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Nonprofit fundraising software: What is it and why use it?

February 07, 2022
These two nonprofit professionals are using and discussing their organization's fundraising software.

Increasing donor retention is important for nonprofit organizations, as it results in a great amount of funds raised. This gives your nonprofit more resources towards its purpose. The more your nonprofit knows about your donors, the better you’ll be able to connect with them. You’ll know what’s important to supporters and how to deliver a better donor experience. That’s where fundraising software comes in.

This article will explain what fundraising software is and why your nonprofit should use it. Let’s begin!

What is nonprofit fundraising software?

Fundraising software helps you collect, organize, and make use of donor data. It functions much the same as customer relationship management (CRM) software, but with marketing capabilities added in. It is extremely useful for nonprofits, as it allows you to customize your communications, personalize your fundraising campaigns, and streamline your operations, all in one easy-to-use software. 

Some features that are included in most fundraising software include:

  • Donor profiles. Having access to these profiles will give you a better understanding of your donors. These profiles often include the donor’s name and occupation, when they made their previous gifts, and the amount that they donated.
  • Donor segmentation. Once you have donor profiles, you’ll be able to group them together based on their common interests. This will allow you to create more targeted communications that are grounded in your donors’ specific interests.
  • Campaign management. With fundraising software, you’ll be able to create, plan, and manage a fundraising campaign with ease. You can also track how close you are to meeting your goals.
  • Dashboard. Although your fundraising software will have a lot of information in it, if you’d like to assess your fundraising quickly, a dashboard will give you at-a-glance insights that you can leverage to improve your fundraising efforts.

Choose a fundraising software that offers the features you need to support your fundraising efforts. Remember that every nonprofit is different, and that what you’ll need will be different from other nonprofits.

Why should your nonprofit use fundraising software?

Nonprofit fundraising software greatly simplifies managing campaigns and reaching out to donors, making your nonprofit more efficient.

Here are a few ways that fundraising software will benefit your nonprofit:

  • Automation frees up staff time. Because fundraising software allows you to automate repetitive manual processes, your team will have more time to devote to other tasks. For example, you can automate sending thank-you emails and posting social media content. You’ll benefit not only from having the ability to run more campaigns, but your team will also be less stressed in the process.
  • Segmentation enables personalization. When you can easily segment your donors by interests, characteristics, and giving history, you can better personalize your communications. Focus on sending specific appeals asking for support for particular programs each donor is most likely to give to. Be more descriptive in your thank-yous by addressing donors by their first and last name and referencing specific projects they previously donated to. Invite major donors to your top-tier events, such as galas and auctions.
  • Efficiently track fundraising progress. When hosting an event, you can use your nonprofit fundraising software to track the amount of funds you have raised. You can also follow a campaign’s progress in real-time and make adjustments to it as necessary. Some software will also give you suggestions on how to optimize your revenue generation and increase the amount of donations you receive.
  • Data helps you retain donors. With a thorough understanding of your donors, you can better craft a donor stewardship program that resonates with each type of donor. With fundraising software, you can easily determine what donors would appreciate most and how to show your gratitude more meaningfully. When donors can sense that they are valued as individuals, they are more likely to feel like a part of your team, and more likely to stay committed for the long term.

In addition to giving you invaluable insight into your donors, nonprofit fundraising software essentially provides you with an additional team member who can step in and handle the rote tasks that take up so much time when done manually. With fundraising software, your nonprofit will be able to function more efficiently and increase revenue through more strategically-crafted campaigns.

Evaluating fundraising software

Fundraising software is a powerful tool that your nonprofit can leverage to your benefit. That’s why it’s crucial to evaluate your potential fundraising software carefully. Ensure that they offer all the features and integrations you’re looking for, at a price point you’re happy with. Look into the software’s help system—you’ll probably have questions as you’re setting up your new fundraising software, so it’s important that your software offers solutions to help you.

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