(Guest post by Ryan Woroniecki)
Nonprofits should strive to make investments in sustainable technology that will have a lasting, positive impact on their operating capacity. The great news is that there are plenty of options and funders who are willing to help your organization take on these tech projects.
Below are three tech tips that can help you maximize donations.
1. Use a prospect screening to learn about your pre-existing donors in addition to your prospects.
A prospect screening takes your prospect pool and uncovers valuable data on potential donors, such as:
- Past philanthropic giving
- Involvement in nonprofits
- Real estate ownership
Who wouldn’t want to know more about a prospect’s philanthropic and wealth markers so they could better cater an ask? It’s why prospect research is so prominent in organizations with robust major giving programs.
You can take a similar approach to analyzing your own donors.
Run a screening of donors in your CRM to find better ways to connect with them. You might even discover engagement opportunities that would be ideal for past donors.
Beyond filling in donor details that might have slipped through the cracks in the past (changes of addresses, new places of employment, etc.), your screening can compare your donor pool to a veritable treasure trove of background information stored in charitable giving databases across the web.
What does this mean in practice?
For instance, you might find that one of your loyal monthly donors has the capacity to make a larger donation. Your fundraisers can then take that knowledge and figure out:
(1) Why the donor isn’t doing so
(2) If an upgrade in giving level is possible
In a similar scenario, you might realize that one of your most engaged supporters serves on another nonprofit’s board with a major giving candidate who is on your prospect list. You can then ask that supporter to make an introduction for you.
Between the data tracking and storage available in your CRM and the online research tools and databases that screenings give you access to, your fundraisers can double as philanthropic researchers.
2. Optimize for multichannel fundraising.
Utilizing a variety of giving avenues, multichannel fundraising allows your nonprofit to collect gifts in as many ways as possible which maximizes donations.
If one donor wants to text-to-give, OR if another wants to sign up for your 5K on her smartphone OR another wants to go directly from your Facebook page to a donation form, you can accommodate the donor’s preference.
Thanks to innovations in online and mobile giving, nonprofits can offer both the ease of mass communication and an individualized experience to donors.
With a multi channel approach to fundraising, you can ask for gifts:
- By phone
- Through direct mail
- In person
- With text messages
- On social media
- By email
You want to be able to connect with the teenager who has decided to make his first donation ever and is doing so on his new phone. But you also want to connect with a donor who has been mailing in checks for 15 years.
With the right management of your technology, you can do both.
3. Keep lines of communication wide open for your donors.
If your organization wants to maximize donations, you need to invest in retaining your donors, building your relationships with those donors, and eventually upgrading them.
Part of stewarding such relationships is keeping lines of communication wide open. Because of social media and various internet conveniences, we have grown accustomed to getting constant updates from the people and companies in our lives and expect immediacy when it comes to communication.
You can open up communication by:
- Sending out regular email updates through your CRM’s emailing portal.
- Giving engaged supporters shout outs for their work on Facebook.
- Scheduling a steady stream of tweets using services like Hootsuite. Donors want to hear from you, and not only in the ways they can donate!
We’re so accustomed to amazing technology that we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate it. Advocacy campaigns can gather petition signatures entirely online. Donors can show their support of your cause by using a specific hashtag. Volunteers can crowdfund on your behalf with just a few clicks of a button.
With so much potential, there are many opportunities to take advantage of. Don’t overlooks them!