Donor relationships online – on ‘donor time’

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Providing donors with 24-hour access to their account information has become an essential component of any donor advised fund.

John Sestak, DonorCentral product manager for MicroEdge Inc., discusses ecent trends in donor services.

Question:  Why do donors and advisors want to access fund information online?

Answer: We live in busy times. Online donor services allow advisors to take care of things on “donor time” — make grant suggestions to nonprofits, check on their funds and the status of contributions whenever it’s convenient for them, from any computer with an Internet connection anywhere in the world.

It goes hand-in-hand with the growing need to deliver high levels of service to clients.

We work with a lot of clients who tell us, “Customer service is key.” With online services, they can provide better donor service all the time.

Q:  Why is it so important to provide online services?

A: Online donor services provide a great way to link the donor to the foundation via the Web — the most far-reaching and convenient communications vehicle available.

Foundations using DonorCentral have also reported that for donors who produce a lot of suggestions, it provides a cost-effective and faster mechanism for them to put those suggestions through.

Q:  What else can donors accomplish using online services?

A: The right solution will allow donors and fund advisors to log on to a private, secure area to view fund balances and download formatted fund statements.

Data is always fresh, since it is tied directly into the foundation’s back-office systems, such as FIMS and FoundationPower from MicroEdge.

Within minutes, donors can view how many contributions were made during a given year, including the date, amount and type of each gift.

Detailed grant information lists every grant ever made from the fund, including the date, the amount and the recipient.

Clients can even update their profile and contact information online.

Q: How do online services create closer ties between advisors and foundations?

To read the interview in its entirety, click here.

MicroEdge is a provider of technology solutions for the giving community worldwide.  Through integrated, secure windows and internet-based software solutions, training and consulting services, and free online seminars MicroEdge helps giving organizations of every kind, their donors and other constituents to work efficiently with one another to raise, invest, manage and award charitable dollars.

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