Nonprofit Trends: The Case for Your Donor Database

KindfulMay 29, 2015

Nonprofit Trends: The Case for Your Donor Database header image

At Kindful, we’re always trying to think of ways to help you grow and be more effective in your mission. And while social media campaigns and effectively sharing your story are pivotal to the growth of your organization, there’s one thing that we think is essential above everything else… your donor database! Think about it: how will you know what fundraising tools to use or which donors to reach out to without a donor management system that effectively tracks your constituents and guides your development efforts?

But while we think the necessity of a powerful and easy-to-use donor CRM is a must-have for any nonprofit looking to increase donor engagement, the reality is that the majority of organizations don’t use one! According to a report on fundraising and donor management from Software Advice, 45% of nonprofits are still using manual methods – or NO methods at all – to track their donors. Almost half of you are still using Excel spreadsheets, paper ledgers or nothing at all to keep track of ALL your fundraising efforts. Well friends, we think it’s time to change that!

Here are a few big takeaways from Software Advice’s report that reveal why organizations are purchasing donor management systems to track their constituents. Take a look – you may see some reasons for investing in an integrated donor CRM that you’ve never considered before!

1. Why Nonprofits Make the Switch

When it comes to making the investment, the biggest factors leading nonprofits to a donor management software solution are related to automation, improved fundraising and the need for a central data hub. Many organizations who decide to purchase a donor CRM tool do so because they are unhappy with their current solution and are looking for more robust reporting capability. While the ability to automate tasks and processes is the single biggest factor leading nonprofits to a CRM solution (25%), the majority of users (a whopping 45%!) end up buying a new system because they are unhappy with their current system.

Are you satisfied with your current donor CRM tool?

Want help convincing your team that it’s time to commit to a donor CRM solution? Download our free infographic and make the case for your donor database!

2. What Features are Important

Tell us what you want, what you really, really want! (yes, we know that’s a Spice Girls reference… ) According to the 385 nonprofits surveyed, the most sought after feature in purchasing a new donor management solution is the ability to automate documents – like receipts, donation thank-you letters and other mailings. Event planning capabilities and email marketing were also important. Researcher Ben Stroup says automation was especially important to smaller organizations who have not enough staff, but more than enough work!

’93The smallest nonprofits are strained for resources, with many having only one, two or three staff members to perform all the work,” says Stroup. “Systems that reduce their workload by automating the most time-consuming tasks can significantly impact a nonprofit’s efficiency.”

How much time do you spend doing the same task over and over again in your database?

3. How Systems Should Work

Last but not least, the report dives into exactly how nonprofits want to be using their donor database. 55-percent of buyers preferred to purchase a system that’s integrated – one that’s able to handle a variety of tasks and systems, rather than just one product that may be considered “best-of-breed.” Furthermore, an overwhelming 97-percent (might as well be 100!) preferred web-based systems to ones that are hosted on-site. Again, this was of particular importance to smaller organizations who lacked a cohesive system to pull all their data sources together. They know that a donor management solution that can act as a central hub for all their data and be accessed anywhere can have a direct positive impact on their fundraising goals!

How effective if your current donor management method in pulling together data from all your different fundraising platforms?

Do you identify with the needs and wants of your fellow nonprofit organizations surveyed in the 2014 Fundraising and Donor Management Report? Are you ready to come out of the dark ages of manual donor tracking (or a current software that’s clunky and overly-complicated)? Kindful can help! Our intuitive and easy-to-use donor CRM is fully integrated with fundraising tools and third-party providers, like MailChimp, Eventbrite and PayPal Plus, not only is Kindful hosted online, it’s completely mobile responsive! Wherever you go, whatever you do, your Kindful donor database will be there and ready to help you connect with your constituents and raise more money for your great work!

Ready to make the switch, but looking for a way to convince your boss? No problem! Scroll down to download a dynamic infographic that outlines all the big reasons that it’s time to make the switch to an integrated donor CRM tool. And once everyone is on board, give Kindful a call at 888.854.0933. Get in touch with one of our fundraising specialists today and take charge of your donor management!

Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.

Filed Under:   Donor Management