More efficient fundraising - 2019 is the year non-profits embrace technology

Make 2019 your organization’s year to jump into the 21st century… enjoy better efficiency, and raise more money!

When it comes to fundraising, non-profits and other organizations are still very much last century when it comes to raising the money they need.

Volunteers, parents, athletes and other members of fundraising teams are hitting up potential donors – door-to-door, via email, across social media – in an ad-hoc, hit-or-miss way chasing down funds and collecting money in paper envelopes. Paper envelopes that inevitably fall to the chief organizer to sift through, calculate, and somehow accurately report.

As mentioned, there are some aspects of technology that fundraisers are incorporating, albeit in a haphazard and disorganized manner. Every day, for instance, parents are posting their kids’ fundraising activities – walk-a-thons, product sales, charity events, and other means of raising money – on social media. Yeehaw!

But… because of the unsystematic approach, while the funds are being raised, it’s a mess for parents and volunteer participants: manually recording purchases and trying to collect funds; the whole process becomes an annual obligatory pain in the ass! It’s also a bookkeeping nightmare for the organizer at the top of the campaign – only slightly better than napkins scrawled with team members’ fundraising results – where he or she must collate, tabulate, calculate, and record in some kind of decipherable manner.

Bring on Technology… and a Renewed Sense of Efficiency!

It’s high time your organization embraced technology as a power for innovation and good. You probably already know that the sphere of technology is unavoidable. Chances are you’re connected personally. So don’t try to avoid it for fundraising and non-profit activity.

Rather, there are several remarkable interfaces that will not only improve your organizational efficiency, but improve donor experiences as well.

Let 2019 be the year where technology helps you reach more prospective donors, promote your fundraising efforts, and expand your reach to help make new friends for your organization.

One of the primary concerns of non-profits is the desire to improve donor engagement while expanding their digital footprint. Here are a variety of ways organizations can amp up their digital profile, expand their reach and engagement with existing and potential donors, and enhance their fundraising efforts:

  1. Improve Your Website: It’s common for non-profit organizations to prioritize looking for money to support their programs and resources. Consequently, the state of their website is quite often lacking – designs reminiscent of 1998 in many cases. No more! As most searches are performed on mobile devices, it’s vitally important your website is mobile-friendly. In fact, to be recognized by Google, a mobile-friendly website is now required. Use your new website to promote your Calls to Action (CTA), where your “Donate Now” or “Volunteer” buttons are front and centre. Your website doesn’t have to be complicated or expansive. In fact, a single page, dynamic scroll will suit for most organizations, or at the most include two or three pages to make your mission clear.
  2. Employ Content & Social Media Marketing: Content is truly king in this Information Age and keeping your website and social media up-to-date with fresh, consistent material. Fresh content serves a couple of different objectives: Google loves regularly posted, fresh content and ranks accordingly; Google also loves websites that are linked to by ‘Top 10″ ranked sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. – posting your blog or website content frequently on social media platforms does just that; web and social media activity allow you to establish your authority in your space, helping to validate your efforts and encourage a sense of trust among your target audience.
  3. Expand Your Email List with Engaging Content: Along with social media, email marketing is a must. It may even be more important as it isn’t subject to the ebb and flow of social media popularity. Promote the benefits of signing up for your email newsletters as much as possible. All of us have inboxes overflowing – we’re more likely to open emails that are meaningful to them or spark interest. Create emails that are relevant, interesting, and engaging; encouraging click-throughs to your fresh web content as well as your CTAs. The average open rate for nonprofits remains relatively high at 15% – 17.5%. Improve and maintain your rates by using an intriguing title and include engaging content. CliniSpan Health provides nonprofits with free content to improve fundraising capabilities.
  4. Incorporate Video: Video doesn’t have to involved, professionally produced, or particularly glamorous. Video is hugely engaging and popular and people are just as interested in genuine, casual videos recorded on your phone as anything properly produced. Don’t concern yourself with rehearsing and scripts, go for authenticity! Talk about your next campaign or provide fun scenes from a recent event. Post on your social media platforms weekly or monthly. Your goal – developing connection!A
  5. Clever, User-friendly App Solutions: Make it easy to help people give! A fundraising management application such as Fundables allows easy setup and launch of a fundraising campaign while allowing for ease of donation, saving time for all involved – organizer, team members, and prospective donors. But, do some research to find out what application will suit your needs best. First priority: make it a piece of cake for your donors!
  6. Thank-You Notes: After pursuing high tech, efficient digital solutions, when it comes to gratitude you’ve got permission to step it back, old school! Thanking your donors with hand-written notes will go a long way toward providing a personal touch. In the world of online e-donations, you want to make your donors feel sincerely appreciated. An instant receipt and automated e-thank-you should always be followed by a personalized written note. The donor will feel the love and be more inclined to give again!