In order to be successful in your fundraising efforts, you must be efficient. That means minimizing resources, lowering costs, and maximizing results. A fundraising campaign of the past may have required an entire team to plan and manage your fundraising event – where today, you might be able to accomplish the same thing with just a few administrators.
That is…if you use the right fundraising software to help.Not only can fundraising software help your organization be more efficient (and save time and money), it will also create a much more positive experience for all parties: administrators, sponsors, participants and the general community. Never forget that you are making an impression on your donors with each interaction, so use a software provider that helps you to make the best impression.
5 Ways Fundraising Software Can Help your Organization Improve Efficiency
Create a Central Hub for Your Fundraiser
Create a fundraising website to help your organization be more efficient in your planning by managing all details of your fundraising campaign from one central hub. This becomes the “go-to” place for participants, volunteers, sponsors and the community to find out more about your event and take-action. Make sure your fundraising website matches the look and feel of your organization so people feel comfortable giving to your cause. You can do this by uploading images, logos and choosing a color scheme that matches your brand. For peer-to-peer fundraising events take your fundraising website one step further. Provide each participant with a personal fundraising page where they can upload photos, images and share personal goals. This helps them be more efficient in their individual fundraising efforts as they also have one central place to manage their goals, send potential donors and track their progress.
Register Participants Online
Use online registration to increase efficiency by allowing participants to easily register online, join teams, make payments, purchase tickets, or create logins to bid on items for online auctions. With an easy-to-use online registration system, your administrative team avoids dealing with tedious paperwork – sorting registration forms and depositing / tracking checks. Everything is automatically saved into a database by having people register directly on your website, join teams, and safely make payments. By automating this process, administrators are able to easily generate reports to help keep them on track with their planning.
Collect Online Donations
It seems simple enough. Obviously any fundraising campaign will need to collect donations in order to be successful. And one key to being efficient is to allow for online donations. But it’s not as easy as posting a “donate now” button. First, you want to make sure you make it easy for potential donors to make a donation. Be sure to communicate that your system is safe and secure (and partner with a credible payment services provider that protects you). Then, in addition to offering an open field for donations, also consider providing a list of options: i.e. $20 / $50 / $100 or “Other”. If you leave it blank, you might only get $5 donations. The button options also make it more user-friendly for people who want to make donations directly from their phone or table. Rather than typing in an amount, they can simply select a value. You may also want to consider providing a quantitative example of what effect the donation will have. For example: a donation of $35 will provide clean water to an entire family for one full year. People like to see the impact their donation will have.
Sponsors are key for many fundraising events, and may often bring in large donation amounts in exchange for an opportunity to gain exposure at your event. With an integrated sponsor management system, your sponsors can easily review different sponsor levels to choose the one that is right for them. Then they can fill in their information, upload their logo and make payments directly online. Once sponsors are on-board, your online system can also help admins make sure to follow through. It’s important to deliver on all the benefits promised in the agreement, as happy sponsors are likely to come back again in future years.
Use Marketing & Reporting Tools
Two important aspects of effective fundraising are 1. spreading the word and 2. evaluating the success of a fundraising campaign. If you don’t include some kind of marketing and promotional initiatives, how else are you going to attract potential participants & donors to your site? Luckily today, spreading the word is easier than ever. Take advantage of the various forms of communication and use them all. Send emails, make posts on your social media channels, promote your fundraiser on your organization’s website, blog, and more. Use compelling images and stories that others will want to share, and then make it easy by offering sharing widgets. Some of the most successful fundraising campaign are those that have gone viral. Many fundraising software solutions will include many of these marketing tools such as automatic email communications, integrated sharing widgets, and more. In addition to spreading the word, you’ll also want to evaluate performance to find out “what worked”. By using the various forms of online communication tools to promote your campaign, you can determine the best channels that directed traffic to your fundraising website (i.e. through your blog, email campaigns, social channels, partner sites, etc.) Your fundraising software will also include reporting tools to help you evaluate various aspects of your campaign such as: attendance reports, sales summary & payment details, sponsors reports, team & participant progress reports, top performers, etc.