Effective Fundraising: Key Development Tools For Your Nonprofits

May 21, 2020  |  Richard Gabrintina

Let’s face it, running an effective fundraiser for your nonprofit takes a lot of research, time, and preparation. There are so many steps involved in effectively managing development operations that it can feel like playing a game of Twister. Mailing letters to your donors and volunteers is a vital component of any fundraising strategy and in building long-lasting relationships with your supporters. Personalized letters are an effective way to show gratitude to supporters for their gifts, which can encourage them to continue engaging with your organization. Logging personal emails and keeping track of important updates to Major Gift or high dollar donors are essential in making sure you stay properly connected to your supporters.

However, the process behind each of these can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Nonprofit professionals already tend to wear many hats, and organizations may be short-staffed and/or even more occupied with their programs than usual during our current circumstances. Your supporters likely have a lot going on for them as well, so thoughtful stewardship is more important than ever. Sometimes the limitations of your fundraising software can be incredibly frustrating. That's why EveryAction designed some of the best tools and features in our Development Package, specifically built with convenience in mind: 

In-App Mail Merge

The Problem

Let’s say your organization is understaffed and short on time, but still needs to create and send mailings like direct mail, acknowledgments for donations, or pledge invoices. Even after the content is written, there are still extra steps needed to transfer personalized data into the document. It might look something like this:

  1. Data is pulled from the CRM, or possibly from standard text export files.
  2. Data is massaged, which can take multiple hours
  3. Mail merge performed in Microsoft Word

Optional: Repeat the process if envelopes and labels are needed.

Our Solution

With our Acknowledgments Mail Merge feature, available to clients with Development Basic, Standard and Pro, you can create a mail merge template to print and physically mail to your supporters. Whichever specific program or donor type you may have in mind, this feature offers multiple, different templates to allow you to easily send the right customized letter to the right audience, and run an effective fundraising campaign.

Here is a quick overview of what you can do with it:

  • Create and upload merge templates
  • Generate thank-you letters from the contribution acknowledgment report or My List using any report columns as merge fields
  • Generate a thank-you letter for single contribution or from a contact record
  • Receive completed document file for download from report data merging
  • Mark donations as Thanked or add contact history for the letters

Automatically record your donor outreach

The Problem

Recording details of personal emails that were sent to contacts from a user’s Outlook, Gmail, or other personal email account, while a good practice, can be a monotonous task. This especially might be the case for any nonprofit professional performing a lot of one-to-one contact, like major gifts officers. As some millennials might put it, “you don’t got time for that.”

Our Solution

Our BCC Email to Notes feature is designed to simplify this process. With this feature, an EveryAction user can automatically compile effective details of an email that they send to a supporter by BCC’ing a unique email address that is linked to their record in EveryAction. This automated tool is designed to eliminate the excessive time needed to manually perform this function on an individual basis and give more focus and attention to the people you serve.

Here’s what the process looks like broken down:

  • When an email is sent that BCC's that unique address, EveryAction will find records for contacts whose email addresses were included in the "To" line of the email and create a note and Contact History on their contact records.
  • The Contact History will indicate the date, time, and sender of the email and the linked note will contain the full message that was contained in the email.

Get Change Notifications for VIPs

The Problem

As the adage goes, the only constant in life is change. This might be true for many of your supporters, including major gift or high-dollar donors, whom you’d like to keep an eye on . People move and change addresses, change their email addresses, or change their donor behavior. While it is possible to track these without any tools, it can become tedious and susceptible to human error, especially with a large number of supporters.

The Solution

Our Followed Contacts feature makes it easy to keep track of the important updates to the donors you’d like to pay extra attention to, including VIP supporters such as high donors or outstanding volunteers. Once you Follow a contact, you can download specialized tracking reports or receive daily emails that notify you whenever your contact makes a contribution, updates their personal information or has a new Activist Code applied. Multiple staff from your organization can Follow the same contact and personalize their notification settings.

How Effective Fundraising Can make Your Life Easier

If you’re already using EveryAction for your CRM, each of these processes becomes even quicker and more convenient, letting you fundraise more effectively. In addition to designing tools with simplicity and convenience in mind, we like to think of EveryAction as an all-in-one shop for your nonprofit needs. The three convenient tools we’ve mentioned in this article are designed to help you fundraise more effectively, and bring you closer to your donors and supporters, which will reap benefits for both the short and long term.

Are you harnessing all of the available tools in your nonprofit utility belt? Looking to get a more hands-on look at our tools? Request a demo today! We hope that our EveryAction Development features let you do more of the important work you do better and faster, and we’re excited to hear all about it. Let us know about your experience by emailing us at community@everyaction.com or reach out to us on Twitter!

TL;DR

Part of your nonprofit organization’s growth is investing in effective fundraising strategies. Creating a scalable fundraising campaign is important to reach your funding goals. Depending on the fundraising platform your organization is using, limitations can cause frustrations. The more effective your fundraising plans are the more likely you are to reach your goal. EveryAction has developed some of the best features that were specifically designed to help nonprofits fundraise effectively. If you’re ready to start fundraising effectively then check out the latest additions to our Development Package including In-App Mail Merge, Donor Outreach Records, and VIP Notifications.