Using technology to reinvent fundraising

Androniki Bossonis
Androniki Bossonis

[Publisher’s note: This sponsored content was provided by Fanggle, a PJ business partner.]

Androniki Bossonis

Regardless of the size of your nonprofit, technology can easily be integrated into every aspect of your fundraising efforts.

The tools exist for creating and executing a development plan that is sustainable, professional, ethical, time-and cost-effective, and above all, helps raise more money for the organization.

Today’s nonprofit environment is complex and continually evolving.

New organizations pop up each day to make competition fiercer than ever, making it more challenging to maintain a relationship with prospective donors.

People today are bombarded with a flurry of advertising messages everywhere they look, on every web page they visit, and even on their phones.

Thus, today’s donor needs to understand and engage in your mission quickly, and be able to donate conveniently.

To keep your organization in the forefront of your donors’ minds despite these challenges, you may find yourself using some of today’s technology to reinvent your approach to fundraising.

Technology has the potential to improve every aspect of your operations, but where do you start? What is most important?

Today’s cloud-based fundraising platforms are scalable to the size of your organization, easy to integrate with your existing database, and require no software installations, making it easier to get up and running than one might think.

The most important things to consider are time effectiveness, cost effectiveness, convenience to donors, reporting and analytics, customer relationship management, and optimizing your operations.

Do you remember when The American Red Cross raised more than $30 million for relief efforts immediately after the Haiti earthquake with its Text-To-Give

Text-to-pledge and text-to-give are simple features that are quick and easy to integrate.

Let’s look for a moment at the Salvation Army: In addition to its traditional Red Kettle presence, it also is integrating mobile giving, online giving, text-to-give, email campaigns, and a comprehensive social-media campaign that includes Facebook and Twitter.

You might wonder if it is difficult to set up and maintain a multi-channel  approach such as this.

Not at all. In fact, it’s easier than traditional means. Since most current fundraising platforms are cloud-based, and all channels can tie into one easy-to-use back-end administration panel, it becomes easy to create, modify and track multi-channel campaigns from any place that has an internet connection.

So the Salvation Army is not only reaching more people, it’s doing it faster and cheaper than before.

The New York Public Library adopted a web-based fundraising initiative that includes a micro-site on its website (in addition to mobile and social features) that takes secure donations, accepts and routes advocacy letters, and shows campaign progress.

The library’s adaptation of cutting-edge technology allowed them to overcome a $40 million shortfall in 2010, and another of $37 million in 2011, thus protecting critical resources and vital institutions.

When considering a web, mobile and social-media enabled fundraising platform, keep these critical elements in mind:

Time effectiveness – Sending to multiple channels from one dashboard and tracking results should save considerable time and boost efficiency. The result is easier management of day-to-day interactions with supporters and staff.

Cost effectiveness – The cost of a web-based initiative should be weighed against savings of print and media buying, snail mail and time spent tracking traditional campaign results.

Convenience to donors – Reach donors where they want to be reached (mobile, social media, email, etc.) and allow them to donate with the click of a button.

Reporting and analytics – See in real-time which campaigns and channels are performing, and modify ones that aren’t.

Customer relationship management – Communication with donors, tracking
response rates, and making it convenient for donors to pledge, donate or contact a representative are of paramount importance to relationship management.

Optimizing your operations – In addition to time and cost savings, internal communications and campaigns sent through the same system ensure that professional best practices and branding elements reflect positively on your organization from the inside out.

Of course, success in fundraising requires more than technology. But if your technology doesn’t allow for process automation and easy management of data,
you can expect to work harder and possibly fall behind in the long run.

Today’s technology can help your staff, processes, and the people you serve all work together seamlessly, while allowing more people to hear and respond to your cause.

Androniki Bossonis is marketing director for Fanggle, a platform that integrates web, mobile, social media and e-commerce applications.

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