How Marketing Automation Can Make You a Better Fundraiser

As a fundraising professional, you’re probably always on the lookout for new approaches to get more out of your fundraising efforts. There are many ways to improve your fundraising results. However, one highly effective approach that you might not have considered is marketing automation.

At first, you might think that automating fundraising and marketing tasks sounds too impersonal – that automating processes, such as sending email communications to donors, volunteers, and other constituents – will result in poor quality or generic communications that don’t do the job. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

The power of today’s marketing automation tools for nonprofits

Today’s marketing and process automation tools allow you to send targeted and personalized communications at a large scale. They’re often included as functionality in core software, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) or donor management system. They can pull data from within the system to send unique messages to various audiences based on each recipient’s interests and interactions with your organization.  

And marketing automation isn’t just about sending emails. You can also automate other manual processes, such as data entry, donation reconciliation, reporting, and sending multi-channel communications.

The benefit? You’re able to reduce administrative duties from your day-to-day fundraising efforts. This saves time that you and your development team can then spend on higher-value work, such as communicating one-to-one with donors and planning fundraising events.

Marketing automation for nonprofits in the real world

Here’s a real-world example of a nonprofit organization using marketing automation to improve fundraising results: Verland is a nonprofit family of community homes and services supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities. The organization moved from using more than 30 spreadsheets for managing marketing and fundraising efforts to using Virtuous as their CRM system. That alone resulted in greater efficiency by consolidating data in one system. But on top of that, Verland now uses marketing automation tools in Virtuous to automate manual processes, including sending a personalized email series and other communications to new donors.

Our founding partner at Cathexis Partners, Mark Becker, recently sat down with Abigayle Tobia, vice president of philanthropy at Verland, and Erik Tomalis, chief evangelist and director of business development at Virtuous, for a podcast to talk about how marketing automation can simplify fundraising tasks, such as:

  • Sending donor acknowledgements
  • Emailing a donor welcome series
  • Pulling reports
  • Reconciling donations
  • Making donor communications documentation accessible to team members

During the discussion, Abigayle said, “When we take away the 32 Excel spreadsheets, the manual reporting, the manual memorization of what emails need to go out — all of that — we free up those fundraisers to be out in the community, really doing the job that we want them to do with the most effectiveness.”

Learn more about marketing automation for nonprofit fundraising

Find out more about how Verland is using marketing automation tools to streamline fundraising and marketing efforts. Listen to the NonProfit PRO VOICE podcast: How Marketing Automation Can Relieve Fundraisers of Manual Administrative Duties

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