Fundraising Software: A New Direction

Written By: Bill Malone

from February 28, 2012

In a recent conversation with a local think-tank that coaches effective fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations, a set of four simple yet thought-provoking questions surfaced specific to the effectiveness of Fundraising/Donor Management software. These four questions cut to the heart of the challenges Nonprofits encounter when attempting to fund raise effectively. Undoubtedly Nonprofits feel that their fundraising software should help with the four questions, but in most cases it does not. Those questions are:
• From where does our financial support come?
• Are our efforts tied to our results?
• Do we see the return-on-investment of our Campaigns?
• Is time being wasted by talking to the wrong people about the wrong things?

In talking to Nonprofit Organizations about Fundraising applications, the conversation quickly hones in on a few common themes: The software is not easy. Nonprofits are not satisfied. Donor management software has many hidden costs.

The Challenge is Straightforward
Nonprofits have incredibly powerful missions and have proven ability to find constituents that align with their missions. They simply need their software applications to help connect and stay close to those donors. Nonprofits must be able to understand the needs and wants of donors and stay in touch with donors on the donors’ terms through the use of software. Nonprofits understand that donors want to feel connected and involved—the Donor Management solution must make that easy for the Nonprofit. Again, the problem is very few Nonprofits will say their software is easy or even satisfactory in helping them stay connected to their donor base.

The Shift to ‘Managing Relationships’
When considering a suitable donor management solution, nonprofits are in the midst of a dramatic evolution in donor management/fundraising software. The focus has changed from blanketing prospective donors with appeal letters, phone drives, events, and emails to cultivating personal relationships. As Nonprofit organizations experience a shift in their approach to fundraising, they must select a software solution that addresses the contemporary challenges.

Along with addressing a new paradigm in constituent relationship management, the software solution must be affordable with easy to leverage the training and support. Nonprofits know of the numerous costs associated with typical fundraising applications in the market today—costs such as license fees, software annual maintenance, training, support, additional modules, report building, the list goes on and on. The best solution provides great relationship management capability but also accounts for cost-effective training and technical support. Far too often organizations invest in software projects to move the organization forward while at the same time cut out training because it seems an easy line to cut from the budget. This not only decreases a user’s effectiveness with the solution but also increases their level of frustration and dissatisfaction.

A New Direction
Contemporary fundraising systems must meet the needs discussed above. Tactically, the application must track interactions and gifts received. More importantly, the application must allow users to ‘visualize’ what is happening in the data. Nonprofits are consistent – the key areas to keep in mind when looking for software are: A familiar user experience, end-to-end donor relationship management, process automation and, excellent visualization tools— dashboards, views, and reports.

One possible solution is PeakNFP Donor Management. PeakNFP Donor Management is a full-featured Donor Management/Fundraising solution designed to help maintain the relationship – the connection – with constituents through the use of software. The price point is excellent and all-inclusive for Nonprofits – it includes the application, technical support, and unlimited training. Our goal is to provide a powerful solution without the added costs many of the solutions in the market charge today. PeakNFP Donor Management focuses on relationship management… not just recording gifts.

Built on top of the robust Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online platform, PeakNFP Donor Management brings a powerful solution to meet the needs of Nonprofits. The day of antiquated or overly complex fundraising software is over. Check out peaknfp.com or contact your local Dynamics University Partner for more information.