[GUEST POST] 5 Tech-Savvy Strategies to Boost Your Fundraising Campaign

Whether your upcoming fundraising campaign is meant to commemorate a holiday, prepare for an upcoming political election, or complete a specific project for your nonprofit, it is likely an integral part of achieving your mission. And while the fundraising campaigns of old depended largely on donations by cash and check, nonprofits now depend on all sorts of new technologies to market, organize, and execute their fundraising campaigns.

You’ve made a few basic tech improvements to your organization, but you don’t want to settle for the bare minimum when you have another important fundraising campaign coming up. To get ahead of the pack and embrace the digital techniques that other nonprofits ignore, your nonprofit should:

  1. Track donor interactions
  2. Automate outreach
  3. Perfect online forms
  4. Analyze data  
  5. Take advantage of peer-to-peer, crowdfunding, and text-to-give

You shouldn’t be intimidated by the many features included in your nonprofit’s fundraising software suite—instead, embrace the coming changes in fundraising technology and take the next step toward exceeding your fundraising goals.

#1: Track donor interactions

A lot of work goes into running a fundraising campaign, and in order to be efficient you need to cut down on as many time-sinking activities as possible. One such activity is manually updating your donor database with new information every time you have a new interaction with a donor.

With a powerful nonprofit CRM system or donor management software, you can easily track every correspondence in a readable database so you always have the relevant information at your fingertips.

Instead of relying on manual input, configure your donor management software to automatically track every detail of every interaction and keep them in a database that can be accessed by your whole staff. This way, you never waste time or money on duplicate outreach, or miss out on a fundraising lead that wasn’t properly logged.

Make sure you choose CRM software that integrates with your fundraising, marketing, and advocacy software to enable this automatic tracking. Use this tech-savvy technique to record the details of:

  • New gifts
  • Email correspondences
  • Responses to past campaigns
  • Desires and preferences for future campaigns and events
  • Newsletters and other updates about your organization

Making use of your CRM system’s automatic tracking feature will fill in your donor profiles and free up your time for more pressing tasks.

#2: Automate your outreach

One of the perks of having all this information about your donors and prospects is that it helps you communicate with them effectively and efficiently.

One great way to reach a new level of efficiency is to let your donor management software automate some of the processes in your outreach strategy. Having robust donor profiles in your donor database allows you to create segmented lists, which you can then use to automatically send newsletters, donation asks, and progress updates to appropriate groups.

Segmenting your donor list based on criteria of your choice allows to you cater your messages to your donors without spending too much time crafting personal messages. Some common segmentation criteria include gender, wealth, and age, but you can get creative and use whatever criteria are relevant to your cause.

You can also set up your CRM system to automatically send thank you messages and other event-triggered correspondences, so you can easily and quickly let your donors know you appreciate them. All of these outreach automation techniques can help you build great relationships with your donors while saving valuable time and resources.

#3: Perfect your online forms

For any phase of a nonprofit’s fundraising efforts, but especially for fundraising campaigns, the online donation page is one of the most crucial points in the process. This is the point at which your prospect turns into a donor, and as such it is imperative that the page works well, looks good, and doesn’t introduce any unnecessary roadblocks into the donation process.

The first thing you should do is make sure your donation page accurately reflects your organization’s mission, goals, and values. Making sure your page is on brand may sound easy but it can be quite difficult, especially if your team doesn’t have a dedicated tech department.

But, with the right online fundraising software, you can easily design and customize unique fundraising forms. For some help designing and perfecting your donation page, check out these donation page design tips from Salsa.

Once your page’s appearance and content convey what you want to convey, the next step is to ensure the page is user friendly. An ideal online donation page must not let usability issues get in the way of charitable giving.

As most of us know, there are few things more frustrating than a difficult web experience, especially when it is standing between you and something you care about. Incorporate features such as a “remember me” function to make it easy for your especially charitable donors to give again and again.

