Are You Thanking Your Donors In Real-Time? It IS Possible…
A strange sense of resignation has penetrated the charitable sector – there’s an unsettling level of comfort toward what’s perceived as an inevitable delay in the acknowledgement of donor support.
It’s hard to aggregate and manage donor information.
It’s expensive to grow your internal IT resources.
It’s time consuming to maintain and update multiple databases.
And so, as an industry, we seem to have accepted these limitations.
A Personal Touch Makes a Difference
The automated, generic donor Thank You note has become the standard, though all would agree that it leaves much to be desired.
Worse than the generic donor acknowledgment is the fact that major gift donors aren’t seeing recognition concurrent with the true value of their contributions.
A one-time donation may earn a response of recognition, but what about the various other avenues that donor contributions might take? Donations exist in forms beyond the financial, including:
- Volunteer hours
- Gala attendance
- Event sponsorship
And all of these contributions represent opportunities for engagement, stewardship, acknowledgement and genuine relationship building.
Challenges, Both Present and Future
Most organizations recognize the need for meaningful real-time stewardship, but it’s hard to deny the challenges of our contemporary reality. Donor information may not be stored in an accessible and user-friendly manner and may be spread across multiple databases in various forms and degrees of accuracy:
- Onsite CRM systems
- Web-based donation platforms
- Spreadsheets and Excel databases
- Peer to peer networks
- Third party, offline donation processes
Consolidating this information and producing appropriate recognition collateral in a timely fashion is both the problem and the solution.
And ironically, a failure to recognize the importance of this shifting priority along with the necessity implicit in its changing methodologies would be catastrophic.
Non-profits must embrace new technologies that streamline processes to facilitate real-time donor engagement and drive future stewardship. Period.
If they don’t then it is likely that increasing numbers of non-profit organizations will witness troubling declines.
We see it already – donor loyalty is slipping, due in no small part to the decline of stewardship on the whole.
Thankfully, a better way forward isn’t waiting. It’s here.
For Stewardship, Real-Time is Now
Cloud technology serves as the leading edge when it comes to donor management solutions.
The ability to access a central database, at any time and from anywhere via web browser, allows non-profits the flexibility and immediacy needed to harness the power of donor information and deploy impactful responses.
Real-time stewardship is no longer a hope, or an ambition. It’s a necessary reality, and a new industry standard.
And it is well within your reach.
Imagine being able to thank a donor for a $1000 donation within the day, regardless of how that donation was processed. Online, offline, peer to peer – the procedure does not matter in a real-time Cloud environment. This acknowledgement would be personalized, relevant, and contextual to the donation, and would include all the customized qualities required in a communication emphasizing gratitude and highlighting the importance of the donor relationship.
Donor management isn’t just a term referring to information. It’s fundamentally about relationships.
Non-profits around the world are embracing the benefits of real-time as a new reality in donor management solutions and meaningful stewardship strategy. Changing our methods for the better is the first step toward changing the world.
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