Over the years, online fundraising has contributed to the success of people and companies’ efforts to change the world for the better. Whether it’s about charity or disaster relief, fundraising for causes requires the cultivation of donor relationships and the ability to support donations, no matter its size or form. While managing these donations offline is the traditional answer, technology provides another and more enticing option that comes in the form of donor management software. Also known as charity software or fundraising system, it is meant to help fundraisers maintain a productive relationship with their donors.
According to a report from CECP, disaster relief-related fundraising activities have increased by more than 300% compared to where it was in 2015. Fueled by the COVID19 crisis, fundraising as a social response may develop even further. For the past month, platforms like GoFundMe, JustGiving experienced significant growth in traffic of around 14-25% which also led to an increased number of campaigns and profits.
This hype of social investing is the perfect opportunity to seek suitable go-to-market options, find the right fundraising software or even build one from scratch depending on the goals and business needs such as:
- Switching from Excel and automating operations
- Getting access to user analytics to better segment your users (get insights on investment amounts bound to user profiles, understand investment habits, etc.)
- Automating payment processing and scaling the fundraising platform
- Managing the fundraising requests faster and more efficiently, etc.
Determining the short-term and long-term goals both technology and business-wise will help you make calculated decisions when considering fundraising software solutions.
What you will learn in this post:
Step 1: Have a checklist of essential features
The first step is to compile a list of the features you want to see in your fundraising software. Beyond AI use and automated workflows, there are several other things that you need to include in your checklist. For one, company usability and compatibility are essential in ensuring that the system works best for you, your organization, and your donors.
For example, social crowdfunding for small businesses, which is popular especially amid the Covid-19 crisis, would need capabilities that prioritize collaboration, communication, and campaign management. Related features can include a user-friendly interface, particularly if you need one that is easy for your co-fundraisers to learn and a CRM or add-on solution that is most applicable to your donors.
Step 2: Check the software’s security measures
Once you have a list of features compiled, the next step you need to take is to consider the platform’s security measures. From secure connection on your website and 3D-secure payment processing to information access limitations and data encryption, a platform that you’re building has to be protected.
If you’re working with organizations, it’d be wise to gather their security requirements and brainstorm ways to fulfil those needs. Also, if you work with individuals, you have to find ways to protect the platform for fraudulent activity, identity theft and money laundering. KYC/AML can be fixed with the help of a third-party payment processing gateway or external user verification service provider while others need to be implemented ad-hoc.
Some fundraising software providers may offer out-of-the-box security measures which may or may not be good, so showing some scepticism may save you money and brand image in the future. Ultimately, it’s not what you get out-of-box that makes your brand significant, it’s what you can implement to provide better services to your clients.
Step 3: Think about what integrations you need
The third step to choosing the best fundraising software for you and your donors is to go through the vendor’s list of integrations. Depending on which platform or system is integrated into the fundraising software, you can determine how compatible it is with your needs.
For instance, integrations with the payment options can make it easy for your gift-givers to donate while connecting with a top contact management software can help you stay on top of your donor contacts and their information. Furthermore, you might also want to look for integrations that allow you to make the most out of your database by being able to enter and manage it right on the platform. CRM in fundraising is also important to manage and engage donors.
Step 4: Identify what insights the system can provide
One of the many advantages of fundraising systems is that they can go a step beyond management by offering the ability to analyze your data. Employing technology allows the software to learn the characteristics of your donors. This data is then converted to inform predictions regarding when donors might be inclined to give and how much they might be willing to donate. These predictions can then allow you to make the most out of your interactions and relationships with your donors by maximizing your fundraising CRM.
You may see which industries are performing better, how your donors respond to particular headlines, stories, and other campaign elements, when users are most active and other insightful data. By processing and learning from this information, you can develop the working formulas for your particular business, outperform your competitors, and dominate the local or international market in your niche.
Step 5: Consider the price and partnership.
The final step to choosing the right system for donor management is to balance the price of the software to the value of the partnership. The price tag associated with technology has increased in recent years, primarily because of how many other vendors are competing in the same landscape and the quality of the software they provide. As such, before you settle on an online fundraising software, consider how it can contribute to your business strategies and goals. A good partnership with the vendor can also determine how much value you find in implementing the right fundraising software for your organization.
The Role of Technology in Donor Relationships
Fundraising in the digital era requires you and your organization to adapt and transform. Technology is the way forward for many because the benefits of automation and artificial intelligence are essential in cultivating healthy and mutually beneficial donor relationships. Considering the step-by-step process of choosing the right fundraising software, it’s apparent that you will need to spend ample time on your decision. Whatever platform you want, place your donors and your fundraising cause at the forefront of your decision-making process.
If you want to create a donation or reward-based crowdfunding platform reach out to us here.