Financial Management

Donor management software factors into larger end-of-year donations

As December approaches, nonprofits should be hard at work gearing up for and launching their year-end donation campaigns. Utilizing a donor management software platform can dramatically increase the funds raised by the end of the year, while simultaneously decreasing the amount of stress that goes into campaigning.

Nonprofit Hub reported that 28 percent of nonprofit organizations obtain 26 to 50 percent of their annual funding just from their year-end asking efforts. Taking to social media networking sites, direct mail, website promotions and offering to match certain gifts are some of the most successful tactics nonprofits can employ. However, digging a little deeper can have a significant impact on funds raised in these final weeks of 2014.

Give donors options
In a recent survey conducted by GlobalGiving, the organization tested whether or not donations fluctuated based on how many different options contributors were given in a single ask. They measured their results in terms of dollars earned per one thousand emails sent. The subject line of the test emails remained the same. What the group found was that constituents presented with five projects to donate to, rather than a single option, were more likely to give. When given the choice of five items, email recipients were 27 percent more likely to send in a donation.

Donors are more likely to give when nonprofits present them with options.

Timing is everything
The same survey found that the date on which an email is sent also factors into how much funding is received. When a message goes out on the day before a project’s donation deadline, it garners more attention and funding than if it is sent the day of. Plus, those recipients who donated on the day before the deadline gave an average of 12 percent more than donors on the day of the deadline. GlobalGiving recommended sending the donation options at least 24 hours in advance of the cut-off date and following up on the final day.

Many organizations are engaging donors with their annual reports through graphics, online PDFs, videos and more.

Generate an annual report
Fund Chat advocated for an annual report that truly engages and excites donors, rather than one that simply relays facts and bores readers. Rather than a straightforward report, many organizations are taking their information to new heights with graphics, online PDFs, videos and more. For example, the Audubon Naturalist Society created an online platform specifically to report on its 2014 earnings, updates and ongoing projects. It’s an intuitive, well-put-together website that conveys results and extreme gratitude towards all givers. The use of visuals in combination with written facts helps to tell the story of the ANS over the past 12 months.

If the executive director or board chair wishes to write out an introduction to the entire report, Fund Chat stated that these are often most effective when brief, friendly and focused on giving thanks. Anything too long-winded will deter contributors from reading further.

Though Fund Chat does state an annual report may not be necessary for all NPOs, it’s highly important to convey results from past fundraisers and the impact funding makes on the charity to its donors. Without this valuable information, they are much less likely to give, as they can’t be sure their donations make any difference.

Ensure a perfect online donation form
As last minute donations will likely pour in just as deadlines approach, double and triple check that the nonprofit’s online donation form is active and easily navigable. Another article from Nonprofit Hub insisted that safety and simplicity are the two things donors expect from an online form. If it’s difficult to locate or does not reiterate the security behind the platform, contributors may be wary of using that system.

Call absent donors
Making direct phone calls or visits to donors, especially corporate funders, who have not yet given this year is an excellent way to reacquaint them with the organization and receive an end-of-year donation. Since corporations often have a better idea of their financial situations come November and December, they may hold off until this time to give to their favorite charities.

Each of these tactics prove more reliable and easier to execute with donor management software. A platform that simplifies the giving process, tracks donors’ gifts over time and improves communication will lead to a greater sense of fulfillment and success for nonprofits as 2014 comes to a close.