Your ability to engage donors and drive revenue effectively depends heavily on the software you select.
Here are six fundraising activities your association’s software should help you do better and faster.
Fundraising has been vitally important to many associations for years, while others are turning to fundraising more recently to help generate additional non-dues revenue. If fundraising is part of your revenue-generating plan, it’s important to have association management software (AMS) in place that supports fundraising activities.
The software you use will determine your ability to engage donors and drive revenue – today, and in the future. When selecting fundraising software for your association, you have multiple considerations to weigh.
One of the most important things to confirm is that the software can help you meet and exceed your association’s fundraising goals. To ensure the investment in your new fundraising software will truly meet your organization’s requirements, talk with your development team about their needs and the limitations of any fundraising software the team currently uses. This will help you develop a list of must-have features and functionality.
Six key fundraising activities your software should support
As you build your list, consider these key fundraising capabilities:
1. Managing donor data.
To fundraise effectively, it’s important to be able to think about your members as donors. You should have a donor profile for each of your members that includes a comprehensive view of communications, touch points, interests, giving history, and past campaigns that have inspired giving. So, just as your AMS helps you track contact information, engagement history, and other details about your members, your fundraising software should help you track and report on donor information.
To deliver a great donor experience, your software should also allow you to give donors and prospects the convenience of managing their own profiles, contact information, recurring gifts, and saved payment methods through an online donor portal.
For example, fundraising functionality in NetForum AMS by Community Brands allows you to manage donor data, offering a clear view of campaigns, donors, and fundraising events. It also allows you to offer an online donor portal where donors and prospects can view and update their own information.
TIP: Data points, such as giving history, event attendance, and volunteering can help you uncover fundraising opportunities. For example, your members might be more likely to donate after volunteering or attending one of your association’s events – when they’re feeling most connected to your organization. Keeping this in mind, you might target volunteers and event attendees for a special, personalized donor cultivation campaign.
2. Tracking donor engagement and moves management.
Effective fundraising requires the ability to track engagement levels so you can take smarter and faster action when connecting with members. Once members have given, it’s also important to identify where they are in the fundraising lifecycle and manage their movement forward
A-Score™ functionality in NetForum helps you measure the engagement levels of each of your members so you can understand which members have given before and which are likely to give again. It also helps you identify where members are in the fundraising lifecycle – prospective donors, one-time donors, monthly/repeat donors – and manage their movement forward with targeted communications based on their stage in the fundraising lifecycle. You can even assign tasks to staff and key volunteers based on donor behavior.
With NetForum, you can also track and manage campaigns, funds, appeals, and their associated goals. You can specify suggested donation ask amounts that are calculated based on a donor’s historical giving patterns. And you can use built-in analytics and easily build custom queries for reports that will give you insights into your donor members for use in targeted donor communications and campaigns.
TIP: Using NetForum, you can automate moves management processes, helping you to cultivate donors more efficiently.
3. Delivering a modern giving experience.
We’ve all come to expect a modern online experience. We also expect the organizations we interact with to make those interactions easy and convenient.
NetForum helps you deliver a modern, efficient giving experience by:
- Allowing members to set up monthly donations
- Splitting recurring gifts across funds (for example, a member could donate a $100 monthly gift and direct $60 to Fund A and $40 to Fund B)
- Soft crediting a member of a household so you can have combined family/couple giving totals on the household
- Linking a matching gift to the gift that generated the match
- Personalizing gift acknowledgement emails
TIP: NetForum includes functionality to help you identify, encourage, and track matching gifts for your fundraising program.
4. Processing gifts efficiently.
Processing donations is not the most exciting part of fundraising. But it must be done. Making sure you have the right tools in place for gift processing can help you save time that’s better spent on other fundraising activities.
NetForum supports batch gift entry to make quick work of processing checks or credit cards received in person. This feature is a quick way to input many gifts at one time in a spreadsheet-type format, versus inputting gifts record-by-record. You can also use visual workflows in NetForum to automate common, manual tasks associated with gift processing, such as sending acknowledgements and tax receipts.
5. Integrating with other applications.
A key feature to look for is how much integration the fundraising software allows with other applications. For example, NetForum is part of the connected network of solutions for associations by Community Brands that includes solutions for membership management, learning management, and career center. They work together to help you support a complete, personalized, and connected member experience. NetForum is also able to integrate with third-party platforms including WealthEngine, DonorSearch, MailChimp, and online donation systems.
6. Making informed decisions.
Your fundraising software should help you make informed decisions through the use of dashboards, advanced reporting, and scheduled reports.
For example, NetForum gives you dashboards and reporting for the insights you need to make well-informed decisions. It provides 300 standard reports for visibility into the health of your organization. It also allows you to quickly modify standard reports without the need for IT help. NetForum also includes configurable dashboards for a quick view of key data. In just a few clicks, you can drill into graphs and charts to view the data behind them, and then drill further to obtain a list.
You can track everything from key donor and member trend data (including growth and retention rates, engagement scores, and event registrations) to the complete donor and member lifecycle. You can also set up automatic report distribution via email to keep key stakeholders at your organization informed on a regular basis.
TIP: Nucleus, the first data analytics solution developed for associations, is a Community Brands product that’s available in-app with NetForum. It works with NetForum to provide advanced data and insights for more informed decision-making. The Nucleus membership dashboard is included for all new NetForum customers.
Take the next step
Find out more about how fundraising functionality in NetForum can help your organization deepen donor relationships and increase donations read the guide: How to Exceed Your Fundraising Goals.