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3 fundraising development tools your nonprofit needs

October 24, 2021
This group of people is meeting to discuss ways to develop their organization's fundraising strategy.

In order to support your nonprofit organization’s long-term growth, it’s important to invest in fundraising development strategies and tools. The more effective your fundraising development tools are, the more likely you are to reach your goal. That being said, with the right fundraising tools, you can streamline your outreach activities and form long-lasting relationships with supporters. In this guide, we’ll list three solutions your fundraising development software solution should have explore how they can improve your campaign outcomes.

1. Personalized mail merge

Sending supporters personalized messages through direct mail and email is a vital component of any fundraising strategy, as it allows you to acknowledge and show gratitude for donations. This, in turn, can deepen your relationships with donors and encourage them to continue engaging with your organization. 

It’s crucial to stay organized while creating and sending fundraising messages, such as donation acknowledgments or monthly giving appeals. However, the process behind sending personalized communications can be complex without the right tools. With other solutions, there are extra steps involved in tailoring fundraising letters to appeal to each donor. The process might look like this:

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

With an integrated Mail Merge tool, you can easily create a mail merge template without exporting and scrubbing information from other solutions. It should offer multiple templates that allow you to send the right customized letter to the right audience. In particular, you should be able to:

  • Create and upload merge templates within the Fundraising solution
  • Generate thank-you letters from your CRM using any report columns as merge fields
  • Mark donations as Thanked or add contact history for the letters

Take the guesswork out of personalized donor outreach by using an integrated solution.

2. Donor communications reporting

The best way to craft personalized communications is to keep tabs on supporter conversations so you can follow up promptly and adjust your messaging accordingly. This is especially important for nonprofit professionals like major gift officers who spend their time reaching out to supporters individually. Some solutions require you to record details of personal emails that were sent from a user’s email account manually, which can be a monotonous task. 

However, the best offering will have features designed to simplify this process. Users should be able to automatically compile the details of an email that they send to a supporter by BCC’ing a unique email address that is linked to their record in Bonterra Fundraising. Here’s what the process looks like broken down:

  • When a supporter in your CRM sends your team an email, Bonterra Fundraising will automatically add the contents of the email to their Contact History record in the CRM.
  • 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.

This feature is designed to eliminate the excessive time needed to manually perform this function on an individual basis and free up your bandwidth to give attention to the people you serve.

3. Donor update tracking

Remember that you should track changes in your supporters’ lives, such as new contact information or engagement level with your nonprofit. Some solutions require manual follow-up and data tracking, which is not only tedious and time-consuming but also prone to human error.

Ensure that your solution facilitates an accurate and airtight data-tracking process for even the largest supporter bases. Choose a solution that makes it simple to keep track of the donors you’d like to pay extra attention to, including major donors or outstanding volunteers. Look for a feature that lets you download specialized tracking reports or receive daily emails that notify you whenever your contact makes a contribution or updates their personal information. Ensure that multiple staff members from your nonprofit can follow the same contact and personalize their notification settings, making it easier than ever to stay on the same page across teams. 

The impact of effective fundraising development tools

Bonterra Donor Engagement Fundraising solution is your nonprofit’s one-stop shop for all of your fundraising development needs. If you’re already using Bonterra Fundraising as your CRM, each of these processes is integrated and even more convenient, helping you fundraise more effectively, bring you closer to your supporters, and achieve your purpose.

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    Donor Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing