To be on the leading edge of fundraising in 2020, especially in today’s changing world, means having the ability to access the highest quality and most complete data and leveraging fundraising technology and a technology ecosystem to streamline and optimize the fundraising process. There are many unique ways that nonprofits of all sizes can strategically leverage fundraising technology in their organization to empower their team and enhance experiences for their donors and supporters. In this webinar from Give Back Nation and iWave, part four of our Fundraising Technology and Strategy Series
, we discussed how nonprofits can establish a technology ecosystem to support their efforts and stay on the leading edge of fundraising, especially in times of crisis.
Watch the full webinar recording here,
or check out some Q&A’s from the presentation below:
Q: Can you also share some of the ways your team works with organizations today as they’re making changes related to their use of technology?
KG: The first thing Give Back Nation does is listen. Every organization is unique. We serve and support start-ups to multi-billion dollar organizations. Each one has potential opportunities to leverage technology to increase efficiency, remove barriers to give, expand data gathering and amplify engagement. We analyze where they are currently at with technology, brainstorm and think through areas of opportunity, then make vetted recommendations accordingly leveraging our research and feedback received. By also providing implementation and setup support to expedite use and maximize long-term success, we help minimize staff time needed and help relieve the stress of learning and implementing something new.
Q: Can you describe the term “fundraising ecosystem” from your perspective?
KG: We define the “fundraising ecosystem” as everything needed, working in harmony, to efficiently and effectively raise funds to thrive, not just survive. Board alignment, events, staffing, strategic planning, technology; it all adds up and the devil is in the details. Within the fundraising ecosystem, we start by looking at three main pillars. The first is Branding and Story. A potential supporter can lose interest quickly if an organization’s website is dated or doesn’t communicate the story or impact quickly and efficiently. The second pillar is Removing Barriers to Give. The right use of the right technology can streamline the giving process to increase donations and data gathering. Lastly, the third pillar we look at is Data Management, which fuels engagement. Once you receive supporter data, organizing it is key for long-term sustainability. All three pillars can be efficiently maximized with the use of technology.
Q: How do we express the importance of investing in technology to our board?
KG: Depending on the technology in question and how much technology is already being used and its “success”, this can be easier or more difficult, but examples of how other organizations are saving time and increasing opportunities go a long way. Respecting the potential outcome and the opportunity cost to NOT leverage a certain technology solution is key. Cost and implementation time become two main factors, but having an organization like Give Back Nation to lean on and talk through opportunities can help answer board questions and rationalize opportunities.
Q: What would you recommend for organizations on a limited budget who have never used technology platforms for fundraising as a first step?
KG: First, not all technology is expensive and it’s all relative to the opportunity and what capabilities you are receiving. Second, removing barriers to give is a good first step. You can replace simple, limited merchant services platforms with a vetted, dynamic online fundraising platform for $0/month. Many organizations hear stories about annual contracts, high start-up fees and paying for tools you don’t use. But, if you dedicate time like Give Back Nation does, you can find cost-effective and dynamic hidden gems. For discounts on technology solutions, TechSoup is a great place to start. Providing donors with the ability to multiply their impact is another opportunity. A restricted donation that helps the organization invest in a technology solution that helps increase efficiency and long-term fundraising is a great impact story to share with a donor.
Q: If we wanted to do a technology audit of the tools we currently have, where/how do you recommend we start?
KG: Give Back Nation provides technology and strategy audits for organizations. In most cases, it’s free. To schedule a brainstorming call to learn more, can email firstname.lastname@example.org