It’s no wonder that fundraisers are looking for methods to make their labor more efficient. Every day, as a fundraiser, you wake up and strive to enlist more people to your cause. With just so many hours in the day and a seemingly endless need for funding for your cause, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of the world’s most pressing social issues.

Donor management software allows companies to centralize and manage all of their donor information. It’s geared at nonprofits, but it can be used for any type of fundraising, including schools, churches, and political groups.

What is a Donor Management Software?

Donor management software is a form of nonprofit software that facilitates understanding the donors which in turn maximizes donor relationships. The program organizes donor data, recognizes donor patterns, and provides recommendations to enhance the chance of obtaining future gifts as a tool for donor relationship management.

Donor management software, as the name implies, helps you to keep track of your contributors and their contributions. Not only can you trace your donations, but you can also discover more about the people who make them. You can save all of this important information in one place using donation software.

Benefits of a Donation Management

Donor Management Software is a single source of information that can be accessed by all members of your organization to gain valuable insights about your donors. It essentially replaces spreadsheets, which may quickly get cluttered and lead to inaccurate or missing data.

Most of your nonprofit’s admin activities can be done through the DMS or connected applications. A good DMS eliminates a lot of the manual data entry that is necessary with spreadsheets. Donor management software may also facilitate wealth screening to anticipate which contributors are most likely to contribute larger quantities of money. To also see how contributors are related to one another and to highlight giving behaviors. Donor management software, for example, may track when and how frequently contributors contribute, as well as an estimate when and how much they are likely to give in the future.

Donor management software enhances productivity by categorizing donations by giving levels and handling all donations in one place. All donations coming from different sources such as social media platforms, email campaigns, and charity events are available in DMS.

A donor management system can also assist you in analyzing data about your contributors and developing educated strategies for increasing donor satisfaction and retention. It may be used to build highly personalized communications, allowing you to convey the appropriate message to the appropriate individuals at the appropriate time.

The more information you have on potential, existing, and lapsed donors, the better your DMS will be able to assist your organization. Whether you aim to get new supporters, keep existing ones, or reactivate lapsed contributors, a DMS can help you better understand and interact with each of these groups, thereby increasing the amount of funds raised.

Must-have features of Donation Management Software

It’s important to remember that donation management software and customer relationship management (CRM) software are the same things. There are various donation software and CRM choices to select from, and at first look, they may appear to be quite similar. Small changes and missing features, on the other hand, might have a significant influence on the value you derive from your platform.

Here are 5 Features for Managing Donors that your Platform should Provide:

  1. Donor Tracking

All of the vital information about your contributors, volunteers, sponsors, partners, and other supporters will be stored in donor profiles. Because donor data is the bedrock of the platform, it should be simple to access, add, and edit. The following is an example of a typical donor profile:

Name, age, address, phone number, and email address are all examples of contact information.

Donations, volunteer hours, email opens and clicks, and customer service interactions, for example, are all part of the engagement timeline.

Giving history: the date of your first donation, the date of your most recent donation, the average period between gifts, and so on.

Units of a family: Relationships with current, former, and potential donors

Donor segments: Use groups, lists, or tags to categorize contacts.

  1. Donor Management

It’s not simple to raise money. It necessitates an awareness of your donors as well as maintaining track of the relevant data that provides you with useful insights. A donor management system may help you keep track of everything from donor giving histories and trends to mailing lists and fundraising campaign statistics by simplifying data management.

Donor management solutions, on the other hand, allow your team to import, edit, and communicate important information with appropriate employees in one central spot! Many solutions enable tracking and updating fundraising schedules, documenting and tracking donor interactions, and even assigning duties to particular team members simple for your fundraising team!

  1. Setting Communication Pathways

Most donor management systems enable you to segment your contributors based on a variety of criteria, including interests, demographics, and giving history. You may tailor your messages and make particular fundraising appeals that are more appealing to each donor if you do this.

Donor management software may also help you enhance your overall donor care by being more consistent with your communication, being more precise with your thank-yous. Personalized correspondence demonstrates to your contributors that you care about them, which can only help you raise more money!

  1. Online Giving

Fundraising features are included in the finest donation management software. We’re not talking about the types of forms you’d expect to see, such as contribution forms or fundraiser pages. We’re talking about things like “giving potential” scores, gift forecasts, and wealth intelligence, which are all quite important.

They should be able to assist you in determining who is most likely to donate and when. From people who are most likely to become big donors to the projected dollar amount of each donor’s next donation, you may obtain a full picture of your prospective giving and volunteer community.

This aids in the development of your entire fundraising plan, and it’s a game-changer for charities that rely on individual donations rather than sponsors, grants, and government funds.

  1. Application Integration

Every donor management platform should allow you to link your existing software tools and optimize your entire operation. These connections allow you to seamlessly integrate all of your favorite platforms and websites, such as accounting software or email marketing software, with your donor software.

  1. Identify Trends Amongst Donors

It’s simpler to recognize and follow donation patterns if you have a good understanding of all your donor data. Donor management software might also alert you to fresh giving possibilities that you would not have been aware of otherwise.

Most donation management software includes monitoring and reporting features to make it easier to keep track of everything year after year. The more information you collect, the more powerful the tool becomes for your team!

Choosing the Right Software for Your Nonprofit

Apart from the above essential features, when it comes to choosing software for your nonprofit, you need to consider a few things before finalizing.

  • Capacity: Consider the size of your donor list as a starting point for your search. Some are designed to work with multinational corporations. When you’re beginning from scratch, it’s tempting to go for the biggest and finest option. Those added features and complex capabilities, on the other hand, might be intimidating rather than helpful.
  • Free Trials: If your present system is very simple, or if segmenting and tagging are completely new to you, a demonstration is especially beneficial. Demonstrations of donor management software are typically the easiest method to see how a product may help your business.
  • Cost: If your company can’t afford it, even the best software in the world won’t help. However, remember, that it is an investment for long-term benefits. A good donor management software will save you time, make your communications more efficient and successful, and help you connect with your donors better.

iConnectx is a powerful donation software, that gives you smart insights and can be customized for your nonprofit needs.

Non-profit organizations are working hard to achieve a good world, but it’s tougher to manage. In addition to the basic problems facing any organization, such as adjusting to new technologies and being up to date on accounting and regulatory needs, non-profits confront certain other industry-related obstacles.

This means that the problems of fundraising are more complex than we give them credit for. It cannot be attributed to a single fundraising challenge, but rather to a combination of variables that conspire to hinder your progress.

The nonprofit sector is changing. Prospects and donors change their behavior, their method of communicating, and their way of giving, of course, after some time. The patterns and effects of the contribution received by your organization might affect donations. Thus, issues impacted by trends are the largest and most unpredictable difficulty faced by nonprofits.

