Donor management software improves nonprofit marketing plans

Nonprofits using donor management software give themselves the resources necessary to build a strong and effective marketing strategy. Successful promotion of an organization's story and purpose should yield a steady stream of donations from both existing and new members. Often, tried and true marketing tactics need to be combined with innovative fundraising methods to help a nonprofit thrive.

First, the message
Before designing a marketing course of action, the most important concept nonprofits need to grasp is crafting a personal message. Maximize Social Business, a website that provides resources and social media updates to businesses, stated boldly that making the donor a major part of the equation is the only way for nonprofits to flourish. The key is to identify the organization's principal message, and then define the target audience. Within this definition, figure out exactly what it is that concerns the audience most. Find out how the principal message affects the targeted constituents and what the consequences may be if they do not get involved. This is the seed of a great marketing plan because it appeals directly to a personal and emotional place. In addition, name the benefits supporters will experience if they donate or join, and explain why their participation is vital. Yes, it is important to send out newsletters and increase followers on social media sites. But, marketing that draws people in and encourages interaction will have a much greater impact than reaching an arbitrary follower count.

Second, the website
A good website is the foundation of any marketing plan. According to Network for Good, a nonprofit's website should be the home base for just about every operation. The site should act as a launch pad, offering connections to any social media sites, donation pages, registration forms, general information articles and more. A well-written history of the organization, along with current events and projects, should be available. Statistics and campaign results should be listed in plain sight so that anyone glancing at the homepage can determine the scope of outreach. All pages should also be formatted the same to give a sense of continuity and professionalism. Donor management software allows nonprofit organizations to incorporate their website formatting onto their donation pages so users feel as though they are interacting directly with the site rather than a third party. Without a sturdy, navigable website, any business will have a hard time spreading their message and reaching new heights. 

Third, the expansion
Don't be afraid to incorporate modern tactics with traditional ones in a marketing plan. Adjusting material to fit a wide spectrum of marketing platforms may be necessary. Facebook is a powerful social media tool, but don't underestimate the effect a good write-up in a local newspaper can have on a community. As the Razoo Foundation stated, embrace sharing information across various platforms in order to use content as effectively as possible. Also, don't restrict a newspaper article to a limited circulation. Post the article and any photos taken on the organizations' Facebook page along with a link on Twitter. If an event features award-winners or visual art, invite a photographer to take quality pictures and then post photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Sometimes a powerful image can have a greater impact than a printed number on a page. Remember, always link back to home base – the website – and stay true to the overall message of the organization.

Fourth, the fun
Along with spreading information and encouraging involvement in the cause, a large part of social media is as simple as just having fun. If the recent explosion of the ALS Foundation's Ice Bucket Challenge taught the nonprofit sector anything, it's that raising awareness and funding for a good cause can be an upbeat, entertaining experience. BizBash, an event planning and marketing company, suggested adding interactive contests or discussions to social media posts or email updates. For example, every time a follower shares a link to the donation website for a nonprofit, enter their name into a raffle to win a prize. Or offer to donate $1 for each repost or retweet of a campaign logo. Supporters are always looking for ways to become involved. By adding a little extra sense of excitement and fun to the process, word is likely to spread faster. Just ask the 453,210 new donors the ALS Association has garnered in the past month.

Though a current marketing strategy may appear to be working, it always helps to take a look at the tactics to see if there is room for improvement. Donor management software helps nonprofits determine fundraising trends for their organization and identify donor habits and involvement. When redefining a marketing plan, being able to quickly and accurately locate donor contact information is crucial. With a software system that provides support for both the organization and the givers, the road to success is unimpeded.