Give yourself a single point for each of the following questions you answer “Yes” to - then add up your points to get your nonprofit’s Modern Fundraising score.
_____ Do you use your nonprofit CRM when planning Fundraising events?
_____ Do you include unique “Donate” links in your direct mail appeals?
_____ Are you properly harnessing the power of social networks?
_____ Does your nonprofit accept alternate forms of payment?
_____ Do you have appropriate automated processes?
Modern Fundraising All-Star (5 Points)
Congratulations - you’re crushing it! Using your nonprofit CRM to plan and execute your events, harnessing the power of social, automating the right processes, accepting a variety of convenient payment options, and tracking all of the right data. Keep up the good work - but don’t become complacent. Make sure you’re constantly reevaluating your performance, and follow all of the newest trends - utilizing all of the best tools you can get your hands on is the best way to keep your growth and success going!
On The Right Track (3-4 Points)
Not bad - you’re getting there, and you’ve got the right idea. All you need to do is square away a few big details and you’ll be golden. Take a look at our best practices below - it may be easier than you think to get over the hurdle to fully integrate your traditional processes with online fundraising tools!
Plenty Of Potential (1-2 Points)
You recognize the importance of modernizing your fundraising efforts, but maybe you just haven’t managed to get around to fully implementing the newer practices yet. No worries! Check out our best practices, free whitepaper, and keep plugging away at it. Remember - the amount of time you can save (and increased donation revenue) by properly integrating your processes will really help your cause, so keep working and you’ll get there!
1. Your nonprofit's Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) software is an amazing tool, so don’t waste it! You can often utilize it for a lot more than just managing your contacts - for example, with DonorPro, did you know that you can track and record all of your auction data (including auction check-out), manage seating assignments, handle the entire ticketing process, and more? There’s plenty of tools packed into your CRM tool, so make use of them!
2. Most nonprofits still find themselves having measurable success with direct mail appeals, but if the format of your direct mail content hasn’t changed since 2004, you’re making a big mistake. Include a unique “Donate” link that can allow your recipients to a landing page to make their contributions immediately - without having to write a physical check and mail it back. It’s just another easy option to offer your potential donors, and the easier you make it for someone to donate, the more likely they are to actually go through with it and do just that. Not only that, the unique link will allow you to track which direct mail appeals produce the highest ROI.
3. Social Networking - When we asked you above if you were “properly” utilizing social media, we really mean properly! If you’re just using it to broadcast new updates to Facebook or Twitter, you’re not truly harnessing the power of social. The power of these networks is the capability of getting your volunteers, donors, and event attendees to share your cause fundraising efforts. We call that “Peer-to-Peer Fundraising” - and it’s one of the most effective ways to raise money for nonprofits in virtually every industry. Create unique landing pages on your website for your donors to share with their friends to pledge money to your annual 5K, and encourage your volunteers to tag and share your content. Follow and tactfully take advantage of trends too - the more traffic you can generate, the more potential donors you’re getting access to, and that’s never a bad thing.
4. It can often be a bit frightening to think about accepting newer forms of payment, especially if you’re not particularly familiar with them yourself - but the fact of the matter is that just because you don’t understand why people are using automatic ACH payments, eChecks, or even BitCoin, doesn’t meant that there aren’t hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of other potential contributors out there who do understand and prefer those methods over traditional physical checks or credit cards.
eChecks are a great example - direct withdrawals from a bank are a fantastic option for any nonprofit - they’re secure, immediate, and there’s far less risk of getting a bad check. According to OpenEdge, eChecks make up between 4-9% of all online payments, with at least half of those representing sales that would have otherwise been lost - coupled with the fact that 26% of US households do not have credit cards, and 49% of all consumers with credit cards being within 6% of their credit limit, you can imagine how valuable having an online payment option other than traditional credit cards can be.
5. Automation can be a bit tricky to do right, but when you figure out the right formula for your organization, it really is an incredibly powerful tool. Think about your current process for thanking your individual donors - you’re probably manually writing and sending thank-you emails or letters to every donor as you get them. That’s insanely time-consuming. A well-crafted, automated thank-you message that instantly sends to your donors as soon as their contribution is processed can be very helpful and effective.
You’ll still want to hand-write thank-you letters to major donors, so be sure you’re only automating in the appropriate situation, but when you can utilize your CRM to help you manage your donor communication, it frees your organization’s management to focus less on busywork and more on other important initiatives.