Let’s delve into the challenges that Nonprofits may face in future fundraising events:

High Expectation

Each donor wants to participate more in its non-profit cause.

For example, 59.8% of participants wish to know how much total money has been obtained following a fundraising attempt, 44.5% want to know how the collected cash will be utilized (source: https://ciof.org.uk/events-and-training/resources/challenge-events)

This is the problem for your non-profit – to keep contributors informed and hence delighted with tailored communications.

What’s important is to send messages they want to read — ones they expect. To accomplish so, the first step is to determine what type of communications your audience will get. Segmentation, Personalization, Original Content, and SMS are some of the effective solutions.

Increasing Competition

Nonprofit organizations must compete to attract funders’ attention and valuable hours of volunteer work.

Worse, grants and government money are being split among the qualified groups, resulting in less funding for each.

Non-profits must make extreme efforts to raise funds to match the competition. They expand the number, variety, and size of fundraising activities, as well as the amount of money they seek for.

The effects are not good news at all. An increased attempt to raise funds also leads to a rise in overhead expenditures. And, when contributors shift their support to other charities, you must actively engage in retention measures to keep them loyal.

Working actively on the retention of donors and the image of brands is without question fantastic ideas that maintain the attention of supporters.

However, revisiting your mission and vision statements is a simple approach to differentiate your organization. Make it as concrete as possible. It will assist you in reaching donors who are purely motivated by the cause. It will also help you distinguish yourself from other organizations that appear to be in the same field.

Election Cycle

Donors contributed 0,9% more to charity organizations in 2012 than they had previously given to the federal political campaigns. Donors that failed to provide political actions, on the other hand, lowered their donations to charity by 2.1% that year (source: https://institute.blackbaud.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/GIEY.pdf)

Although this trend is encouraging and works directly for you, you have to consider one aspect. Party members have a tremendous impact on donor behavior.

Partisan donors donate less to non-profits when the majority is not. So, even if a prospective contributor is ready to donate to your cause, he will give far less than he would if his party were in power.

Communication Barriers

Communication Hurdles are the primary struggle for many social purpose organizations. For example, many small and medium-sized organizations, together with a compelling issue description and solution, address the challenge in building strategic pitch decks.

While the majority of organizations, together with their communities, enable transformational projects, effective storytelling is tough to work out. Complex bids for grants are frequently often not available to organizations.

Moreover, we discovered that organizations, perhaps because leadership and/or contributors do not grasp the benefits that brand buildings have, are in general not able to or reluctant to expend on marketing and communications.

Lack of Government Funding

Many non-profit groups rely on the government’s help. It might be in the form of grants or a complementary arrangement or it can simply be a safety net in place to cover the gap in cases of shortages of funding.

Reducing national and municipal budgets implies that fewer are necessary. Most non-profits get less than they desire or need, while some do not have any financing.

Not Running it Like a Business

With so much attention on performance, your charity may find it difficult to remember that it is still a company with a bottom line that must be in the black. Non-profits typically place their social impact targets at the forefront and their corporate targets at the forefront, until there is enough to conceal what is going on.

Cost and social effect must be matched so that all efforts achieve genuine outcomes. You should utilize the proper tools to make sure your mission never loses track of its capacity/reach. This will make your employees and processes more flexible, adaptive, and ready to handle changing situations within the constraints of your resources.

Political and Social Unrest

2021 has been a tough year in terms of the political environment. Community involvement is critical for developing strong ties with people of the community and increasing support for your nonprofit’s purpose. It has become more difficult to engage with community members without community activities or athletic contests.

Non-profit organizations must find new methods to stay engaged. This gets more difficult when the country is experiencing severe political upheaval. Committing across various groups is often a failure due to strong personal opinions that lead to political and social disorder.

Fundraising in Post-Covid World

Event fundraising is important to many non-profits, and the forced pause that we’ve seen across the board has had a direct impact on donations. Social distance is expected to take place in a post-COVID environment, such that conventional financing for events may not have been typical for a long time.

Non-profit concerned that this funding gap will not be created and will leave a significant hole in financial projections. But that doesn’t always imply you need to cancel all your fundraising drivers, even if you cannot hold in-person events.

Online funding is a precedent that began before the COVID crisis. It is useful to continue using technologies that require individuals not to be in close physical touch. You will adjust your funding efforts to the new reality if you can take some of your fundraising drives virtually, such as generating money by way of online auctions or offering seminars.

These are times that have never happened before and we all learn as we walk. Successful demands for nonprofits must be integrated into a broader statement of mutual support, empathy, and solidarity in the following weeks and months.

And this must not be a transitory approach: Since nonprofits are dealing with ever-increasing personal loss and hardship, they can no longer continue business as usual.

The connection between supporters and supporters will become more and more dangerous. We will all need assistance, and we will all have to do everything we can to aid others.

How Can iConnectx Help You

Our non-profit solutions allow you to get the finest possible fundraiser tools to help your teams do more: make a good contribution worldwide.

iConnectx is for people who desire not too expensive event software, however, it has all the capabilities needed to best advertise events and sell tickets. The platform is nicely built and is excellent for companies that desire considerable expansion and scalability.

Connect with the IConnectX team to get started with your online fundraising auction.

Raising money to support goals is a process that never stops in nonprofits. There is always an ongoing drive to attract new contributors while preserving connections. Both involve considerable work, attention, and a little planning. One of the toughest tasks at hand for non-profit professionals is to discover sources of income and choose the proper fundraising strategy for their organization. It is not simple to decide on the correct approach to nonprofit funding.

In a competitive world, it is necessary to know where your donations come from. Individual donors to major donor corporations, all are donation types that a nonprofit business can receive.

Here we look at types of donations, how nonprofits get donations and what to say when asking for donations.

Types of donations?

Broadly we can categorize donation types based on individual or corporations or foundations.

Individual Donors

Individual donors can be people with a steady income or super-rich people. They donate majorly because they feel for the cause and want to support it. The type of donations they make can be either an online donation, mobile donation, monthly donations, pledges, or goods. Depending upon the donations made, you can categorize your individual donors into:

Major Donors

Sometimes, you have donations that give you a large influx of cash and it gets your project started. These types of donors may not be regular or consistent but provide a great monetary donation to your organization. You should have a plan at hand to attract these types of donors as they are good to have on your donor lists.

Regular Donors

As the name suggests, regular donors give frequent donations in small amounts. They are a steady source of income for nonprofits. They also make a large majority of the donor base, therefore having good donor acquisition and retention strategies is a must. Regular donors can be monthly or quarterly or yearly. Regardless, they are necessary for sustaining nonprofits.

Pledges

Pledges are nonprofit contributions, to be made over several months or years by individuals. They are used by individuals who wish to contribute a significant amount of money, but who cannot pay the whole amount in one payment. Rather, over time, these supporters provide an organization the money. Pledges are like monthly or repeated donations, but the distinction lies in the non-profit communication.

