3 Ways Donor Management Technology Improves Fundraising

Fundraisers using a donor management system.
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Technology has revolutionized almost every work sector, including the nonprofit world. Today, nonprofit organizations have a vast array of tech solutions built just for them.

One of those solutions is customer relationship management (CRM) software.

A CRM allows organizations to do everything from donor management to data reporting to development planning all in one powerful program.

Both big and small problems can be solved with a CRM, making nonprofits more efficient and vastly improving fundraising efforts in the process.

Here are three areas where your organization can improve with CRM.

1. Improved Work Management

No doubt you work hard, and you work smart, but do you have the tools to work as efficiently as possible? A farmer needs a plow, salespeople need cell phones, and nonprofits can use CRM software to make fundraising easier.

There are lots of CRMs for nonprofits to choose from, but they should have these features:

  • Donor management72% of charitable gifts come from individuals, and each person comes with more information than you can memorize. You must store all of their information, and easily. It should be accessible, and actionable.
  • A good CRM offers tools and features that are readily available on a dashboard or menu screen. Nonprofits can track and access data on donations, grants, and donor trends. Many CRM’s create donor messages from templates, such as thank you letters.
  • Campaign creation – Specific campaigns help to focus on fundraising, and a CRM makes it easy to manage all of your campaign needs. Thanks to a CRM, donors can easily register for events and purchase tickets. Nonprofits can organize that information, and get notifications when people donate.
  • Event managementEvents are important parts of fundraising campaigns. But they require a lot of management, from registration to refunds to wait lists. Many CRMs provide serious help with these event management needs.

​2. Data at Your Fingertips

Fundraising strategies are not easy to create. They require understanding your donors and keeping track of all the information that helps you understand them. Fortunately, CRM software can simplify information management and cross-team collaboration.

There’s a range of information that nonprofits need such as:

  • Donor giving histories
  • Reports on donor trends
  • Mailing lists (email and direct mail)

What’s more, fundraising needs to be coordinated across your development team. CRM software allows information to be imported, exported and shared among relevant staff.

Many CRMs can make it simple for an entire fundraising team to:

  • Track fundraising actions on a calendar
  • Assign team members to tasks
  • Document and track donor interactions

With great data comes great knowledge, and a great CRM should deliver the type of flexibility that your nonprofit needs to acquire new donors and retain the ones you have.

3. Better Communication With Donors

Donations rarely pop out of thin air. Fundraisers form relationships with prospects, created through a series of dedicated, determined interactions. Conversation is the heartbeat of acquiring and retaining donors, and CRM software can help you improve donor communications.

Most CRM software available today lets your organization:

  • Create newsletter campaigns for email and direct mail
  • Schedule message distribution
  • Track all of your communications

All of these improvements make it easier to understand your conversations with donors. You can segment donors for email campaigns and social media messages. You'll know what thank you letters to send and to whom.

CRMs can also help organizations improve efficiency by automating different parts of fundraising process such as:

Conversations will be more focused and lead to more frequent donations just by integrating the CRM software into your fundraising management process.

In a world with so many nonprofits, you must be more efficient about fundraising. Your nonprofit needs to talk to the right donors at the right times and send useful messages. You must track data and maintain systems. The less scattered all of these activities are, the easier the work. 

Gretchen Barry is Director of Marketing and Communications for NonProfitEasy, an affordable and easy-to-use CRM platform that works especially well for small and mid-size nonprofits.