Other crucial features and characteristics include:

  • Fast loading speeds
  • Functional dropdown menus
  • Only the necessary fields marked as “required fields”

Incorporating these quality-of-life improvements to your online donation page will make sure giving does not become a frustrating experience for your donors.

Finally, you must make sure your donation page is mobile responsive. More people than ever use their mobile devices for all sorts of transactions and purchases, and the most successful online fundraising campaigns will undoubtedly take in some donations from mobile users.

When starting to design your donation pages, make sure that you choose a service that will handle mobile optimization so you don’t have to spend time optimizing your pages.

#4: Analyze data

With all the data coming in and going out of your different fundraising strategies, there is a whole host of information that the most tech-savvy nonprofits will take advantage of. But when it comes to analyzing such complex and bountiful information, many people have no idea where to start. Use your nonprofit CRM system to collect, store, and create reports of the data that will help your organization succeed.

When you integrate your CRM system with the other facets of your fundraising such as outreach, online giving, and peer-to-peer fundraising, it can automatically collect relevant data from those sources and compile it into easily accessible and shareable documents. These types of reports are crucial to knowing which parts of your efforts are working, and which ones need improvements. You can compare the performance of your programs against each other, or you can compare them against programs to gauge their effectiveness.

You can also analyze such important data as email and website click-through rate, conversion rate, and other engagement metrics. You can also view these metrics for your online donation pages, so you always know when your page needs some design updates.

While click-through rate shows what proportion of users click on your webpage from search engine results or on the links included in your marketing emails, conversion rate measures the rate of donors successfully completing the form and donating. When compared, these two metrics can give you insights into what stage of the donation process is proving most difficult for your potential donors.

Other important data you can analyze includes:

  • Event attendance rate
  • Email unsubscribe rate
  • Email complaint/spam marker rate
  • Email/donation page share rate

Analyzing these important success metrics can allow you to refine your digital fundraising strategies and encourage would-be donors to complete the giving process.

Data analytics may seem daunting, but the nonprofits who effectively incorporate it in into their fundraising efforts will be more likely to achieve lasting success.

#5: Use peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising and related fundraising techniques represent a growing trend toward convenience and mass marketing in fundraising. Peer-to-peer fundraising (often abbreviated P2P) is a practice in which organizations ask their constituents to use their own personal networks to market a cause and bring in new donations.

In its most common form, it gives donors access to a special link that they can send to friends and family who may also want to donate or share on social media and other online platforms to be seen by the world. P2P, along with social media fundraising, may help your nonprofit access an untapped well of supporters.

Because so much of today’s link sharing occurs on mobile devices, it is imperative that your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign uses a website that works well on both desktop and mobile. Mobile giving is a huge part of the new fundraising landscape.

These types of “social fundraising” techniques rely on the ease with which potential donors can access specialized donation pages through mobile devices. For this reason, you should make sure that whatever service you use to create your online donation pages offers mobile responsiveness and optimization.

If you are wondering where to start with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, or want help deciding which option is right for your organization, check out this list of the best peer-to-peer fundraising tools from Double the Donation.

If you have yet to try peer-to-peer or mobile giving, you will likely receive new donations from your regular donors as they first experience the convenience and novelty of your new service.

Depending on the details of your organization, you may choose to make P2P and mobile a small or large part of your fundraising strategy. Regardless, you can be sure your nonprofit will see better revenue than if you didn’t use them.

Although you may not know where to start when it comes to implementing tech-savvy strategies into your nonprofit’s efforts, it is absolutely worth doing if you want to take your fundraising to the next level. Try some of the above strategies and you’ll be on your way to boosting your fundraising results.

Gerard Tonti is the Senior Creative Developer at Salsa Labs, the premier fundraising software company for growth-focused nonprofits. Gerard’s marketing focus on content creation, conversion optimization and modern marketing technology helps him coach nonprofit development teams on digital fundraising best practices.

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