Fundraising strategy tips and when to replace nonprofit software

Date Published
09/24/2014

Nonprofit fundraising efforts are a never-ending activity for 501(c)(3) organizations. Without support from donors, philanthropic objectives are difficult to achieve and the group or cause for which the charity was developed won’t receive the financial backing it needs in order to thrive. This is why many leaders of foundations and nonprofits are always looking for ways to attract new donors and grow existing pipelines.

It’s a delicate balance that requires a lot of focus and energy. Fundraising is also one of the most difficult areas to manage. In order to be effective, charitable organizations must often think outside the box and experiment with ways that will attract financial donations from those compelled enough to contribute. In addition, steps must be taken so as not to alienate those who have been long-time supporters, in order to continue to receive monetary gifts.

Those tasked with ensuring that the revenue stream for a 501(c)(3) organization is consistent should takes steps to raise awareness while also making sure that the donation process is simplified and effective.

Nonprofit fundraising strategy ideas
Online Fundraising Today provides a list of ways that nonprofits can ensure viability through financial donations. The most important step in this process is to create clearly defined goals and operational responsibilities. Flying by the seat of one’s pants isn’t a sound business strategy, particularly when it comes to raising money.

The OFT website suggests outlining a monetary goal for each specific campaign that is implemented and carefully monitoring the donation amounts that come in to help reach the dollar amount needed. Tracking progress in this area is helpful when it comes to implementing additional strategies that help drive increased financial gifts should donations become flat or stagnant.

Additionally, it is also important to assign duties to each staff member involved in the campaign so that every individual knows what his or her responsibility is. This eliminates any instances of someone feeling as if their toes are being stepped on or are being undermined in any way.

Another suggestion offered by Online Fundraising Today is to partner with other companies or organizations to help drive increased donations. The saying, “no man is an island” certainly applies here. By working closely with sponsors or other outlets that can help spread the word about a cause, nonprofits can increase awareness, in addition to potentially opening new giving pipelines or encouraging existing supporters to increase their gift amounts.

When to upgrade donor management software
In addition to raising money, nonprofits must also identify each and every supporter who contributed financially. If a charitable organization has an extremely large base, then the use of nonprofit management software may be in order. This not only helps to identify who gave and how much, but it can also help keep track of the money that flows in and out of the organization.

However, there are times when a donor management platform needs to be updated. Business 2 Community highlighted specific warning signs that can tip off decision-makers as to when the best time for this activity to take place is.

One of the telltale signs is when the software doesn’t effectively communicate with other tools used by a charity. If the package doesn’t offer email or website integration, or requires a lot of information from separate systems to be input manually, it is likely time for an upgrade to take place.

Additionally, if organization members don’t find that the information in the reports is reliable or there is difficulty in utilizing important functions, then the donation management software may have outlived its usefulness.

Managing a charity isn’t an easy task. However, there are steps that can be taken that allow for seamless and efficient fundraising and monitoring operational cash flow.

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