Remember when Apple first came out with iPhones and the “App Store”? There’s an entire generation now that doesn’t know life before there was “an app for that.” The genius behind this innovation was that it gave people a way to find efficiencies by making everyday tasks easier through a mobile device.
Today, technology—from auction software to apps—has permeated virtually every industry, including fundraising. The convenience, efficiency and integration options for applications make them powerful tools for the novice technology user, and they can help reduce the stress and strain on resources when it comes to meeting fundraising goals on a budget.
This guide will examine three simple tech tools for easier fundraising:
Donor retention, behavior and information are among the most critical concerns of the contemporary, data-driven fundraiser. Yet tracking, updating, and maintaining this information can be a serious drain on time resources for a team that needs to be out in the community.
To ease your relationship management functions, consider wielding a robust customer/client relationship management (CRM) tool, like Kindful. Optimized for the concerns most relevant to nonprofits, Kindful blends fundraising and donor management tools into one simple environment. Functions like real time data reporting and open platform integration makes this a particularly flexible tool for fundraisers who already have digital properties, such as email marketing platforms.
Kindful—a subscription based service—can help streamline your fundraising and donor management efforts in a scalable, accessible platform. Take some of the tedious work off your team and invest in this long-term solution for powerful donor analysis and amplified fundraising.
Development teams are diverse in age, race, income, gender and experience. There’s also likely to be a pretty event split between Android and iOS users, which might mean that group text-based communication can be a hurdle.
Enter WhatsApp. It’s a wildly popular app among teens, because it lets groups communicate in a messaging environment without breaking up text messages into different threads depending on users’ mobile operating systems. But it’s not reserved exclusively for the kids. Using WhatsApp, your fundraising teams and committees can message easily in real time, no matter what kind of smartphone they have. This app even lets you see who has received and viewed your messages to ensure an added layer of accountability.
In addition to messages, WhatsApp lets you share photos and documents (smaller in size is better) in the same environment, which can eliminate the headache of sharing fundraising materials, spreadsheets and updates via email. Use it on your phone and your computer for maximum accessibility. This will allow your on-the-go fundraisers to stay in the loop seamlessly.
The last thing many fundraising organizations and nonprofits have the budget for is professional artwork and fancy fliers. With Canva, gone are the days where you have to farm out your graphic design work for a hefty sum. Canva puts the digital paintbrush in your hand with a clean drag-and-drop workstation with lots of customization options.
Creativity and curb appeal can go a long way in creating energy and excitement around your fundraiser. In just minutes, you can have a cohesive and eye-catching set of marketing materials, including Facebook graphics, fliers, posters and email images. And, if the artsier side of fundraising is a little intimidating, consider enlisting a “creative type” on your team. They’ll have a blast working with the Canva studio, and add serious value to your fundraiser by creating quality marketing materials…for free!
About the Author: Clay Boggess
Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He works with administrators, teachers, as well as outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs. Clay is a Senior Consultant at Big Fundraising Ideas.