Reaching, nurturing, and inspiring donors are different tasks than simply tracking donor activities and donations, analyzing overall fundraising, and providing donation receipts and statements. So, why are you expecting your CRM software alone to handle all of them?
Donor development and donor management are unique functions with different goals and approaches. The creation and management of activities and interactions, such as campaign emails, nurture communications, online giving, peer-to-peer programs, campaign emails, event giving, and payment processing, is different from managing static donor information and historical donation data (i.e. your donor database).
Integrating Donor Engagement with Donor Management
Some donor management systems attempt to accomplish an integration of the two activity streams by bolting online engagement tools—like those that manage landing pages, email systems, event pages, and payments processing—onto their donor system of record. The tools are typically acquired from third-party providers or a specific acquisition). Those tools are often cumbersome to use and don’t integrate as seamlessly as they should, and integration in this case is critical.
The output of your donor engagement platform should be the input to your donor management and history system. The link between the two systems should consist of those potential donors who are really ready to be qualified and approached directly and those existing donors that have interacted with specific campaign efforts or have moved from one stage of giving to the next such as a general donor becoming a multi-gift mid-level donor.
Giving automation provides insight and fuel for your donor management system and development team workflows. Potential donors that have not been nurtured to the point of giving yet or have lost interest can be actively nurtured within the giving automation system instead of by hand or through your donor management system.
Donor Engagement is an Extension of your Development Staff
The lifetime value of a donor is maximized as interactions and giving experiences are personalized across time and across all interactions you have with them. Donor development activities, donor journeys, and giving experiences must be iterative as donor needs and income change during the different stages of life. A donor engagement platform extends the reach of your development staff and donor management system to create personalized interactions expected by today’s modern donor.
A reputable donor engagement platform delivers a diversified but well-rounded online fundraising program that:
- Builds donor trust: By providing giving opportunities married directly to compelling online stories that resonate, streamlining giving processes so they are ridiculously easy for the donor, and giving frequent and clear feedback on the results of the donations, non-profits can build trust with their donors and make it easier to convert one-time givers to long-time contributors.
- Responds to changes in donor expectations: Today, donors are driving the bus. A donor engagement platform needs to help the organization appeal to the donor on personalized terms, recognizing their interests, abilities, and desired methods to give.
- Allows for customized donor journeys: Donor engagement software should not only be able to process donations, but is should also allow users to create natural nurturing progressions that encourage those donations and help organizations grow one-time donors, over time, into major givers.
Nonprofits cannot meet their donor development needs by stitching various components together in an efficient and comprehensive way without expensive, custom integration work. iDonate has created a complete donor engagement platform that combines marketing and nurturing automation with omnichannel fundraising software that will only increase the value of your donor database and the efficiency and effectiveness of your donor development staff.