4 Things to look for when choosing donor management software

Choosing the right donor software can feel daunting. Here are four key elements every nonprofit organization should look for when making a decision:

1. Streamlined Communication Tools
Communication can make or break your relationships with donors. A member management software program that can keep records of past phone calls, email exchanges and appointments with patrons is essential. These records will help you connect with backers for future fundraising efforts and make it easier for you to show appreciation for their contributions with automated thank-you messages. According to a recent GuideStar interview with Harvey McKinnon, author of “The 11 Questions Every Donor Asks and the Answers All Donors Crave,” one donor in particular awarded an organization an additional $122,000 for their speedy and genuine thanks after an initial gift.

2. Staff Support
Though donor management software may sound like a system intended solely to benefit donor relations, it is important not to overlook the ministry staff who will be entering fundraising data and tracking the funders. With a convenient and swift system, staff will feel supported, competent and eager to facilitate fundraising efforts.

3. Volunteer Management
If your organization hosts volunteer events, a great software management program will help inform donors of volunteer opportunities and make planning less difficult. You should be able to process both recurring and one-off  events while tracking which volunteers will attend each. A waitlist feature is also helpful if a volunteer event is limited to a specific number of participants. According to Nolo, an online legal resource for consumers and small businesses, one of the best ways to retain volunteers is by making the process convenient and presenting expectations clearly. Without member management software, this can be cumbersome.

4. Integrated Processing
Finally, all of these features should belong under the same umbrella – that is, your organization should be able to utilize everything listed above with one program instead of three. Save money by finding a top tier fundraising software platform that combines processing donations, donor communication, staff support, inventory management and more.