Offer services

There are individuals who cannot give monetary donations but like to offer their skills to give something to the organization. They can offer services like website development, marketing, and advertising, graphic designing, teaching, etc. These are also valuable to a nonprofit, especially if it’s a new nonprofit.

Volunteers

Many individuals certainly do not regard volunteer time as a kind of donation. It is difficult to perceive them not as donors of any kind, when you think of the time and effort numerous volunteers are giving to organizations. Volunteers can donate financially too, or they can give their time and efforts. However, if you compute the kind of donations that your organization receives, your organization should not count out volunteers.

Corporate Donors

A corporate endorsement may be an outstanding source of charity financing. In general, companies are willing to partner in programs aimed at improving the charitable image or at becoming a socially responsible business. CSR is more essential than ever because customers are more inclined to buy from socially responsible firms. Different companies will have different schemes for contributing – some of which may work for your company.

Many corporations provide grants to qualifying nonprofits, both locally and internationally. The application procedure frequently takes time, but these company subsidies might be worthwhile. Firms that do not want to provide money to a nonprofit organization might give some type of in-kind gifts. In-kind gifts are time, service, or commodities contributions that a corporation may deliver. Articles for charity auctions are another example of typical in-kind contributions. Local companies or people give goods that are offered by auction participants.

Foundations

Donations given by any foundation will fall under this category. Different foundations offer different types of donations. Largely, they give a mixture of monetary and in-kind donations.

A community foundation gives grants to nonprofits located in their geographic area. The most common causes to give funds to are research, scholarships, buildings and renovations, endowments, and annual funds. These types of foundations pool resources to give the grants. On the other hand, in private foundations, the money comes from one single source. The most famous example is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They either give to one particular nonprofit or distribute their donations to a broad range of nonprofits.

The 7 Types of Donors

So far we have looked at the kind of donations made to nonprofits, here we look into the types of donors. Behind every donation, be it corporate or foundations, there is an individual involved. In 1974, Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File wrote a book titled The Seven Faces of Philanthropy. The book is a must-read for nonprofits to understand donor psychology and improve communications strategies. Depending upon the donor type, you can engage with them accordingly and not use one shoe fits all.

1. The Altruist:

They are the type you want to always have as a recurring or major donor. The altruists donate because they genuinely care for your cause and doing good. Recognition or credits are things they do not care about. “Do the Right Thing” is more than just a slogan, they truly believe in it.

2. Dynast:

It’s about legacy for them. Donation is in their blood and is more about carrying out the tradition. It’s a family thing. You should care more about the history than the person donating.

3. Devout:

A devout donor donates because of their strong belief in a group or cause and the desire to fit in with fellow devotees. Acknowledging their devotion and having an engaging communication strategy is a good way to go.

4. Repayer:

It’s about giving back and returning the favor. This type of donor feels a sense of responsibility or obligation towards those who have helped them get where they are. Gratitude is their language, so focus on messaging how you will give the outcomes they desire.

5. Investor:

A donation is a mere number and a business move. What are the tax benefits? Or Will it be good for business? are commonly asked questions. And it’s fine! A direct approach and a list of how a donation will benefit them should be handy.

6. Communitarian:

It is about the community. Whether based on location, race, gender, ethnicity, or culture, it is all about empowering the community. A good approach is to explain how their donation will uplift the community.

7. Socialite:

Lights, camera, and action! They want credit and recognition for the donations they give. They show up to galas and fundraisers to make their presence known. They also bring their friends, which means more donations for the cause. The best way to appreciate them is to be thankful publicly and mention their donations.

As mentioned there is not one single reason why people donate to nonprofits. There are plenty! Regardless, it is important to remember that nonprofits can reach their donor base only when there is a proper communication setup. If there isn’t constant engagement from the organization’s side then donors will deviate their donations to other nonprofits who appreciate their monetary gift. You shouldn’t take your donors for granted. Instead of always wondering what to say when asking for a donation, you should prepare a 2 min elevator pitch. If it interests them they will ask more or even get convinced in those 2 mins.

You should always ensure that you have a strategy when it comes to acquiring funding for your company. Invest in donor contacts, whether they be private people, foundations, businesses, or government funding agencies. It takes time to build and cultivate these relationships. All types of support should be respected.

Build and manage your own fundraisers. Don’t stop at collecting donations, add in auctions, events with tickets, even donated time sold to support your fundraiser!

Last year has soared to be a year of adjustments, and for nonprofits as well. One of the most obvious ways? Fundraising! Nonprofits are now shifting their fundraising strategy towards virtual and online fundraising instead of traditional fundraising.

If your nonprofit is shifting towards online fundraising platforms, you need the right fundraising platform for nonprofits to succeed.

That means finding the right tool that is best for your nonprofit. To make your online fundraising easier, we have listed the online fundraising way that we think might be a good fit for your nonprofit to raise funds.

We have simplified the online donation process for individuals to raise funds for charities of any level. Individuals are required to visit the homepage and browse the nonprofit they select to donate. Click on the Donate button and enter donating amount and other details to complete the process with or without registering on the platform.

An online auction is one of the most engaging fundraising ways where a bidder competes with other bidders by setting increasingly higher bidding amount on a web or mobile-based platform. Online auctions have made the world a smaller place by allowing bidders from any part of the world to participate in an auction. It has opened the door for both nonprofits and participants. Online auctions are also popular among nonprofits for fundraising because they enable charities to reach a wider audience across the globe without any time limit.

Text Giving is a monetary donation process using mobile device texting function. Text giving simplifies the donating process to happen anytime and anywhere within a few clicks. The text-to-give process enables nonprofits of all sizes to make it easier for their supporters to donate by providing modern & trending methods to help them increase fundraising.

Ticketed events are in many ways a combination of events and fundraisers. They allow nonprofits to sell tickets to an event you may be having, such as a gala, a concert, or a screening.

Like events, ticketed events have dates and times, optional locations and maps, a discussion board where purchasers and the host can keep in contact with each other, automatic 24-hour reminders, and the like.

What do the donors want?

  • Information about the nonprofit before they donate.
  • They want simple and secure donation methods.
  • They want to feel a part of a charity initiative.
  • There are some who also want their act of philanthropy to be in the public eye.

Fundraising platforms are the best solution for nonprofits to cope with the ever-changing demands of the audience.

An online fundraising platform offers a central source to manage different aspects of online fundraising. It helps manage multiple donors, organize campaigns, offer forms, facilitate credit card donations and many more.

This is a brief overview of how you can choose the best online fundraising platform for your nonprofit.

