2019 is going to be excellent, organized, and your most productive year yet! You’ve just signed up for a fundraising intelligence platform. In our world, it doesn’t get much more exciting or organized than that! Regardless if this is your first job in the nonprofit sector or if you’re an experienced professional, you need to start considering what to do next.
New tools, even if you’re familiar with the technology landscape, are tough to understand at the beginning. To help smooth the transition and adoption of a new product, we created a list (because that’s what excellent, organized, and productive people do right?).
Here are a few tried-and-true best practices for breaking-in a new nonprofit tool.
Make sure you know how and when to get trained on your tool. Even if you’ve been in the nonprofit industry for a while or you have tonnes of experience with technology, training will help take the frustration out of those first few weeks and ensure a happy and productive relationship with your software.
Customer support is your human connection to your new fundraising tool. These trained professionals answer questions about their tool all day long and have invaluable knowledge to share. This is also a great opportunity to make sure your tool is working as expected.
You’ll want to have a good understanding of your current database and other tools. Do you have a CRM platform (Customer Relationship Management) or a DMS (Donor Management Software) that your team is using regularly? If so, you’ll want to make sure that your systems work together, and that your data stays organized. Integrations are a great way to take some busy-work out of your day-to-day and make your job easier! As an example, iWave integrates easily with Salesforce.
If you’re worried that your database isn’t organized enough to work with your new fundraising tool, consider these tips from the Helen Brown Group blog on making your database work for you.
Knowledge centers, FAQs, documentation – these are all great ways of getting to know a product. Many fundraising professionals aren’t using their tools to the fullest. So, you’ll stand far above the rest if you’re able to fully use your new product from day one.
Make a list of what you hope to accomplish with fundraising intelligence this year. Maybe you have fundraising goals that you hope to achieve with the help of new technology. Maybe your organization’s focus has shifted, and you need to move with those changes. No matter what your organizational goals, a list can help take the stress out of an overwhelming technology change, and turn it into a positive forward-facing strategy.
There are so many tools out there, and you have to find what’s best for your organization. Once you’ve made that decision to purchase a fundraising intelligence or prospect research tool, commit and learn. And don’t be afraid to ask for help! In this blog post, the Donor Relations Guru outlines the power in asking for help. The nonprofit world is full of inspiring trailblazers willing to lend a hand.
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About the author: Liz Corney is iWave’s Content Marketing Manager. She has a degree in Journalism, is a fiercely positive team-player and a creative self-starter. She has experience working in software technology, video/mobile games, learning & development, social & traditional media, and communications. Liz is also the co-founder of a local nonprofit organization working to better the lives of homeless women in her community.