Embracing Technology and Automation in Fundraising
Posted on October 25, 2019
Bid adieu to paper bid sheets, donation forms, and all the hassles that complicate fundraising! Embrace technology and automation in fundraising and give your donors a new and better experience!
Technology and Automation are more than buzzwords. They have transformed our lives in more ways than one. Today, we shop, order food, pay our bills, book tickets, etc. with just a few taps of the fingers, thanks to technology. But does technology have a role to play in the case of nonprofits?
Unlike other businesses, nonprofits are not very inclined towards embracing technology. Probably it is because they fear the expenses involved in adopting emerging technologies. Some that have adopted technologies are unsure about how to leverage them to their benefit.
The fact remains that technology is here to stay and evolve. There will be more innovations and new technologies emerging with time. And, for a nonprofit to stay competitive, it is imperative that it adopts new technologies. These will not only help the nonprofit have a more advanced approach than the traditional face-to-face approach of connecting with donors but also understand their donors better.
Also Read: Online Fundraising Website to Raise Money
Some of the ways in which a nonprofit can embrace technology are:
Data-driven decisions are the need of the hour for any organization to be successful. Nonprofits also can leverage data to understand their donors.
Data analytics can provide you insights such as:
- Characteristics of first-time donors that can make them recurring donors.
- Demographics of your volunteers.
- Understanding donor behaviors which indicate that a monthly donor may cancel their gift.
- You will be able to get information about supporters such as their demographics, their relationship with the cause, etc.
Based on the above data, you will be able to see a certain pattern in donor behavior. This will help you create the volunteer list, donor list, etc. This will help you plan a fundraising event in a city as you will have an idea about how many people are likely to attend a fundraising event in a particular city.
A digital presence is a must for any organization to have visibility in today’s market. Nonprofits also need to have well-designed websites in place. A website makes your nonprofit visible to a global audience and it can help you attract donors from different countries.
These websites should be fast to load, easy to navigate, have a good user-interface, and should be responsive.
It is a good idea to have a clear and crisp website design that clearly communicates the mission of the nonprofit to the audience.
Also, make sure that it is easy for donors to directly donate to your nonprofit through the website.
Having a well-designed website is just not enough for a nonprofit. Your website should rank high on SERPs so that it is your target audience can view it easily. Digital marketing techniques such as Search Engine Optimization, Content marketing, social media marketing, etc. help improve the ranking of your website.
You need to post fresh informative content on your website regularly to engage your donors.
Social media is a strong force to reckon with. A nonprofit needs to launch social media campaigns where they promote their nonprofit effectively.
The impact of social media on philanthropy can be assessed by the fact that 39% of the Millennial donors worldwide and 33% of the Gen X donors are influenced by social media to donate.
Social Media can also be leveraged to effectively advertise fundraising events.
You can include the “Donate Here” button on your social media page.
Online giving through websites and social media pages have become popular in recent years. This is because the donors need not visit the charity but can directly donate to a cause they feel passionately about with the click of a finger.
Online giving has grown by 23% over the last year which is up from 15%! (Source: Fundraising Statistics 2019).
Due to the ease of donating through online methods, recurring giving is quite popular among online givers which is indicated by the fact that online monthly giving revenue grew by 40%. (Source: Fundraising Statistics 2019)
The effectiveness of a good email campaign in connecting with donors cannot be ignored by a nonprofit.
Collect data about your donors and segment that data according to the type of donors. With the help of data analytics research data on your donors such as where they live, their interests, if they are new in your database, etc. This will help you organize personalized email campaigns for them.
You can use an automated method of sending personalized emails to your donors.
Participating in Online Events
Participation in online fundraising events such as charity auctions has become popular because the donors can simply bid at a time of their choice from a place of their convenience. Charity auctions can now be held across geographical barriers.
Since donors have the facility to bid in an auction online, they will spend more time in understanding your charity better when they attend the auction. They will listen to the speakers and engage better.
When you receive a donation, you can send them a tax compliant receipt accompanied by a thank-you note. This will delight your donor and could also encourage repeat donations.
Manual receipting is vulnerable to errors and is time-consuming. You can use automation tools for receipting.
Some tools send automated acknowledgment emails to subscribers.
Embracing technology and automation in fundraising simplifies the process for the hosts. They can plan, organize, and maintain their fundraising events better. It helps the nonprofit provide a better experience to the donors. By adopting technology, a nonprofit is able to offer more transparency to its donors making it easier for them to associate with the nonprofit. Nonprofits can make data-based decisions that help them channelize their efforts more productively. Technology has made it easier to raise awareness about social causes, besides simplifying methods of donations.