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By Ryan Ponzurick

Donor Management Software: 5 Features All Nonprofits Need

Your donors are the backbone of your organization: without their ongoing support, your nonprofit wouldn’t be able to complete any of the projects that are vital for achieving your goals. Every donor is unique, with different passions and motivations. They give at different levels, for different reasons, at different times of the year. And that can be a lot to keep track of, especially when you want to maintain strong relationships with all of them! So what’s a nonprofit team to do? Invest in donor management software! With a strong centralized database to keep track of your donors’ personal information and engagement history, you can strengthen your fundraising strategy, moves management, event planning, and marketing tactics, all within one software platform. =&0=&Our favorite donor management software features are:
  1. Software customization and flexibility.
  2. Major gifts stewardship tools.
  3. Reporting and analysis capabilities.
  4. Event planning and management.
  5. Subledger capacities for contribution income.
With these five features, you’ll be able to improve your relationships with existing donors, cultivate new ones, and strengthen your nonprofit’s strategies across the board. If you’re ready to learn, let’s get started!

1. Software customization and flexibility.

In order to effectively use a donor management software as the central database around which to build your fundraising strategy, you have to be able to customize the software solution to fit your organization’s unique needs. There are many ways that software needs to be flexible—appearance, user permissions, and the ability to integrate with other programs are all important ways that your donor management software needs to be able to adapt. But those aren’t the only things to keep in mind! As a nonprofit, your organization has unique needs that your donor management software should address. With your new software, your nonprofit’s team should be able to:
  • Create custom donor profiles. A robust donor management software should provide you with comprehensive donor profiles, but you should also be able to add custom fields based on your organization’s unique relationship with its donor population. These additional fields also improve understanding of a donor and strengthen your database management strategy.
  • Build custom reports. Your organization needs to be able to make data-driven decisions in order to strengthen all facets of your strategy. To do that, you’re going to have to analyze and understand your data. With custom reporting abilities, you can create reports based on any criteria your organization needs.
  • Design custom dashboards. Every member of your organization’s team has a slightly different job and will need to see different things. With customizable dashboards, each team member can design their homepage to include the information most crucial to their position and daily tasks.
Customizability and flexibility of your software solution is important for an organization that wants to increase efficiency and strengthen donor relationships in a consistent and predictable manner.

2. Major gift stewardship tools.

Major gifts are a nonprofit organization’s crowning fundraising achievement. These gifts represent months of careful cultivation and personalized solicitations, and your donor management software should be able to help your team gain more of these donations. =&4=& But what does this look like in practice?
  1. Use your donor management software to identify donor prospects with an integrated wealth screening tool, and analyze existing donors for opportunities for cultivation with a comprehensive search tool.
  2. Create a personalized dashboard for major gift solicitation opportunities that includes donors, active proposals, and other important information for your major giving strategy.
  3. Strengthen your moves management strategy with the ability to track meetings, phone calls, event attendance, and other interactions, as well as schedule follow-ups automatically.
  4. Create specific cultivation timelines for each major gift prospect, and monitor the status of their cultivation process on an individual basis.
Using software to manage your major giving strategy allows your major gift officers to set standards and create a predictable, consistent process for your cultivation and solicitation strategies. =&5=&

By donorsearch

Why We Chose Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Database

At DonorSearch, we take our technical integration partners very seriously. We knew that we wanted to include a matching gift database in our platform, but we also knew that we had to be absolutely sure that we chose the right provider before creating an integration. Like every other product decision we’ve made, we wanted to invest time and energy into this process so that we could rest assured knowing we had chosen the best option for our 1,000+ clients plus other integration partners. Because most of the matching gift database providers offer part or all of their services online, we first compared the capabilities of the public resources, and then reached out to our favorite to learn more about their product and determine if they would be right for us. In the end, we decided that Double the Donation would be the best provider to meet our needs. To learn more about the qualities we evaluated during our decision, as well as what Double the Donation is and why we picked their database, read on!

What features did we consider?

When deciding between the different matching gift databases, we took into account different attributes that would influence the conversion rate of donors. =&0=&

Comprehensiveness.

One of the most important qualities of a matching gift database is its overall comprehensiveness. How many entries does a database have? There are three types of entries that a database must have:
  • Parent companies.
  • Subsidiaries.
  • Alternate spellings of companies and brands.
Subsidiaries and alternate spellings are important when considering how donors will interact with a search tool. Consider, for example, someone who works for Disney World. They need to be able to find their company’s matching gift policy no matter if they search for:
  • Disney World.
  • Walt Disney World.
  • The Walt Disney Corporation.
  • The Walt Disney World Resort.
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Currency and relevancy.

A database can’t just include companies and their matching gift programs: it has to be reflective of the companies’ most current policies. =&2=& We took a handful of companies with generous matching gift programs and evaluated which had the most up-to-date forms, links, and contact information for matching gift programs. Matching gift databases use some of the following strategies to ensure that their information is up-to-date:
  • Autoscanning their database for dead links and invalid email addresses.
  • Testing email addresses and phone numbers.
  • Offering avenues for employers and employees to submit updates
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By donorsearch

5 Social Media Giving Strategies for Crowdfunding Success

One of the most popular ways for nonprofits to raise money these days is through crowdfunding. With these social fundraising campaigns, organizations like yours can tap into the giving power of your supporters’ personal networks and spread your campaign far and wide over the internet. In a crowdfunding campaign, nonprofits launch short-term fundraisers and call on many supporters to donate small amounts so they can quickly reach their goal. Crowdfunding thrives on social media sites like Facebook because it’s easy for campaigns to spread to a large audience in just a few shares. =&0=& Check out our favorite ways to make your crowdfunding efforts stand out on social media:
  1. Choose the right platform for your crowdfunding campaign
  2. Make giving to your crowdfunding campaign easy for mobile donors
  3. Leverage social media tools for more effective fundraising
  4. Launch team crowdfunding campaigns to boost engagement
  5. Grow your community with informative supporter data
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

1. Choose the right platform for your crowdfunding campaign

Getting your crowdfunding campaign right depends upon choosing the right platform for your fundraiser. Successful social media fundraising is already dependent on having accessible giving pages ready for your supporters, and this becomes even more crucial when your crowdfunding campaign comes into the mix. =&1=& The more your crowdfunding page aligns with your social media identify, the more likely it is donors will give to your campaign. This means your crowdfunding page should feature:
  • Your nonprofit’s logo
  • Your branded color scheme
  • Photos and videos of your community at work
Additionally, the perfect crowdfunding platform will also let your nonprofit offer fundraising incentives and donation levels, as these features can incentivize your donors to give. Providing perks can also lead to a larger social media presence. Think about: if you offer supporters a t-shirt in return for their donation, they can share pictures of them wearing your appear to their social networks, which can draw even more awareness to your campaign. =&2=&=&3=&=&4=& Your crowdfunding platform should offer:
  • Automated social share buttons that prompt donors to spread the word after they give
  • Thank-you pages that appear after a donation is made that are customized to your campaign
  • Branded hashtags that are unique to your crowdfunding campaign
Since successful crowdfunding campaigns need to be far reaching, your platform should make it as easy as possible for supporters to see your message. =&5=& Ready to find the right crowdfunding platform for your nonprofit? Check out Double the Donation’s list of the top crowdfunding websites to find the one that’s right for your organization.

2. Make giving to your crowdfunding campaign easy for mobile donors

Since nearly 80% of all social media activity happens on smartphones, you want your crowdfunding campaign to be easily accessed on mobile devices. =&6=&
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