Skip to content
We are now Bonterra

A nonprofit CRM guide: how to get results with your software

July 09, 2021
Three women in an office look at a laptop as they implement tips from this nonprofit CRM guide.

Because software programs are a strategic investment on behalf of your entire nonprofit organization, it is important that all relevant staff are trained and able to put your CRM’s features to use. 

However, CRMs often have so many useful features that a few might go overlooked. Here are five CRM-based tools that you might not know about but can help you save time and maximize your work’s impact.

1. Use A/B testing for more impactful emails

Email is one of the most effective ways to consistently communicate with your supporters. Of course, your supporters also likely receive many marketing and fundraising emails each day. How do you cut through the clutter and make sure your emails stand out from the crowd?

Many CRMs allow you to run A/B tests on your email subject lines to experiment with different options and determine what your supporters respond to. Careful testing allows you to fine-tune your language to fit your audience’s interests and increase your messages’ likelihood of being opened. 

Bonterra Donor Engagement’s Fundraising solution (previously EveryAction) has a multivariate testing suite that enables A-J testing of up to 10 options. To maximize your impact and return on investment, perform regular, detailed tests on your email subject lines and call-to-action statements. Once you have your test results, adapt your program and messaging based on what you have found to be successful. 

2. Leverage peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns

Nonprofit fundraisers need to update their methods regularly to stay at the top of the game and attract younger donors. One significant difference displayed by younger donors is that they are less likely to respond to direct correspondence from an organization (such as direct mail or even email), and more likely to rely on their own research or word-of-mouth from the personal networks that they trust.

Because younger donors are more likely to trust information from their family and friends, maximize your fundraising potential by turning your supporters into ambassadors of your nonprofit to their networks with peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraisers have a personal, grassroots feel that attracts donors who are looking for an authentic connection to an organization. Bonterra Fundraising allows you to customize your own peer-to-peer fundraising website so you can allow people to sign up easily, track donations from individual participants, and communicate with them along the way. Plus, all visitors to the page can see how close your campaign is to reaching your fundraising goal.

3. Track supporters’ engagement across channels

Achieving a holistic view of your supporters’ activity across multiple channels will enable you to understand and communicate with them in more powerful ways.

To engage your supporters, segment them into lists based on their level of participation. Your CRM should enable you to generate reports that will tell you about who your donors are, who is most engaged on your email list, and who your biggest social media fans are. 

To see the whole picture and make quick, accurate decisions, consider using a point system. Some CRMs allow you to assign custom point levels to actions that your donors take, such as donating, signing an online petition, or participating in a volunteer event. Quantifying actions with a point system enables a quick comparison of engagement levels across various channels so that you can easily see who your most active donors are.

4. Activate and organize supporters

Donors support your work for the same reasons as your nonprofit—they care and want to make a difference. Giving your supporters the chance to take action helps them feel proud to be part of your work and increases their connection with your nonprofit, so look for ways that your CRM can help you empower them.

Organizing tools such as phone banking, peer-to-peer texting, and door-to-door canvassing all provide outlets for your donors to take action in ways that are easily tracked and quantifiable through your CRM. By using a volunteer and event management tool, you’ll be able to organize your supporters for any type of event—from neighborhood clean-up days to advocacy campaigns to simply helping with administrative tasks around the office.

You can also use digital advocacy tools such as click-to-call emails or targeted social media campaigns to give your donors convenient and meaningful ways to raise their voices for your cause. The benefit of running these campaigns through your CRM is that you’ll have easy access to reporting data whenever you need it—allowing you to show the impact you’re making on the community.

5. Communicate via mobile-friendly channels

Your donors are regularly on their phones, and they expect the organizations that they support to communicate over mobile-friendly channels. Emails and forms should be formatted to display on both computer and phone screens so that your supporters have an enjoyable experience regardless of the platform that they are using.

To take your donor communication to the next level using mobile channels, use CRM features like social media matching and social share tracking to determine the online engagement of your supporters, and communicate with them on the platforms they use the most often. Running multi-channel campaigns that include a social media component is standard nonprofit practice, and make sure you’re using your CRM to track and maximize participation.

The power of an effective nonprofit CRM

Now that you have an idea of what Bonterra Fundraising can help you achieve, work with your team to implement the necessary changes to your workflow with these features in mind. The power of this software can transform your daily operations while being in one convenient solution, so don’t delay!

Ready to Get Started?

  • Nonprofits
  • Fundraising ideas