One of the best fundraising platforms for a nonprofit is iConnectX. This platform has all the features to support end-to-end event management, secure donations, forms, etc. iConnectX is a platform that has a long history in the field of philanthropy. It has been a part of several nonprofit initiatives over the years supporting both offline and online nonprofit events. The proven track record of iConnectX makes it an ideal fundraising platform for nonprofits. This platform supports a myriad of online fundraising strategies such as online auctions, crowdfunding, and many more.

iConnectX is a platform that has evolved over the years adapting to changing circumstances adopting innovative technologies. It has kept pace with technology to ensure that it offers its users the best experience while participating in philanthropic activities. It is a technologically advanced platform with regular updates to offer users the best features.

Solicit Donations and More!

Set up and manage your fundraiser on iConnectX. Tell your story, add pictures, set your goal, and start collecting. To make more of an impact, add in auction items, event tickets, and iBridges (donated time).

Promote your fundraiser in the iConnectX Marketplace as well as on your social pages and in emails to your colleagues.

Features

  • Easy set up
  • Set up a fundraiser for your nonprofit or select from one of the 1.7 Million IRS approved 501c organizations
  • Have your members or sponsors set up fundraisers on your behalf
  • Tell your story
  • Add a picture
  • Set a goal
  • Add auction items, events with tickets and iBridges
  • Promote your fundraiser in the iConnectX Marketplace, available to the community on browsers and in the mobile app
  • Funds collected are sent to your nonprofit weekly

The first cell phone came into being just 30 years ago. Our cell phones have been able to connect to the Internet for just 15 years. And just within the past 2 years, mobile giving has passed fundraising through desktop – we are online on our phones more than we are on our computers. That is a lot of technological change in a very short amount of time. Of course, nonprofits must adapt to keep up. If you didn’t grow up around technology like the millennial generation, how can you adopt the latest technology trends to help nonprofit organizations more efficiently?

Online fundraising accumulates millions of dollars every year using various online fundraising methods like online donationsticketed events, text giving, or mobile giving.

To make the donation process easy for you, here are some features and methods of the iConnectX online donation process. iConnectX tool is easy for donors to use for all levels of nonprofit fundraising. There are several fundraising sites available for both individuals and nonprofits. iConnectX has made it possible for both.

iConnectX’s user-friendly platform enables anyone to set up a fundraising page to raise funds for the cause you are passionate about.

iConnectX has set itself as a platform for nonprofit fundraising to help nonprofits reach their goals.

Support Your Cause

Promote donations from your advocacy site in iConnectX, your fundraisers and events. Any collected monies are sent to your nonprofit weekly.

Increase Your Donations

Solicit donations on your advocacy page within iConnectX, also on your fundraisers and in your event pages. We make it easy by integrating the payment form from a single click button. Payments are sent to your nonprofit directly.

Fundraising Tool to Watch

iConnectX has features a new set of online fundraising tools that are timely and relevant for the year to come. This year’s tools tap into fundraising trends that have emerged because of the COVID19 pandemic, from text giving or mobile giving to virtual events to online donations for nonprofits.

In this guide, we will deep dive to understand the online donations process, new fundraising trends and more. Nonprofits are not immune to the new changes and COVID19 has forced many nonprofits cancel their fundraising events resulting loss of revenue to support the cause.

Turning one-time donors into recurring donors remains one of the major challenges for nonprofits. The benefits of recurring donations are obvious – more funds and the ability to plan more events and programs. Due to the cancelation of nonprofit events, nonprofits losing the funds.

iConnectX, a fundraising tool for nonprofits, offering a platform for millions of 501c charities to create virtual events, online auctions, ticketed events, online donations for charities and more. In this guide, we will deep dive to understand the iConnectX’s Online Donation process.

How to Accept Donations Online

  • Select the nonprofits based on City or Industry to make online donation
  • Go to the nonprofit page and click on Donate button
  • Choose the option to donate with or without registering on iConnectX
  • Enter the amount to donate and other details
  • Save your details for future recurring donations
  • Receive the receipt on your registered mail for your donation

What Are the Best Nonprofits to Make Donations?

Once if you have decided that you want to support a cause based on your interest. The next process is to find the best nonprofits based on industry or city that will use your fund to make impact on the community. If you are making donations then it should not be hard, iConnectX have brought you more than best charities to donate to and 1.5 million non-boarded charities to donate to on our platform. Whether you are looking for charities supporting coronavirus programs or charities doing educational work – iConnectX has listed nonprofit for every cause. Find the list of best charities to donate to.

What is Charitable Giving and Its Different Types?

Ever since the world came into existence, there has been a clear divide between the “haves and the have-nots.” We have a world in which the rich and poor, strong and weak co-exist. Charitable Giving is the act of giving to help those in need to enhance their quality of life.

It is altruistic giving when you give without expecting anything in return. It is an act that shows the compassion and empathy of the giver.

Most of us are bogged down by the demands of our everyday lives. We are so busy sorting out our own troubles that we become oblivious to the needs of others. Charitable giving takes place when an individual is able to rise above his personal problems and donate to the needy. It is an act of kindness that helps society at large.

Many people think that charity and giving are things done by the affluent people in society. However, charitable giving is not about what or how much you give, it is more about the attitude of giving.

Charitable giving need not always be monetary donations, you can give in other ways too! You can “give” your time and efforts while working as a volunteer for a cause.

It is said that “Charity begins at home.” However, it originates in the heart when an individual feels the urge to give despite his circumstances!

What is the Purpose of Charitable Giving?

The purpose of charitable giving is a public benefit. It is done to provide support and assistance to people across the globe who find it difficult to meet their basic needs.

Charities donate to victims of wars or natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. Non-profits and charitable organizations also raise funds to support those in need of medical aid, food, shelter, and other fundamental needs. Charities also help weaker sections of the society, orphans, and many others.

During the pandemic situation, several charities have come forward and collected donations in cash and kind to help those in need.

In the US charitable giving is encouraged by the government also by offering tax-saving incentives to donors based on the type of charitable giving they participate in.

Let’s take a deeper look at the tax deductions associated with charitable giving:

If you are looking for tax savings through charitable giving, you must ensure that the recipient of your donation must qualify for the tax-exempt status according to the tax code as determined by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

For a certain type of donation, the deductible amount is calculated based on the donation. For instance, in the “quid pro quo” type of donations, the donor receives an economic benefit every time he donates a gift to a charity.

You can get a tax deduction even when you donate items like old clothes, vehicles, household items, etc. However, the donated items must be in good/running condition. Such items are usually donated to charities like the Salvation Army, etc. The tax deducted depends on the fair market value of the item being donated at the time of donation.

Tax codes may change and higher ceilings may be applicable for specific situations, for instance, recovery from a disaster, etc. In the wake of the pandemic, the ceiling for deductions for cash contributions has been increased for 2020. However, this higher ceiling is not applicable for non-cash donations.

