[GUEST POST] Why Become a “Connected Nonprofit?”
Americans are giving at record numbers, and if the first couple of months are any indication, 2017 is shaping up to be another record-breaking year. While advanced consumer technology is now ubiquitous, less than 10 percent of annual individual giving is done online. However, the rate at which giving is moving online continues to increase, which is why nonprofits should be taking stock of their systems and making sure they have the right technology in place. Disparate applications that do not integrate can lead to underutilized data, which can be detrimental to future fundraising and marketing initiatives.
It’s imperative that organizations modernize their systems: communications, fundraising, advocacy, and operations are all moving to the cloud and mobile and distributed apps. We live in a time with short attention spans, and if content or calls-to-action are not relevant to the individual, they will not be effective. Only modern technology that leverages data will enable smart communications that convert that attention into action.
Practitioners and executives should not only take a long view of technology, but also understand the rate at which software, applications, and devices are changing. It is crucial that data is shared and synced across systems so that all roles within a nonprofit have access to complete and updated data in order to make more informed decisions.
We’ll use the following example to illustrate why it is so critical to make sure that nonprofits’ fundraising apps, communication systems, and donor database are all connected:
Let’s say Jim Anderson is a new fundraiser for a nonprofit and he recently raised $3,000 in the Boulder Ironman.
Nonprofit Scenario #1 — The organization has disjoined applications: The nonprofit’s fundraising data is not syncing to a constituent database (aka CRM such as Salesforce for Nonprofits). As a result, instead of sending a thank you note for his participation, the nonprofit ends up sending Jim a completely unrelated request for a $25 donation just three days after the event. Jim feels unappreciated.
Nonprofit Scenario #2 — “The connected nonprofit”: All fundraiser data is synced with all other organizational and constituent information. Because all departments have access to the same data, the nonprofit sends Jim a 25 percent discount code and invitation to its annual gala as a thank you for raising the $3,000.
Obviously, Jim is more likely to become a future fundraiser, repeat donor, and/or engaged supporter in the “connected nonprofit” scenario. While this is a simple illustration, disconnected systems can easily result in a multitude of missed opportunities or negative donor experiences, both of which can be avoided with the right systems in place.
by Joe Magee, RallyBound COO
Helping nonprofits adopt technology the majority of his career, Joe brings a unique perspective and passion to digital fundraising. He has helped organizations of all sizes increase capacity to deliver on their vision. RallyBound has helped hundreds of nonprofits fulfill their missions by raising money through various fundraising initiatives.