Whether you are just starting on social media or you’re a weathered and tested nonprofit, the best way to find success in this world is through donor management.
What is Donor Management?
Donor management is the practice of collecting data about and from any donors of your nonprofit organization. Information like donation dates amounts given annually, and personal habits or interactions are all gathered in donor profiles. This information allows you, the organizer, to more actively and effectively track information about your donors.
The main reason why nonprofit organizations should consider donor management is because this information allows you to better cultivate a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. If you’re able to personalize your interactions with your donors, then they’ll feel much more valued and welcomed and will be willing to open up more donation avenues. By focusing on customer relationship management (CRM) rather than asset management, you’re drastically increasing your ability to receive donations.
As with all nonprofits, donations are the way you stay afloat. So, by actively curating a mutually beneficial relationship with all of your followers, you’re able to keep a steady flow of revenue throughout the year. CRM enables you to create a personalized profile of all of your donors so that you can easily recall information and access trends that will help you develop a beneficial relationship with each donor.
What Information Should You Record From Your Donors?
Developing your donor management strategy starts with collecting data. With personalized donor profiles, you’re able to create a database of all donor data which will make fundraising much easier to pursue. Here are some of the most valuable data points you should look for from your donors.
Contact information is the number one data point you should gather. Without a donor’s contact, you have no way of reaching them to offer info about events, fundraisers, or donations. Without their contact, you don’t have a donor and your nonprofit will struggle. When you first receive a donor, make sure that you’re able to collect their email, phone, or fax if available.
Donations they’ve given and what time of the year they seem to donate the most. You’ll quickly notice trends in your supports – some people donate only at a certain point in the year. Collecting this data is a fantastic way to actively segment your donors for more personalized email marketing. This is also a great way to build wealth screening so that you aren’t soliciting donations from people who can’t afford them.
It’s always smart to record interactions you’ve had with them. The easiest way to develop a relationship with your donor is through donor engagement. If you can gather personal details like what they might tell their close friends, then this will allow you to more actively connect with them. If you were to receive an email wishing your sick family member well, then you’ll likely feel much more valued than an email that is clearly a copy and pasted outreach attempt. Getting to know your supporters is the best way to establish relationships with them.
One final point of data that is useful to collect is who responds to what. If a donor isn’t responding to any emails, chances are that sending more isn’t going to suddenly spur them into action. A fantastic way to utilize donor management is to eliminate unnecessary outreach. Focus your efforts on donors who are willing to respond and participate. Don’t overwhelm and alienate those who aren’t as active.
What This Donor Data Allows You to Do
Alright, your donor database is now filled with records and data about donations, interactions, and donor behaviors. Without action, this knowledge becomes clutter without purpose so it’s up to you to make the most out of your new database. One of the best practices is to look for trends and to capitalize on what those trends mean.
One common pattern that you might discover throughout your donors is the time in which they donate. You can segment your donors based on data found within the database and their donation patterns are one of the most effective segmentations available. By noticing a pattern such as donation date, you can easily develop a fundraising strategy based on seasonal events to inspire a certain group of donors to increase the amount they give.
For example: say you find a majority of your donors seem to pledge a certain amount every year just as summer is starting. By noticing this trend, your organization can develop a donor event that promotes the summer season and leaves your donors feeling inspired to donate even more. Fundraising events that appeal to the likes of your supporters are a fantastic way to convert new donors into regulars and to boost the amount that regulars are willing to give.
The goal of your nonprofit should be to build a community throughout your supporters so that they don’t simply feel as though they’re a source of money, but rather a member of the family. As cheesy as that might sound, the faster you can achieve that environment, the easier donor management will be.
Smart Ways to Organize Your Donor Data
The organization is key and keeping the knowledge you gather about your donors in a neat and organized donor management platform will prove to be invaluable. Here are three of the best ways to organize your donor data so that you can optimize your donor management strategy.
This is the process of noticing patterns and similarities amongst your donors and organizing them based on those common traits. For example: if you notice that a group of donors consistently puts up $100 every year around the same time, you can choose to either segment them based on the money they donate or the time in which they’re active. Some management software will even allow you to segment based on both and find every commonality available.
Segmentation is a fantastic management tool that makes finding relationships between donors simple and capitalizing on the commonalities easy. Every quality fundraising software enables nonprofits to properly segment their donors into easy to use categories.
One fault that many nonprofits encounter with their donor management system is continually asking donors for too much money. If you know that a group of donors consistently donates $100 a year, it might be feasible to ask for $150 this time around. However, asking a group of donors that only seems to give $25 a year for the same $150 could drive them away.
Quality fundraising tools will allow the nonprofit to pinpoint the proper amount to ask donors for based on the numbers they’ve already put up in the past. Utilize proper donor management software to track these numbers and target donors based on the levels they feel comfortable donating.
As your nonprofit grows, you’re going to meet tons of people. Potential donors come in and you start to track data they offer you so that you can better convert them into regulars. With so many donors in your system, the data can get muddled leaving you accidentally forgetting about someone. If a donor doesn’t feel valued or that their data is remembered, they’re unlikely to stick around.
This is one of the most important aspects of donor management: building relationships and personalizing the experience for the donors. If you’re able to recall an important life event, that donor will be much more likely to attend future fundraising events because they feel valued. With a thorough and quality database, that knowledge is easier to retain and your nonprofit will be known for its connection to the donors.
Strive For Donor Retention
One thing you’ll notice while running nonprofits is that it’s much easier to convert donors who are already present than it is to collect new donors. Someone who has already donated to your nonprofit is much more likely to donate again than someone who has just stumbled across your platform.
It’s for this reason that donor management emphasizes treating those who are already with your nonprofit organization to a personalized and welcoming experience rather than focusing on building a larger following.
Think of it as if the donors were your friends. It’s a higher possibility that your friends will donate to your cause than someone you’ve just met. You’ve built a relationship with your friends and there exists a level of trust. Donor management is all about the nonprofits curating a lasting relationship and growing with them rather than finding new ones to squeeze a few bucks out of.
What to Look For in a Donor Management Software
Here are some important features that make a donor management system great.
Focused on Nonprofit Organizations
So many donor management platform tools seek to simply make a profit for themselves. They don’t put the nonprofits as their focus and this puts the nonprofits in a tough situation. You must find a donor management platform that is focused on helping your organization to thrive and collect and curate a relationship with your donors.
An Easy to Navigate Donor Management System
The end goal of your fundraising isn’t to make a shiny donation page that can convert, you want to collect data that is easy to search through and utilize for real-time use. The system should be able to search through the database and return the data you’re looking for with the click of a button. If the software is difficult to understand, then chances are you’re not going to get the right results from your search.
One of the Best Donor Management Tools in the World
If you’re looking for dependable and high-quality software to help develop your data collection of your donors, then Bloomerang is a fantastic place to start your search. Bloomerang works with organizations to create an effective donor management strategy to help you grow. They utilize social media and data collection so that your donors feel part of the family.