These are some of the basic rules that can help you choose the best types of charitable giving. There are several ways in which you can donate with the tax advantage.

Here’s a List of Popular Strategies for Tax Saving Charitable Giving:

Cash Donations: It is the most straightforward way to contribute to a charity. You need to bear in mind that cash donations can get you tax deductions so make sure that you collect a receipt for your donation. Some charitable organizations may ask the donor for financial documentation like a bank statement or a canceled check. Hence, ensure that you have all the required documentation handy before you donate.

Donor-Advised Funds: In this type of giving, the donor needs to create a donor-advised fund through which he can allocate funds to charities of his choice. Donor-advised funds offer the maximum tax benefits.

Real Estate: Donating real estate to charity brings in sizable tax benefits. A donor has the option to donate his existing home to charity after his death, where the deed is transferred to the charity after the death of the donor. The estate tax for the property gets lowered by an amount equal to the value of the property.

Securities: You can consider donating appreciated securities like stocks to charities as well. This helps you save on the capitals gains tax. If you donate stocks that are over a year old and if their cost has increased, you are eligible for a deduction by an amount equivalent to their full market value.

Donating Assets: Tangible assets like art, jewelry, etc. can also be donated. Even with these donations, the donor is eligible for a tax deduction. You will need to get an independent appraisal of your assets worth $5000 and above. You qualify for a higher tax deduction when you donate an asset that is relevant to the charity. For instance, when you donate assets like relics to a historical museum, you can get a higher deduction in your taxes.

You have several options for asset donation with different types of tax benefits. For instance, donating your life insurance policy or retirement accounts, not only gets you an income tax deduction but also avoids tax liability of tax-deferred accounts. These donations can reduce your estate tax as well.

Charitable Trusts: You can establish a Charitable Lead Trust(CLT) and donate funds from the trust to a charity annually for a specified period. The tax deduction you can get for a CLT is assessed based on the income stream you generate for the charity.

Pooled Income Fund: A group of people can pool funds and securities to create a corpus. All members of the group receive cash and securities as income from this pool periodically. A specific amount is set aside for donations later. In case of the death of any member of the group, the remaining funds are donated to a charity of the donor’s choice. In this type of charitable giving, the individual is eligible for a tax deduction equivalent to the amount the recipient of charity receives.

Private Foundation: A private foundation is usually set up by people with significant assets. They may establish a charitable trust or corporation to contribute to a charity they are passionate about. It helps them establish a legacy with which their families can associate for generations. There stringent regulations for running private foundations, but the owners have complete control over how the funds are utilized. Private foundations can use funds as grants for individuals, international grants, scholarships, program investments, and many more.

If you are considering year-end strategies for charitable giving, you could itemize your deductions, and opt for any of the above charitable contributions to reduce your tax bills.

Tips to plan your charitable giving:

  • Donate Long-term appreciated securities instead of cash.
  • Bunching your donations is beneficial. Bunching implies concentrating all your deductions in one year and then skipping one or two years.
  • Maximize your tax deductions with donor-advised funds.
  • Offset tax costs involved in converting traditional IRA to a Roth IRA by choosing charitable donations.
  • Asset donations help increase tax deductions.

Another important aspect of charitable giving for tax deduction is documentation.

Some of the paperwork required to be done is:

  • IRS Form 1040 needs to be filed by individual taxpayers to claim tax benefits.
  • IRS Form 8283 must be filed along with tax returns in case of noncash donations above $500.
  • Taxpayers need to maintain a detailed record as documentary evidence for their charitable contributions throughout the year.
  • Donors claiming tax deductions against cash donations are required to provide a written record, canceled check, or a bank/payroll debit.
  • For contributions over $250 in cash or kind, the donor will need an acknowledgment from the recipient charity. This acknowledgment must include details such as the amount donated if any goods or services were provided to the donor along with their fair market value.
  • If you are donating property or assets like art, etc. independent appraisal of their worth is mandatory.

In addition to these, other documents are required which an expert can guide you through.

So, if you are looking for ways of donating to charities while saving on your taxes, you could consider one or more of these options. It is recommended that you consult legal, tax, and financial experts.

You can make an impact with your charitable giving while enjoying some tax benefits. Choose your charities and strategist your giving so that you benefit and make a difference to society!

Are you using a fundraising thermometer for your nonprofit? Did you know that they are the easiest way to track your fundraising goal? Besides, they offer complete transparency about your nonprofit to your donors!

Most nonprofits are already using fundraising thermometers for managing their fundraising. If you have not started using one, it’s time you did too!

Here’s a quick overview of the fundraising thermometer:

What is a fundraising thermometer?

We know that a thermometer checks the temperature of something. On the same lines, a fundraising thermometer indicates how “hot” your fundraising campaign is! Simply put, a fundraising thermometer indicates the amount of funds your fundraising campaign has generated. It is essentially like a fundraising goal tracker that helps you assess how close or far you are from your fundraising goals.

It is a way of displaying to the audience using the symbol of a thermometer with the analogy of temperature rise. As the temperature in the fundraising thermometer moves from cold to hot, it indicates that the donations are getting closer to the target goal. So, the hottest temperature is reached when the fundraiser reaches its goal.

Fundraising thermometers are known by different names fundraising meter, donation thermometer, or goal thermometer.

Why must you use a fundraising thermometer?

1. Visual Confirmation of Donation

When a donor contributes to a fundraising campaign and he sees the rise in the reading on the fundraising goal thermometer, he gets a visual confirmation of his donation. It is an established fact that visuals have a greater impact on people.

This helps the nonprofit offer complete transparency to its donors. This goes on to build trust and loyalty among the donors.

2. Encourage Donations

When donors see the reading on the thermometer slowly inching towards its fundraising goal, they are motivated to donate more to speed up the process.

A fundraising thermometer is extremely effective in encouraging donors to help the nonprofit reach its goals.

When the nonprofit reach its goals, the donors feel good because they can see that they have played a part in this endeavor. It boosts the donor morale to know that they have done their bit for society.

This builds brand loyalty towards your nonprofit.

3. Effective in Engaging Niche Audience

When donors participate in a fundraising campaign and receive instant gratification for what they have done through the fundraising thermometer, they get a sense of fulfillment.

This is how it works. People like to see any task they take up getting completed. So, when they watch the fundraising thermometer proceed towards its goals, it fills them with excitement to track the progress. This engages them until the end of the campaign. Besides, when they feel that the thermometer is not progressing at the speed it should, they might even go an extra mile and add more to hasten the process.

Once the fundraising goal is reached, the donors feel a sense of personal achievement. They get a feeling of accomplishment on reaching a milestone. This also helps in building the community as donors feel that they have achieved something together, as a community.

