you send to your donors. These emails can range from event invitations and newsletters to donation appeals, thank you emails, and retention emails. It is beneficial to personalize these emails as this will cause your supporters to become more likely to donate.
- Integration - Software integration is when you combine and unify different software into one system. This means that even though your donor management software might not have an email system, you can install apps like Gmail or Outlook onto your donor management software, and it will function as one unit. The software integration of your donor management software should include other apps such as OneDrive, SalesForce, and Google Sheets.
- Email receipt and acknowledgment - These would be receipts for donations and gifts sent by the donors. Acknowledging your donors' actions makes them feel noticed and shows that you appreciate their contributions.
- Automation - A lot of work goes into making your nonprofit a success, and a lot of that work is repetitive. Any good donor management software will automate your repetitive work, such as sending emails, receipts, or reporting. This saves you a lot of time and manpower.
- Reporting and predictive analytics - Good donor management software should include a function that makes reporting easy and customizable. Creating reports with ease means you can visually show your team, donors, and board of directors how the donations and gifts are used and which areas of improvement you need to focus on. Predictive analytics can help uncover hidden revenue in your lists and make data-driven fundraising much easier.
- Mobile accessibility - Creating and maintaining a nonprofit organization is a lot of work and often goes beyond the office. If you're always on the move, accessing your donor information, no matter your location, is essential. This means you can update and share information, send emails and organize data anytime and anywhere, all from your mobile device.
- Event management - To raise funds for your nonprofit, you must plan events. A good donor management software can support your event planning tasks, such as ticket sales, monitoring confirmations and attendance, etc.
Donor management software can be an extremely valuable tool for nonprofits. If you're looking for ways to track donations, communicate with donors, cultivate new relationships and automate daily tasks - this type of software can be a great choice. Keep these seven benefits in mind as you consider whether or not donor management software is right for your organization.