Three BIG Mistakes Organizations Make Asking for Donations – and Fixing The Mistakes with Donor Management Software

By August 13, 2019Donations

Does your organization raise money primarily through individual donations? If so, when is the last time you reviewed how team members are asking for donations – and whether or not it’s effective?

These three mistakes can detail or slow any donor giving campaign. Take a moment now to review your organization’s donor campaigns and fix these mistakes before they negatively impact fundraising.

Mistake #1: Lack of communication about marketing activities

Susan sends out emails on Monday. John plans a direct mail campaign while Lynn is busy with social media activities. The team doesn’t find out until Friday’s staff meeting what each person has been working on and discovers that each one spent hours creating templates, adding graphics, and crafting the right copy to ask for donations.

What if the team members could have pooled their resources and shared them? Just knowing that an email, direct mail campaign, and social media blast was going on in one week, and that many resources could be shared among these tactics, would have helped all three people save considerable time. The email blast could have been shared on social media; text from the direct mail letter may have made a great template for the email.

A lack of communication and coordination among team members conducting donor campaigns is the biggest mistake on the list. It wastes time and money, duplicates efforts, and potentially annoys donors if they receive frequent or repetitive communications.

Mistake #2: Using separate software to track activities

Susan, the person in our example above who sends emails, uses a commercial email marketing platform to send her messages out. She manages the email list within that software platform.

John painstakingly adds mailing addresses to an Excel spreadsheet. He keeps the sheet in good order, and hands it off to the mailing house to affix address labels to the direct mail packages.

Lynn also uses spreadsheets, but tracks the messages she sends out in Excel. She tracks the messages sent, when, and from what channel they are sent.

What’s wrong with this picture? While this team may be using the software available to them, they aren’t using it efficiently. None of their systems communicate with each other, so they do not have the opportunity to share data and resources. And no one appears to review the results of their marketing efforts to find out what’s working and what can be improved.

A single donor management and contact management system would make their efforts much easier and more effective.  Such systems integrate with nonprofit accounting systems and share contact information across multiple platforms. John, Lynn, and Susan could easily track not just their efforts but the results, and measure it to find out what worked so they can repeat successes and avoid failures.

Mistake #3: Using personal email addresses to send donor requests

Staff and volunteers may not realize how unprofessional it looks to send donor requests from a personal email address. Not only does it look unprofessional, but it may also compromise your personal email address if the recipient’s contact book is hacked.

Instead of using personal email addresses to send out donor communications, at the very least, professional addresses from the organization should be used. Many donor contact management systems send mass emails from an @ email address so that your private email address is hidden.

Fix It Fast with a Donor Management System

If you recognize any of these mistakes occurring in your organization, it’s time to fix it, and fix it fast, before one mistake lowers your chance of achieving your fundraising goal. Discover the many donor management systems available to you. Contact Welter Consulting  for more information on how your organization can benefit from donor management systems.