Your nonprofit likely has a variety of software solutions available that support various aspects of your day-to-day operations. One major task you’re probably focused on the most is maintaining a steady fundraising stream.
Fundraising is one of the fundamental activities of your nonprofit that keeps your organization afloat, so it’s critical to align your fundraising strategy with all aspects of your nonprofit tech stack. This is what keeps your nonprofit healthy and poised to take on new fundraising campaigns.
Without aligning your nonprofit technology platforms and ensuring they all speak the same language, you risk information falling through the cracks. This could lead to less effective fundraising efforts in the future.
With this in mind, here are the technology platforms that you must align with your fundraising strategy to keep your nonprofit healthy and on target:
When it comes to aligning your nonprofit technology with your fundraising strategy, one concept to keep in mind is integration. Integration means that all of your technology solutions fit together like puzzle pieces, allowing you to seamlessly transfer data between systems. When all of your software systems integrate, you’ll be in a stronger position to combine the power of each solution and build a sustainable fundraising strategy that maximizes your technology use.
Your nonprofit CRM (constituent relationship management) system is the software platform that stores and manages your organization’s supporter data. Bloomerang defines nonprofit CRMs as “the cornerstone of any effective technology strategy.” That’s because this is the platform that allows you to track supporter information, record engagement data, and strategically build relationships with donors.
To make the most of your nonprofit CRM, you must marry your supporter database with your fundraising strategy. For instance, let’s say your organization is interested in launching a capital campaign. Capital campaigns are massive fundraising undertakings that can require years to plan and fully complete. Therefore, before taking on a capital campaign, your organization must ensure that your CRM is ready to act as a tool to actively support you every step of the way.
Take a look at Donorly’s fundraising plan template for ideas on how you can use your supporter database to take a strategic approach to your capital campaign. One way you’ll need to use your CRM in the capital campaign planning process is to identify prospective major donors. These are the supporters who will contribute the bulk of your campaign funding. With a concrete fundraising plan in place, you can start combing through your database to find supporters who fit the bill.
These tips don’t just apply for capital campaigns — you can implement these strategies across all fundraising efforts.
Your communication channels are also critical components of your overall fundraising success. As highlighted in this guide to 2021 fundraising trends, a multichannel marketing approach is necessary for the success of your fundraising campaigns. This strategy allows you to reach the widest audience possible and build relationships through multiple touchpoints.
Multichannel marketing strategies typically include the following platforms:
Email: Your email platform is what allows you to communicate with a large swath of your audience at once. You can also segment your email subscribers based on shared characteristics. For example, you can create groups of new supporters or lapsed supporters, and reach out to each group with tailored messages.
Website: Your website is likely the first platform supporters turn to in order to learn more about your organization and get involved. Your site should feature donor-facing engagement elements like donation and volunteer registration pages.
Social media: Social media can be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your fundraising efforts. Using a combination of paid and organic posts, you can grow your audience and drive more engagement.
Optimizing your communication tech platforms ensures supporters are aware of your fundraising efforts and encourages them to get involved.
The key to optimizing your communication channels to drive more fundraising is to streamline and synthesize your marketing approach. Doing so allows you to unify your efforts across platforms so that supporters receive cohesive, effective communications.
In practice, this means creating a unified strategy for how you’ll approach communications across all channels. You’ll want to create a comprehensive brand guide that includes details on your organization’s logo, colors, fonts, tone, and imagery. When all of your communications appear uniform and professional, you can start to build brand recognition and earn more trust among your target audience.
Accounting technology has always been critically important for nonprofits. Such software organizes your finances and ensures you’re staying transparent and accountable to donors. But nowadays, nonprofit accounting technology is evolving to stay up with remote work and take advantage of new trends like automation.
In the context of fundraising, your accounting software is what helps keep your organization on budget as you carry out various fundraising activities. This ensures you aren’t spending more than you're bringing in, which helps foster a healthy revenue stream.
You can also use your accounting software to assess the successes and failures of past fundraising campaigns and learn how to improve your strategy for future efforts. It’s crucial that you keep your organization’s accounting system updated and conduct regular audits so that you can create accurate, data-driven fundraising plans.
This is just a brief overview of the different ways you can align your nonprofit technology with your fundraising strategy. For an in-depth review of how your fundraising strategy should be supported by tech, reach out to a fundraising consultant. These professionals can assess your current strategies and technology platforms to provide guidance and advice for better aligning your technology with your fundraising goals. They can also train your team on best practices to ensure that you’ll be able to conduct more effective fundraisers in the future. Good luck and happy fundraising!
Sandra Davis leads Donorly with 30 years of fundraising experience and leadership. She has consulted on numerous capital campaigns, led strategic planning and feasibility study efforts, and managed board development and recruitment efforts, planned giving, special events, and annual giving programs. Under her leadership, Donorly has grown to support the fundraising efforts of over 75 clients to date.