4. Team Crowdfunding Thermometers Encourage Peer to Peer Fundraising

By using the team crowdfunding thermometer, you can ask your peer-to-peer fundraisers to set goals on their page. And, the progress on pages of different team members can be consolidated to indicate the overall progress of the fundraising campaign on your campaign page.

Fundraising thermometers are dynamic, in the words, they give live updates on the progress of the fundraising donations towards its goals. These real-time updates can be displayed on large screens at outdoor events for the participants to watch.

Live fundraising thermometers can also be integrated with devices such as tablets, mobiles, desktops, etc. for the convenience of the donors, staff, and others involved with the fundraising campaign.

Several brands create and market fundraising thermometers with different features. Besides these ready-to-use platforms, there are several DIY templates available that can be used to develop a nonprofit donation platform.

Here’s a guide to the features you need for your nonprofit’s fundraising thermometer:

  • Choose a fundraising goal tracker that can be customized with your brand logo and colors.
  • Optionally, you can choose a template that is aligned with the cause your nonprofit is supporting. This sends a reminder to your donors about the mission of your nonprofit and how their donations are going to be used.
  • Ensure that the fundraising meter tracks donations with live updates in real-time.
  • Check if the fundraising meter includes a “donor roll.” A donor roll displays new donations as and when they are added.
  • It is recommended that you choose a donation tracker in which the anonymity of the donors is maintained.
  • The fundraising thermometer must include the Text-to-donate code in addition to the campaign-specific code.

In case, you are looking for fundraising thermometer alternatives to offer something different to your donors, you could try the visual fundraising tracking option.

A fundraising thermometer essentially tracks the progress of the fundraising campaign in terms of the funds generated as it heads towards its ultimate goal. In visual fundraising tracking the basic concept is the same aka indicating the progress of a fundraiser but it is depicted through imagery. An image is created which gets filled up as donations are added.

Some examples of imagery used in visual fundraising tracking are using an image of a night sky that fills up with stars with each donation received. Optionally, an image of a tree can be used where a flower blooms each time a donation is added.

Imagery can be used in innovative ways to choose images that are aligned with the cause supported by the nonprofit. For instance, if your nonprofit is working on saving rainforests, you could use an image of a ground in which a plant/tree sprouts up every time a donation is made.

This concept is also effective in engaging the audience as it clearly indicates their participation in the fundraising campaign. The main advantage of this method is that it does not indicate the exact amount donated. This encourages participation by donors who are hesitant in donating small amounts. This is because they can view their donation in a symbolic form like a star or a flower without the exact amount being displayed.

Visual fundraising is able to attract more small donors. This approach gives the donors the satisfaction of having participated in a philanthropic venture even if they are unable to donate large sums of money.

However, this method suffers from the drawback that it lacks the transparency that fundraising thermometer offers. Also, in a fundraising thermometer the donors can view in numeric value the exact amount reached and how close or further the fundraising goal amount is!

Whether you choose a conventional fundraising thermometer or a visual fundraiser tracking, here are some tools that can simplify your task of creating the platform:

  • Canva
  • Venngage
  • Microsoft Word
  • Certain CRMs include built-in features that enable you to create fundraising thermometers.

In addition to these, you have the option of using an online fundraising platform like iConnectX.

Online platforms offer several benefits:

  • These pre-designed platforms are ready to use. So, you can get started right away without investing time and effort in designing one.
  • Online platforms are automated. Hence, they update the progress of your fundraiser automatically.
  • These platforms can sync with multiple fundraising campaigns enabling you to track the progress on all of them.
  • Online fundraising thermometers can be easily embedded on your website providing live updates to visitors on your website.

In Conclusion

Fundraising thermometers are the best way to build the trust and confidence of your donors. They encourage donations and help in community building. With healthy growth in philanthropy and giving worldwide, it is a good idea to invest in a fundraising thermometer for your nonprofit, if you aren’t already using one!

Connect with the Experts at iConnectX for more on fundraising thermometers to track your fundraising goals!

If you are running a nonprofit, then you will know that organizing fundraising campaigns can be quite a task!

Especially in the current scenario when some of the tried-and-tested fundraising strategies cannot be implemented because of the pandemic.

It is heartening to note that despite the pandemic, many donors have donated in different ways to various charities. However, the onus is on nonprofits to associate with charities that donors care about and think of innovative fundraising strategies.

When we think of types of fundraising methods, nonprofit events like auctions, organizing 5km runs, etc. come to mind. However, given the current circumstances, we realize that fundraising methods need complete revamping. Simply put nonprofits need to think of digital methods of raising funds instead of physical ones, at least for now!

The last year has witnessed many events being organized virtually. Nonprofits have also successfully organized online auctions, etc. to generate funds. Another aspect of fundraising that became relevant last year was building trust with donors by communicating with them through emails or social media campaigns.

Managing so many things like email marketing, social media marketing, virtual events, choosing types of fundraising methods, budget shortfalls, can get quite overwhelming for a non-profit.

It is best to develop a fundraising strategy plan that is aligned with your nonprofit and work towards your goals.

So, take a deep breath, sit back, and read on for a comprehensive fundraising strategy plan and customize it according to the needs of your brand!

1. Align your Strategy with your Brand

There are so many nonprofit fundraising strategies like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer funding, etc. that it can be quite confusing to choose the right one for your nonprofit.

A word of caution, many nonprofits lose track of their goals when they get caught up in all these strategies especially when they try to implement strategies that might be working for others.

So, to make sure that you stay on track with your goals, here’s what you need to do!

Establish your fundraising goals that are aligned with the mission of your nonprofit. This can be your strategic goal for the entire year or a long-term goal.

Next, break down your goals into “bite-sized” objectives. These objectives can be the monthly fundraising targets that you can plan to achieve with the help of your fundraising campaigns.

Determine your budget for each fundraising campaign.

Establish teams to plan these campaigns. Make sure that you include board members, members of staff, volunteers, interested donors as a part of your campaigns.

2. Research

You must plan your fundraising strategy based on insights and relevant data. For this, you need to research your past campaigns. This data will help you understand what strategies worked/did not work for your nonprofit in the past. It is also a good idea to check out what your competitors are doing and what is working for them.

It is also beneficial to collect data about your audience and what their needs are, etc.

You can shortlist fundraising strategies that are aligned with the mission of your nonprofit.

However, you must ensure that the campaigns you select are well within your budget.

3. Choosing Campaigns

There is a wide range of fundraising methods available for nonprofits to choose from.

However, you need to bear certain things in mind while choosing them:

  • Ensure that your fundraising campaigns reach a broad range of donors. Create fundraising programs that facilitate small, medium, and major donors to participate in campaigns and donate easily.
  • Encourage recurring donations instead of one-time donations. This will increase your donor base as people who may not be able to donate large sums will still be able to donate.
  • Choose fundraising campaigns that are aligned to the mission of your nonprofit.
  • Make sure that you make it easy for your donor to make donations through mobiles.
  • Select fundraising strategies that are easy to use.

Here’s are some effective methods for fundraising:

Online donations: This is when donors contribute to a nonprofit through its online donation page.

In-kind Donations: These include non-monetary donations like food, drinks, equipment, etc. In-kind donations are usually given by companies.

Text-to Give: This is a simple text-to-give technique for donating wherein the donor texts a code when he wants to donate. Nonprofits establish codes, a campaign keyword with a predetermined donation amount. So, when a donor texts the keyword to the code, the predetermined donation amount is billed to their mobile phone bill.

Auction: Charity auctions are one of the most effective ways of fundraising. In an online auction, bids are invited for articles that are displayed by the nonprofit on different channels for a specific time. These bids are compared, and the highest bidder gets the article. You can organize a virtual event where the winning bids are announced.

Peer-to-peer fundraising: In peer-to-peer fundraising, people who support your nonprofit collect donations for you by asking their friends, contacts, etc. to donate. Donors can contribute through donation pages of your supporters. These pages are linked to your nonprofit’s main donation form.

Besides these, there is a myriad of other fundraising options like crowdfunding, corporate grants, etc. It is recommended that you check the features of each type of fundraising strategy and choose the ones best suited to your nonprofit and your donors.

4. Marketing

One of the most important aspects for raising brand awareness and increasing donor base is marketing your brand. And, in the current scenario, digital marketing strategies are a must.

So, you need to increase the visibility of your brand with search engine optimization, email marketing, social media marketing campaigns, etc.

You can increase your website traffic by posting fresh content regularly on your website. Make sure that you market your brand effectively with high-quality content.

Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies to market your brand to your audience. Email marketing helps you establish a personal relationship between the recipients and your brand. Emails are communication channels through which you can tell your donors about your mission, let them know how their donations are helping your organization reach its fundraising goals, etc. This helps build trust and loyalty.

With the rising number of social media users worldwide, it can be considered as an effective marketing strategy to reach a wide audience.

You can choose the right blend of marketing strategies for effective fundraising.

Effective marketing strategies can also help attract corporate sponsorship to increase your overall fundraising.

5. Monitoring

After executing a fundraising campaign, you need to measure its effectiveness. This will help you understand the areas for improvement in your campaigns so that you can plan better strategies.

Also, make sure that you collect feedback from your participants in the campaigns. This data will help you enhance your future campaigns.

These can be considered as the building blocks for any fundraising strategy. You can customize your fundraising campaigns based on them.

iConnectX is a platform that streamlines all nonprofit fundraising campaigns. This platform has all the features tailored to the needs of nonprofits.

2020 has been a tough year for most businesses globally. The non-profit sector has also suffered its wrath. Fundraising was way below the expected goals. Almost 38% of nonprofits had to close down in the last year.

Fundraising post-COVID is likely to become more challenging for nonprofits for several reasons:

  1. Unemployment and financial losses: COVID 19 has taken a toll on the global economy. Many businesses have had to close down, people across the globe have lost jobs, there have been massive pay cuts, etc. All these have impacted fundraising. People who were donating funds to charities before COVID are finding it difficult to do so currently. Under, the circumstances the future of fundraising does not look very bright.
  2. Lack of in-person events: One of the most effective ways for non-profits to raise awareness about their brands and market them was through in-person events. Events offered an opportunity for donors, etc. to interact with the members of the non-profit and this helped build trust. Besides, hosting nonprofit events also involved contributions by sponsors. Sponsors also helped market the brand. But physical distancing and other restrictions have put a halt on events like 5km runs, etc.

The good news for nonprofits is that although monetary donations were not much, that the pandemic did not deter people from giving in kind. A report by Women’s Philanthropy Institute shows that 56% of US households indulged in charitable giving in 2020. (Source: Philanthropy)

This goes on to show that the willingness is there among the donors although they may lack the means. The onus is entirely on the nonprofits to think of ways of spreading the word about their organization, connect with donors, engage them and motivate them to donate.

Technology emerges as the ray of hope that can completely transform the nonprofit sector. Technological innovations have been around and many nonprofit organizations had been leveraging them even before COVID. But many nonprofits shied away from using technology for fundraising and other activities either because of the costs associated or because they felt it was too complicated to implement.

However, today we can safely say that the future of nonprofit fundraising will depend on how well it uses technology. In other words, technology is no longer a choice but a Must for nonprofit fundraising!

Let us delve into how technology can help a nonprofit organization

Since in-person interactions have been restricted, the only way for nonprofits to connect with their audience is virtual. Besides nonprofits need to offer online methods for donations. Also, nonprofits need to engage the tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z donors.

These are technological tools that nonprofits require and how they can benefit from them:

Websites

Nonprofits will need a strong online presence with the help of websites that clearly communicate to the audience what the brand is about. Websites should explain the mission of the nonprofit. Websites should also include donor forms and offer the provision to donate. It is also essential that the website is mobile-friendly.

Benefit: A website helps raise awareness about your brand. It can also help you inform your visitors about any upcoming events, etc. It is easy to keep your visitors coming back to your site by refreshing the site with new content. Your website helps you establish authority in your field when you share relevant content about your niche.

Digital Marketing

The internet is full of a variety of websites. Then how do you attract your audience to your site?

Digital marketing is necessary for you to ensure that your brand stands out in the digital marketplace. Different digital marketing strategies like social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, etc. are used to increase the visibility of the site.

Benefits: Digital marketing strategies help enhance the ranking of your website on search engines. When your website ranks high, it will attract more visitors. Strategies like email marketing enable you to offer a personalized marketing approach. This helps build trust and loyalty. Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with a wide audience.

Online Fundraising

Nonprofits need to ensure that they offer simple online fundraising methods to their audience. They can provide donation facilities through their website or even social channels.

Benefits: Online fundraising tools help attract more donations as donors find it easy to donate.

Virtual Event Platforms

Events are most effective to connect with the audience. Since physical events do not seem likely in the near future, virtual events are the only alternative. Virtual events have become popular during the past year.

Virtual events are hosted using software platforms. Nonprofits must familiarize themselves with different platforms and use them for hosting events.

Benefits: Virtual event platforms include a myriad of features to simplify the process of organizing events. They include online registrations, breakout rooms, feedback forms, and many more to help the hosts. Platforms like iConnectx.com are customized for hosting nonprofit events. They include all the features required to organize a successful nonprofit event.

These are some of the technological innovations and their benefits to nonprofits. Many nonprofits are a little skeptical about using technology because of the costs. However, technology cannot be ignored in the current times and even in the post-COVID times.

Nonprofits need to invest in technology because of the benefits it offers in the long run. Besides in the current pandemic situation, technology is a survival technique!

There is no denying that technology is expensive compared to the conventional techniques used. However, how much a nonprofit spends on technology is something that can be controlled. It is recommended that a nonprofit budgets its expenses and allocates fixed sums to different technological tools it uses.

The nonprofit organization can determine the blend of technological tools it requires and invest specific funds for each. You can assess the effectiveness of the technologies leveraged by analyzing the returns they provide.

It is beneficial to work within the budget so that the expenses incurred are well in control.

Summarizing

The pandemic has driven home the important point that the future is highly unpredictable! And, since we cannot control or predict the future, we need to have the ability to adapt to it. While the future of nonprofits also cannot be predicted, one thing that has become apparent is that adopting technology is a must for nonprofits. Technology offers several benefits that justify the funds invested. While the initial investment of funds, time, and efforts might seem tedious and expensive, it is worthwhile in the long run. One of the best technologies that are tailored to managing all aspects of running a nonprofit in the future is iConnectX!

Connect with iConnectX for better fundraising!

Digital is the “new normal” and nonprofits also need to adapt to digital means of operating. This means whether it is raising funds or hosting events, nonprofits will have to choose online methods. Fortunately, a plethora of online fundraising platforms is available to streamline the fundraising process for nonprofits!

The basic objective of all nonprofits is to raise funds through various events and campaigns. However, the difference lies in the specific methods each nonprofit uses to raise money online.

How nonprofits raise money online

Online Giving

This is a method of collecting donations directly through the nonprofit’s website. To facilitate online giving, the platform should be capable of creating branded donation pages for the nonprofit’s website. An online donation page makes it easy to donate gifts for specific campaigns. The donation page should also facilitate monthly or recurring donations.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an online fundraising strategy wherein a nonprofit creates a campaign on a third-party platform. These campaigns help raise funds for an urgent need of the nonprofit. Crowdfunding usually has small and mid-sized donations from numerous donors. Nonprofits that use crowdfunding as a fundraising option need an online platform that has the features that support it. For instance, it should support secure and easy payment methods, it should facilitate tracking fund generation over a fixed period, etc.

Peer to Peer Fundraising

Online peer-to-peer fundraising warrants platforms that enable individual supporters to create donation pages on behalf of the nonprofit. The donations solicited by these supporters through their pages are transferred directly to the nonprofit.

Matching Gift

This is a corporate philanthropy program wherein the employers match the donation of their employees. The online platform that supports the matching gift program will promote a matching gift database on the donation page. So, when a donor lands on the donation page, he can use a search tool to find out the donation made by his employer and whether he can match it or not. If your budget is high, you can even think of an automated matching gift software. In an automated process, the donors get automatic reminders and are guided through the entire process.

Online Auction

If a nonprofit uses using auctions to raise funds online, then it will need a platform that engages the audience and streamlines the auction process. Online auctions do not require paper bids or a lengthy registration process. However, nonprofits that leverage online auction for fundraising need to ensure that they provide their users a mobile bidding app as well.

While these are some of the most popular online fundraising strategies used by nonprofits, your nonprofit may use some other methods. The most important factor for online fundraising is the choice of the fundraising platform. Hence, a nonprofit must ensure that it selects the right platform which serves its purpose.

But choosing the right one can be quite confusing!

Here’s a guide to selecting an online fundraising platform:

Step 1: Establish your Goals

The goal of any nonprofit is to raise funds using the fundraising platform it chooses. Online fundraising platforms offer umpteen features like collecting data about the donors, setting up recurring donations, help spread awareness about the nonprofit, and many more. However, each platform has a specific set of features. Hence, you need to choose one that is aligned with your goals.

Step 2: Ascertain if the Online Platform has the Essential Characteristics

Certain basic features are required in any online fundraising platform. So, when you are shortlisting platforms, ensure that they have those features.

Characteristics of fundraising platforms

Customizable

When you look at different fundraising platforms, you might find that they have several attractive features that may be useful for you. However, you must make sure that the platform can be customized for your usage. In other words, you should be able to use the features you require according to your needs.

Responsive on Mobiles and Tablets

Make sure that you choose platforms that can be used on all devices such as desktops, mobiles, tablets, etc. This helps you reach a wider audience.

The platform should load quickly on all devices and the data buttons should be prominent and easy to click across devices. The page should not suffer in terms of quality when loading on different devices.

Easy Set-up

Some online fundraising platforms require technical knowledge for setting up and managing them while some others are less complicated. Choose a platform that is easy to set up. You can also check with the service provider if they offer training, customer support, etc.

Integrations offered

Make sure that the online platform integrates seamlessly with your CRM. This will save your time and effort in transferring your existing data into the platform.

This will also simplify the process of running campaigns and planning fundraising strategies.

Ease of Payments

The purpose of any online fundraising platform is to facilitate donations. Hence, ensure that the platforms you shortlist have easy payment options. Check whether they allow credit card/debit card payments or not.

Also, make sure that the platform is a PCI complaint. PCI compliance is a must for any platform that accepts credit card payments. It helps keep secure the confidential data such as credit card details provided by the donors.

Event hosting

Virtual events are here to stay, at least in the near future. What this means is that you will need an online fundraising platform that offers comprehensive features for hosting virtual events to raise funds.

Flexibility

Select a platform that can cater to your future needs. In other words, don’t choose a platform that only satisfies your current requirements. For instance, if you want to add more types of fundraising options at a later date, your platform should be able to accommodate such changes. Flexibility and scalability are must-have features when selecting an online fundraising platform.

Step 3: Comparison

Once you have shortlisted some online fundraising platforms, you will need to compare them and decide on the one best suited to your needs.

You can compare different platforms based on the above characteristics. You can also check out if the platform offers any other features that you can customize according to your needs.

Step 4: Price Comparison

The last step to select an online platform is to compare their prices. It is recommended that you do a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on the online platform you will buy.

While comparing the prices of different online platforms, you must adhere to your nonprofit’s budgets. Keeping your budget in mind while choosing the platform will ensure that you do not spend more than the funds you raise!

The base price of a platform is usually quoted by the provider, you need to include any other additional costs for a realistic comparison.

Here’s a list of some costs you need to take into account:

  • Base price
  • Price of enhancements or additional features
  • Expenses towards IT support
  • Cost of training the in-house team for using the platform
  • The number of users the platform can support.
  • Processing fees of payment

There may be other expenses associated with the different online platforms you may have shortlisted. You must anticipate all such costs for each platform and then compare them.

Make sure that you ask the service provider for different options. This is because a software provider may provide options that include additional features.

If you are looking for a platform that offers all the features required for online fundraising, then make sure to connect with the experts at iConnectX! We have been in the field of philanthropy for several years and provide platforms that cater to all the needs of nonprofits for online fundraising!