Fundraising Software Selection

Fundraising software can cover a wide spectrum of functions ranging from database management (donors, prospects, volunteers, membership, etc.) to tools for managing special events. Here are some potential areas for you to consider in developing your software wish list.

Donor & Prospect Management

Your database of donors, prospects, alumni, members, volunteers, board members, and other funding sources is the heart of your fundraising system. In order to track this diverse constituency, the software needs to be extremely flexible and include unlimited list coding capabilities. In addition, the ability to organize this data (and related transaction and contact history) is vital, so that you can quickly and easily find the information you need. Finally, you should be able to easily track specialized information (such as year of graduation for alumni) to help you target donors and produce helpful reports.

manage your not for profit with access to data anytime anywhere

Gift Management

Maintaining a complete giving history for each donor including dates, amounts, gift designations, solicitation methods, etc., is essential to effective fundraising. You may also need the ability to handle in-kind donations, matching gifts, memorials & honorariums and other soft and split credits. Another critical aspect of gift management is donor recognition with personalized thank you letters and acknowledgements. All of these procedures should be quick and easy to learn and to use.

Pledge Management

Because most organizations allow donors to make pledges of future gifts — tracking pledge balances, payment schedules, pledge reminders and delinquency notices is another important aspect of fundraising software.

Credit Card & ACH Processing

An increasing number of nonprofits have found that offering credit card and/or ACH direct debit payment lead to increased donor loyalty. In addition to making it convenient for donors to make contributions online or over the phone for, technology is available to securely store credit card and bank account details for automatically processing monthly giving program donations.

Contact Management

To track and cultivate major donors, you’ll want a record of donor contacts and follow-up activities. This is called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Donor Relationship Management (DRM). CRM/DRM should include the ability to track notes and task due dates, and allow you to automatically maintain to-do lists. In addition, CRM also allows development directors or major give officers to plan a series of tasks to deveop high potential donors. This is called Moves Management.

Membership Management

If you offer memberships, the software should include key features such as membership cards and lists, and analyses of lapsed membership, renewal notices, and upgrades/downgrades in membership status.

Grants Management

Grants have become a large source of funding. To keep track of all your proposals, you’ll need to keep a record of all grant requests, deadlines, funding amounts and the status of grant proposals.

Volunteer Management

To help manage those energetic and committed volunteers, you’ll need to track their availability, actual dates/hours of service, interests, skills and past volunteer history.

use fundraising software to manage special events like walks and tournaments

Events Management

From golf tournaments to dinner-dances to walk-a-thons, special events are a staple of many nonprofits’ fundraising activities. Many vendors sell special events modules separately, but some systems include basic features such as event registration, banquet seating, auction reports and other special event reporting as part of their standard functionality. The success of sponsored events such as walk-a-thons, fundraising races, etc can also be enhanced with software that allows supporters to create their own webpages and easily solicit friends and family to make online donations via email.

Mailings and Communication

Mail solicitations, thank-you letters, and other forms of correspondence such as e-mails are critical to all non-profits. Most systems are able to merge donor data into personalized correspondence, and track who should receive what communication. They should also track the dates sent, and help in the mailing (labels, bulk mail, zip code bundles, broadcast e-mail, etc.).

Queries and Reports

Reporting on your activities is obviously critical for analysis and communication to your board of directors, donors, and staff. Reports help determine the effectiveness of campaigns, characteristics of potential donors and communicate key metrics to board members and other constituents. You should be able to report on any field, modify pre-designed reports, and create your own custom reports, in any format. You should also be able to export data into third party formats such as spreadsheets, word processors and pdfs for further analysis and communication needs.

Matching Gifts and Prospect Research

One of the best opportunities to raise additional funds is through ensuring that any eligible gifts are matched by employers and that wealthy and high potential donors are identified. Same fundraising software offers integration with online data sources that can make doing this much easier.

click here to begin your free demo of fundraising software