Integration: Getting Your Donor Database and Prospect Research Tool to Talk
Active listening is a powerful skill, and it’s one of the things we strive for at iWave. By listening to our clients and partners, we learn about the need to make prospect research and fundraising more efficient and effective. From there, we commit to improving our product and services. And since our job is helping to make the researcher and/or fundraiser’s job easier, we take your feedback very seriously. One path we’ve taken, thanks to your advice, is to integrate PRO with other software applications you use daily.
Have you noticed the integration trend in software and technology? It’s becoming the norm to have two or more applications sync and work together. This helps people work faster and see the big picture. That is especially important in prospect development. Although there are many potential integrations between software for various departments, the integration we’re referring to is an integration between your prospect research tool (like PRO), and your donor database.
We learned a lot about the opportunities of software integration at the Tessitura Learning & Community Conference in August 2016. In prospect research and fundraising, having good donor management software (DMS) is critical. It’s where your database of donors and prospective donors lives, and this database informs nearly all your development decisions.
But where does the data come from? Of course, that’s where a prospect research tool can really help. However, we know from conversations with clients that many researchers and fundraisers continue to spend a lot of time in their donor database. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some elements of a prospect research tool within the donor database window? That idea got our team excited.
In the past few months, we have worked hard to integrate Prospect Research Online with Salesforce CRM and the Tessitura Network (and those are just the first two). So why are we spending time on this? Through integration, you are able to see important wealth, philanthropic, and biographical insights about your donor without leaving your database. These insights might include: a prospect’s capacity rating; their charitable giving to organizations other than yours; and the value of their real estate.
And let us be clear: when we say integration, we really mean integration. It’s great to be able to import and export files between two programs, but we focus on allowing PRO to “talk” and work in tandem with donor databases.
Technology is becoming more and more streamlined. As we move forward, software integrations will improve and increase in number. We’re excited to see what the future holds.
About the author: Ryan McCarvill is iWave’s Content Manager. He joined the iWave team in 2016. Ryan enjoys meeting and learning from nonprofit professionals, researching trends in the nonprofit community, and offering strategies for development teams to use iWave’s solutions to meet and exceed their fundraising goals.
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