Guides & Resources

Streamlining Your Fundraising Process: A Quick Guide

simplify

If you work for an organization that depends on donations from supporters, you know that the fundraising process can be long and complicated. From planning fundraising events to forming marketing strategies, it’s easy for your team to become overwhelmed.

You should be constantly on the lookout for ways to improve and simplify your fundraising procedures, whether it is to save time for your fundraising team or to make the donor’s experience a little easier. Don’t make your donors jump through hoops and various donation forms on different websites just to make a contribution to your cause.

With the right online donation tools and software solutions, your organization can start refining the fundraising process and begin raising more revenue. Streamlining the fundraising process will largely come down to two parts:

  1. The internal side and streamlining data flow.
  2. The donor-facing side and improving the user experience.

Breaking down the fundraising process with your donation tools allows you to track the movement of data and find ways to clean up the steps. Transform your workplace and optimize your internal processes. Let’s get started!

1. Streamlining your internal data flow.

To simplify the fundraising process, consider how your internal data is flowing. This consists of donation data and the information that your donors provide you, including personal details collected through your donation form.

However, take a look at the number of tools and processes each piece of data must go through before it reaches its final destination. If you have separate tools to manage online donations and launch fundraising events, it can be difficult to track down pertinent information because you’ll have to manually report it through different platforms. Additionally, if your CRM (constituent relationship management) system is also treated as a completely separate tool, your donor database could possibly be full of inaccurate or outdated information.

There are a couple of ways your team can try to streamline data flow by leveraging your donation apps and centralizing your data. You should:

  • Use CRM-integrated tools whenever possible. If you’re using a CRM platform like Salesforce, a Blackbaud system, Salsa, Neon, or any other popular choice, explore their networks of integration partners. For overhaul and custom integrations, consider contacting a tech consultant or looking for easier API options.
     
  • If you don’t have a major CRM platform, find tools that prioritize intuitive reporting. When your team has access to donor engagement reports and other relevant data, you better understand how your donors act and what they respond to. The more you grasp how your donors think, the more simplified your fundraising process will be. Just make sure to review your data management protocols and comb through your database to keep it tidy.
     
  • Consider other behind-the-scenes processes. The more efficient and secure the tools in your management kit, the more optimized your internal data. For instance, you need an effective payment processor to handle recurring donations. Simplifying backend dataflow makes it much easier to manage and can prevent potential mix-ups. For a refresher (or introduction) on nonprofit payment processing, read this guide.

When you first optimize your internal procedures, you set the groundwork for refining donor experiences. Donors engage with the external side of your fundraising process, so don’t miss out on prioritizing them.

2. Improving the user experience.

After you’ve cleaned up your internal procedures and simplified the way your team manages and processes donations, consider the other side of the fundraising process: the donor’s experience. Avoid the risk of falling for a fundraising mistake and not putting your donor at top priority.

Using your integrated online donation tools and your CRM systems as a whole, your fundraising team can streamline the way that individuals give gifts to your organization. Here are some tips and strategies to review:

  • Look over the steps needed to complete a donation. Make sure that your online donation form only asks for pertinent information. You don’t want to waste your donor’s time, so if you would like additional details, make them “not required,” or just ask them in a survey after they’ve completed their donation.
     
  • Offer more intuitive features on your website. Using integrated tools, your team can create stunning mobile-friendly donation forms, as well as keep your branding consistent throughout the organization’s main website.
     
  • Take advantage of your engagement reports. Let your data inform your marketing and messaging strategies. This way you can target your team’s efforts to strategies that will actually generate results.
     
  • Create opportunities for donors to get involved. Engage your community of supporters by encouraging them to make user-generated content and involve themselves on peer-to-peer fundraising platforms. Events like this will generate a lot of revenue as well as get your donors excited about being a part of the process.

Your donors are the most important people as they support your cause and keep your mission moving. Make sure the donation process is refined and follow each fundraising ask to its close.

Fundraising has a lot of moving parts including your donor’s financial information and personal details. Organize your donation tools and make sure your whole toolkit is working together and not holding you back. Good luck!

As the founder of a software company serving the public sector, Ryan is passionate about empowering organizations to “do good.” With a focus on effective and efficient technology solutions, he's constantly looking for ways in which the Internet can better serve the greater good, and more specifically the non-profit sector. He leads up the Soapbox Engage team in our pursuit of affordable and accidental techie-friendly online engagement software, is a Salesforce MVP, and leads the NPSP Days around the world. He’s also a fan of burritos, so if you have any tips to finding the best taqueria in the

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