Donor management is basically the process of organizing and handling all the donations received by your organization, as well as maintaining donor relationships. While a simple spreadsheet may suffice for a smaller organization, as an organization and its donor base grow, managing all the information can become cumbersome and inefficient. 

These days there are many systems that are dedicated to helping you manage, engage and retain donor relationships in a holistic manner. They range in size and scope; you can choose from them depending on the needs of your specific organization. These systems can be especially beneficial to larger businesses that receive loads of donations from many different donors on a regular basis. 

To shed some light on the common issues and make them more approachable, here are some tips to help you manage your organization’s donors more efficiently. 

Choose A Dedicated Donor Management Platform 

Many businesses often manage and organize their donor data on an inadequate platform, which leaves the data spread over several different locations with a need to combine and analyze it all. Choosing a dedicated donor management platform can make documenting, organizing, and analyzing all the respective data far more efficient. 

You’ll want to look for a dedicated software platform that should at least offer the following: 

  • Comprehensive CRM Technologies – These include summaries and timelines dedicated to each donor separately, donor segmentation, and personalized data collection.
  • Engagement Scoring – This allows you to track who your most dedicated donors are, and which donors may require additional attention and care. 
  • Wealth Screening – This will allow you to see which donors have the ability to provide you with more investment and prioritize engagement accordingly. 
  • Online Donation Tools – This will help attract donors through your website by making the donation process simpler for them and for your organization. 
  • Marketing Capabilities – Marketing tools that support advertising, emails, and other methods will help you segment and accordingly reach out to different donors and customers through the same platform. Which is far simpler than having a separate marketing platform that you would need to incorporate into your system. 

Utilize Customized Donor Profiling 

The foundation of a strong donor management strategy is the available data. Your organization must ensure they have as much information as possible about its donors in order to cater to every detail as efficiently as possible. This will greatly aid in increasing donor loyalty and satisfaction, hence facilitating a more stable management and fundraising strategy. 

This customized approach entails going further than just the basic information of the donors; examples of additional data you should collect include: 

  • Biographical Information – This can include information such as their informal name, date of birth, gender, and other personal details.
  • Relationships – You should look into connections between a donor and the rest of your database and the kind of relationships they have with each other. 
  • Affinity – Try your best to document how your donors feel about your organization and how everyone involved thinks their relationship with the organization
  •  can be improved. 
  • Communication Preference – Would they like to receive regular updates on the organization’s activities and status? How would they like to receive that information when they are contacted?

Review Your Donor Management Strategy Regularly 

As you make changes to how you manage your donors, you may find that some data is more important or helpful than others. You may also find that some strategies show better results than others too. Not to mention that new and existing donors can both change their opinions and preferences for doing business as relationships progress and develop.  

This is why regularly reviewing all the different aspects of donor management within your organization is vital. Although you may find that certain management approaches or data points show stable results and progress, you never know what making a change or addition to donor management strategies can provide unless you give it a go! 

No matter how successful your strategy might be, the nature of business and humans alike is ever-changing. So be sure to regularly review and improve your donor management system in its entirety, as often as you can or deem necessary. 

Make Your Donors Feel Involved 

Many donors will make their first donation, then stop any further interactions with your organization. This can be for a plethora of reasons, however, there is a good chance that they are just busy people in which case your organization may just fall through the cracks in their schedules. Making your donors feel involved in your business is a great way to ensure that communication is upheld and that motivation to keep the donations coming is maintained. 

You can do this by involving them in business decisions, inviting them to dedicated or business-wide events, or even offering them volunteering opportunities on different projects. The key is to make them feel engaged and of importance to your organization and its day-to-day operations. 

Be Consistent 

Many donor databases, especially those spread amongst several platforms, can be inconsistent. Mistakes can be made and organization, once there are large amounts of data present, can be very challenging. One way to keep things consistent, other than using a single dedicated platform, is clearly defining the standards and requirements for data entry and upkeep. 

By standardizing the things you record and how they are recorded onto your platform, you can keep your database unified, organized, and easy to use. This will aid greatly in operations involving the data since it will guarantee that all those involved in data entry and collection are on the same page, and working according to the same standards. This can be especially useful when taking on new staff, as it makes training and acclimatization a breeze. 

Many business owners may find the prospect of donor management quite daunting, especially those operating at a larger scale. By following the tips provided above, you’ll find that making your management strategy more efficient is much more approachable. 

The benefits of adequate and efficient donor management outweigh the effort that goes into streamlining your strategies and methodology. By boosting organization, communication, and engagement you’ll start to see your relationship and business with donors blossom more than ever before. 

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