How donor management software helps with getting feedback

Using donor management software, nonprofit groups can get consistently strong information about giving partners.
Date Published
05/21/2014

There are a variety of ways that nonprofit organizations can get inside the heads of their donors to make fundraising more effective. In addition to learning about their preferences regarding the way a charity or foundation communicates with them, nonprofit groups can use donor data to get clearer insights into what contributors expect from workplace giving transparency.

Learn and grow by listening
The NonProfit Times cited a recent study published by America’s Charities which outlined a gap between what donors – especially those providing major gifts or supporting workplace giving – expect and what nonprofits are delivering with regard to accountability. The report, “Snapshot 2014: A Rising Tide of Expectations,” looked into how nonprofit groups felt about their relationships with corporate partners.

The study found roughly 6 in 10 of respondents felt pressure from their strategic supporters to demonstrate clear outcomes as a result of their financial support. Nearly 70 percent explained this trend has come about because of the increasing emphasis on integrating digital technology that makes it possible for organizations to analyze and report the data they record from each campaign and project. At the same time, online resources like social media and other Web-based communication tools have made it easier to connect with donors. Accordingly, this has increased the desire for transparency and has caused a behavioral shift among many nonprofit groups. The study found 92 percent of organizations use social networks to keep in touch with donors and corporate partners.

What tools are available?
While this information is very telling for nonprofits, how do charitable groups gain insights into their donor base? Gail Perry, blogger for Fired Up Fundraising and experienced fundraising consultant, explained it’s important for philanthropic organizations to distribute a feedback mechanism, such as a survey, on a fairly regular basis to make sure they have a consistent idea of what their donors want.┬áDonor management software is an integral resource. It can keep data in a user-friendly database that includes preferred communication channels and accurate contact information.

Fundraising software can efficiently deliver questionnaires and other forms geared toward gathering donor feedback. Perry indicated it’s important to make sure the language used in surveys is inclusive, meaning the nonprofit shouldn’t appeal to contributors for with help with “our” organization. Instead, the emphasis should be put upon the way the survey will help the group serve the donors and constituents.

As with the America’s Charity survey, the goal in appealing to donors for their comments, ideas and experiences is to use the information to their benefit. Software for nonprofits can help organizations make better sense of the data once it’s collected so the group can turn it around to help everyone involved.

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