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Using a donor management system to improve donor stewardship

March 31, 2022
A smiling woman uses a donor management system on her laptop to improve donor stewardship.

Implementing a successful donor stewardship program is an investment that is well worth the cost. Your program solidifies your nonprofit organization’s relationships with donors who drive your purpose and impact. The key to your fundraising success lies with your supporters, after all.

Even if your nonprofit has a small team, a comprehensive donor management system such as Bonterra Donor Engagement’s Guided Fundraising solution (formerly Network for Good) can dramatically reduce the time and effort required to run a stewardship program. To help you maximize your efforts, we’ll walk through six effective ways to use donor management software for better donor stewardship.

1. Keep detailed profiles in your donor management system

Your donor management software should allow your organization to collect details on your supporters and their engagement. These donor profiles are essential for guiding your supporter interactions and helping you measure your fundraising success.

Be sure to gather donor information such as:

  • Demographic information
  • Contact preferences
  • Giving history
  • Past involvement 

Gathering all of this data in one platform will make it easy to reference as you craft an informed donor stewardship plan.

2. Segment your donors

To boost donor engagement, tailor your messages to be relevant to each donor’s unique interests and preferences. Use the details saved in your donor profiles to segment donors based on interests, giving level, and other factors.

Make your donors feel more valued for their contributions by personalizing the communications you send to them. For instance, try creating different versions of your messages based on specific details in each donor’s profile. Based on their giving history, you could identify which supporters may be more interested in hearing about your new recurring gift program or upcoming volunteer opportunities.

3. Track donations with your donor management software

Keeping track of important data, such as donations and event attendance numbers, is crucial for your nonprofit to understand its progress and identify future improvements. Your donor management system should provide an automated way to track donations and send follow-up communications to thank your donors.

Take advantage of your donor management software to manage your stewardship program. Add helpful reminders to complete phone calls or other tasks to maintain and cultivate your supporter relationships.

4. Send and track your communications

An effective donor management system, like Bonterra Guided Fundraising, allows you to create, send, and track emails and other communications directly within the tool, so you can handle everything all in one place.

By running everything through your donor management software, you can also more easily measure your nonprofit’s fundraising results to learn what’s working and what can be improved. Use these communication tools to improve donor stewardship by sending campaign updates, sharing upcoming projects, and promoting impact stories of people who’ve been helped by donors’ gifts.

5. Create donor surveys

Gathering feedback from your supporters is a vital part of optimizing your donor stewardship program. If you’d like to learn more about what resonates with donors, what they’re interested in, and what they expect from your nonprofit, just politely ask them in a survey.

Use your donor management system to create surveys with customized questions that will allow you to gain relevant feedback for improving your donor relationships over time.

6. Generate reports from your donor management data

Once your organization has gathered data, the next essential step is to analyze and create reports to identify useful insights for improving your donor stewardship program. Reports give you the ability to see valuable information at a glance and communicate takeaways clearly and easily.

For the most efficient reporting, your nonprofit should take advantage of donor management tools such as custom reports and donor analytics. Incorporating relevant data into your marketing and storytelling will help your organization better convey the impact of donor contributions and your purpose.

Refining your donor stewardship strategy

Using a donor management system that’s tailored to your organization’s needs will help you deepen relationships, boost engagement, improve efficiency, and increase fundraising. The right technology can free up time and resources for your staff to devote to other productive fundraising efforts to further your nonprofit’s purpose.

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    Guided Fundraising
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing