Every nonprofit understands the importance of fundraising. You’ve probably used fundraising software to help you through the process. Finding the right software and learning how to use it can take time. And your time is valuable!
Have you ever thought about hiring a fundraising consultant? Consultants help you with your fundraising software. Not only can they suggest different software options, but they can also assess your needs and figure out what types of software would best benefit your fundraising strategy.
Let’s look at seven different ways that a consultant can provide help to your organization when it comes to fundraising software.
- Software setup and migration
- Software training
- Major gift fundraising
- Web design
- Annual fundraising
- Peer-to-peer fundraising
- Payment processing
1. Software setup and migration
Setting up new software and transferring your existing data, also known as data migration, can be a difficult process.
It takes more than just moving the data to a new software. Let’s look at what a transfer entails:
- Making sure that your existing information is compatible with the new software.
- Exporting and importing the information.
- Testing everything to make sure it’s operating correctly.
However, you don’t have to complete the process on your own. In fact, some software vendors make data transfer a whole lot easier by evaluating your data beforehand. That way, they can determine if the transfer is easy enough to do on your own.
And if finding a software vendor that offers these skills seems like a difficult task, a fundraising consultant can help. They can narrow down your software choices to only include vendors that offer full or partial help with data migration.
If you anticipate that you’ll need assistance with data migration, let your fundraising consultant know early on so that they only search for software vendors that offer some aid.
The bottom line: Software setup and data migration can be a frustrating process if you don’t have the right assistance. Make sure you ask your fundraising consultant to look for software that offers set up and/or data migration services.
2. Software training
Let’s face it; understanding fundraising software isn’t a walk in the park. Learning how software functions can be difficult, especially if you don’t have any prior experience handling that type of software.
That’s why you should consider choosing a software vendor that offers training on how to use their tools. Software training is about more than just mere “button pushing.” It’s about truly understanding the software and learning the tools to make your day-to-day tasks easier.
If having a crash course on how to use your new software is something that’s important to you, let your fundraising consultant know. They can help you find vendors that offer training courses.
In addition to helping you look for software vendors, a consultant can help train you and your staff on how to use the new system.
That’s why it’s so important to find a firm that’s experienced with fundraising software. Having the support of a consulting firm is beneficial because:
- A consulting firm understands what your nonprofit needs. Therefore, the consultants can teach you how to use the tools that will be most helpful.
- They can spot challenges in the way you’re currently managing your fundraising and offer solutions on how to resolve those issues using your new software.
- You can use the firm for strategical support and other fundraising services later (if you’re happy with their training).
Working with a consulting firm can be a great asset when you’re learning a new system. Unlike working with the software vendor, a firm understands what your nonprofit needs and can tailor the training to match your preferences.
The bottom line: Training can help you navigate your new fundraising software so that you have all the knowledge you need to get started. If training is important to you, let your fundraising consultant know early on in your search.
Bonus: Salsa offers different software training courses. Check them out here if you want more assistance.
3. Major gift fundraising
Major gift fundraising can be greatly beneficial to your nonprofit. Though major gifts are relatively scarce, they have great fundraising potential because you receive a substantial amount from just one contribution.
Major gift success relies on four key factors:
- Prospect identification helps you discover what supporters have the possibility of becoming major gift donors. That way, you can reach out to those supporters first.
- Solicitation is the art of asking for donations. It’s about learning the best approaches and when to ask for donations.
- Stewardship happens after donors give. You need to be able to interact with them in a way that encourages donors to give again and support your cause in other ways.
- Cultivation is the next step in the stewardship process that helps further develop your relationships.
Luckily, you don’t have to do all the hard work yourself! With the help of your fundraising consultant and software, you can create a plan that incorporates all four of these skills into your major gift fundraising.
A consultant can not only help you find the right software, but they can also help you develop strategies that will help you cultivate better relationships with your donors.
The bottom line: With the right strategy and fundraising software to back you up, you can make major gifts a successful way to raise funds.
4. Web design
Your website is the online headquarters for all things related to your organization. It’s the place supporters and potential donors alike will come to learn about ways to engage with your nonprofit and even make a donation.
That’s why it’s so important that your website represents your organization in a good light. For instance, a good website should have:
- Easy to navigate pages.
- A donate button on the homepage and other pages.
- Consistent branding throughout the website.
- A mobile-responsive design so that every viewer has a similar experience.
Of course, these are just some of the things that you should include in a well-designed website. Your fundraising consultant can also evaluate your site and offer you more suggested improvements based on current trends.
If you have limited resources or don’t have someone on your staff with web design experience, that’s okay! Fundraising software can help you design a website without knowing HTML or CSS code.
Your consultant can help you find and pick a fundraising software that includes website design.
The bottom line: As the saying goes, “a first impression lasts a lifetime.” Your nonprofit’s website is like your online first impression. Give donors a good feeling when they encounter your website, whether it’s just to learn more information about your cause or make a donation.
5. Annual fundraising
Software can play a huge part in making you successful with your annual fundraising efforts. Since annual fundraising encompasses a lot of different things, like matching gifts, major donations, fundraising events, and so much more, software can help you navigate these different areas.
Talk with your fundraising consultant and see what types of software he or she would suggest you get.
For instance, your consultant might suggest matching gift services to help promote matched giving. With matching gifts, your nonprofit can potentially double the donations you receive. But that’s only possible if donors submit a request to their employer.
However, most donors don’t make a request because they don’t know if their company has a matching gift program, and if they do, donors don’t know how to submit a request.
Your consultant can suggest different matching gift software services that make it easy for your nonprofit to promote matching gifts throughout the donation process.
Some matching gift services offer a search tool that can be embedded on your donation page (or any page you want!).
Let’s look at an example:
On the ASPCA donation page, there is a tool that allows supporters to search for their company and learn about their matching gift program. That way, donors are more knowledgeable about the process before and after they give.
Of course, this is only one way you can improve your annual fundraising. Your consultant can suggest other options along with fundraising software to help you.
The bottom line: Your annual fundraising is a combination of many different types of fundraising strategies. With the help of your consultant, you can find technology, specifically fundraising software, that can make things a little easier.
6. Peer-to-peer fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a fun and creative way to raise funds for your nonprofit, but to host a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you’ll need to use a good platform.
Just so we’re on the same page, peer-to-peer fundraising is when your nonprofit sets up a campaign where donors raise funds on your behalf. Supporters can create a fundraising page and then solicit donations from their friends, family, and acquaintances.
Finding the right platform is important for both you and your supporters. A good platform will make it easy for anyone to create and promote fundraising pages. Ask your consultant to help you find a platform that has everything you need.
If you’re unsure about what you need, here are a few features that make up a successful fundraising campaign:
- Social sharing buttons
- Fundraising thermometers
- CRM integration
- Individual and customizable pages
While a consultant can help you find a platform, they can also help you craft a strategy to market your campaign and interact with supporters. That way, you can increase the chances that your fundraising is successful.
The bottom line: In order to have a successful peer-to-peer campaign you need to find a good platform and have a solid strategy to guide you. A fundraising consultant can help you with both!
7. Payment processing
Payment processing is what happens behind the scenes when a supporter makes a donation. It’s the process that makes sure that your donors’ payment information is verified. Additionally, payment processing can help you avoid fraud and other online scams.
While the process isn’t something that’s often discussed, it’s important to fundraising and online donations because it makes your donors fee safe and protected when they give. Payment processing is essential if you accept online donations.
Work with your consultant to better understand what payment processing is and how it affects your organization.
Your consultant can also find a payment processor that offers your nonprofit security and is PCI-compliant. PCI compliance means the processor follows a strict set of rules created and enforced by the Payment Card Industry.
Additionally, your consultant can help you figure out how to let donors know that you’re keeping them protected every time they give. The different possibilities include:
- Adding the payment processor’s name and logo on the donation form to let donors know it’s protected.
- Educating donors on payment processing and fraud.
The bottom line: Having payment processing software is crucial if you want to accept donations online. Your consultant can help guide you through the procedure of picking a processor and educating your staff on payment processing.
Hopefully, you’ve learned how a consultant can help you with finding and operating fundraising software.
If you’re considering hiring a fundraising consultant, think about the ways that they can help improve your fundraising—whether it be through software training or by finding you the platform that matches your needs.