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Love At First Sight: Getting To The Heart Of Fundraising With Effective Reporting

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The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Donor Data Management

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Fundraisers often have a love/hate relationship with fundraising CRM reports.

Picture this: your donor data and fundraising trends reports are due, but instead of the usual stress, you’re calm, prepared, and even proud of what you’re about to submit. Sounds ideal, right? Let’s find out how to achieve that level of reporting Zen consistently.

Why report love matters

Choosing a donor database is a pivotal decision for nonprofit fundraisers, influenced mainly by reporting capabilities.

Drawing from my extensive background as a senior fundraising counsel and coach and having interacted with countless nonprofits, it’s clear that the quality of reporting can vary significantly across different price points. My Dad’s axiom rings true, “you get what you pay for.”

Modern CRM reporting is crucial for several reasons, namely because the right reports will help you:

  • Evaluate performance: Get a bird’s-eye view of your organization’s fundraising efficacy by analyzing key metrics like donation amounts, donor engagement, and campaign success.
  • Gain donor insights: Deep dive into your donors’ behaviors, preferences, and giving patterns so you can tailor your outreach for better engagement and support.
  • Optimize campaigns: Identify what works and what doesn’t so you can fine tune your efforts for maximum impact.
  • Manage financial planning: Keep a pulse on your finances to streamline budgeting, forecasting, and resource allocation for sustainable growth and stability.
  • Implement donor retention strategies: Uncover insights on retention rates to strengthen donor loyalty and reduce donor attrition.
  • Measure Impact: Link fundraising successes to specific projects or programs, showcasing the tangible outcomes made possible through donor support.
  • Comply with regulatory requirements: Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory obligations, maintaining a transparent record of financial transactions and donor interactions.
  • Make better strategic decisions: Take advantage of data-driven insights for informed planning and execution.
  • Communicate more effectively with your board and stakeholders: Offer a clear, quantifiable view of your organization’s fundraising activities to boards and potential fundraisers, building trust and accountability.

Key reporting features

The most impactful reports encompass a variety of aspects, from donation trends to donor retention. The ability to build customized reports using templates and analyze data in real time has notably enhanced my fundraising efforts. This adaptability is crucial for strategic decision making and underscores the value of upgrading to a more advanced platform.

While this post focuses on donor reports, see this link to learn more about reports on volunteer activities.

Ease of use: A game changer

Ease of use significantly affects the adoption and effectiveness of a CRM. Features like step-by-step reporting guides, a vast selection of predesigned templates, and the ability to customize data fields for targeted insights are pivotal. They streamline the reporting process, making it not just about number-crunching but a strategic tool for engagement and decision-making.

Look for a variety of predesigned report templates that include:

  • Newest Donors
  • Loyal Donors
  • Monthly Donors
  • Donors to Call Immediately
  • Projected Revenue
  • Downgrades
  • Household Averages
  • Pledge Reminders
  • One-time Donors
  • Online Givers
  • Employer Relationships

Is that list long enough for you?

I saved the best for last: a predesigned report tailored to high-potential donors. This is a group of donors whose high level of engagement is matched by their high Bloomerang Generosity ScoresTM. To take advantage of these types of insights and potentially raise more revenue, look to Bloomerang, which exclusively integrates this “Predictive Giving” prospect research data right into its CRM.

You can also customize your own data fields and apply filters for targeted insights.

These automated reporting options make your fundraising process more efficient.

If you’re currently using Excel or Google Sheets, transferring that data into a modern CRM is straightforward. A good vendor will help you with all aspects of the transfer. Once you’ve uploaded your donor or volunteer data, you can access an easy-to-understand interface and highly intuitive reporting templates. This ease of reporting is one of the main reasons many nonprofits switch to a new donor/volunteer CRM.

“Reporting is not just list generation as it used to be! Now it’s about making sense of the data, the giving trends, and knowing more about your donor’s behavior toward your organization. That’s why we use “filter-based” reporting instead of the complex queries of our competitors. “Filter-based” reporting is a streamlined approach that simplifies data retrieval and analysis. Unlike complex queries involving intricate logic and multiple conditions, filter-based reporting focuses on selecting specific criteria to narrow down results.” Diana Otero, Product Marketing Manager at Bloomerang, is actively involved in nonprofits, having served on the board of the Nantahala Hiking Club, one of the 31 trail-maintaining clubs of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Leveraging reports for strategic growth

Reports aren’t just numbers and lists; they’re the roadmap to elevating your nonprofit’s success.

They empower you to make strategic decisions regarding donor engagement, campaign development, and donor retention strategies, ultimately boosting your return on investment donor satisfaction.

The CRM you want should not only simplify report generation but also support automatic scheduling and feedback mechanisms, fostering a community among users and facilitating continuous improvement.

“I prefer CRMs that record a lot of interactions automatically, which reduces the burden on our team to update records. This also means that we have better data about who is engaging with us and what is resonating with them. Our communications, appeals, and reports continue to improve as we learn from the data Bloomerang captures.” Valerie Fitton-Kane, VP Development, Challenger Center

Don’t believe me? Listen to a nonprofit user

The Education Foundation of Lake County’s experience underscores the transformative power of an effective CRM. They’re dedicated to supporting Lake County, Florida schools in evaluating the needs of students and teachers and securing resources to ensure that every student and teacher has a better classroom experience. With a $1.5 million annual budget, here are a few of their key impacts:

  • Teachers: More than 2,857 teachers have been positively influenced by the foundation’s initiatives.
  • Investment in our schools: The foundation has invested an impressive $1,616,727 in Lake County schools.
  • Students impacted: 59,434 students have benefited from the foundation’s programs.

So you can see why having the right CRM was so particularly important.

Amber Castellano, the Foundation’s communication and events specialist, and Kacey Edmondson, the donor development relations specialist, explained that the Foundation faced challenges in tracking donations, updating donor information, and maintaining effective communication with benefactors. Edmondson said the old database was inefficient: “It was so cumbersome that we couldn’t get quick information.” By partnering with Bloomerang, they achieved a more effective donation tracking system—leading to a 15% increase in donations year over year—better donor communication, and significantly increased their funding outcomes, highlighting the critical role of modern CRMs in nonprofit success.

“The ability to schedule reports has saved as much as two hours in a day.” Kacey Edmondson, Donor Dev. Relations Specialist

Why you too can LOVE CRM reports

When combined with the right tools and mindset, fundraising reports can significantly boost your nonprofit’s efficiency, strategic alignment, and community impact.

Modern CRMs, with robust reporting capabilities and user-friendly interfaces, enable you to not just meet but exceed your fundraising goals.

Embrace the power of reporting and unlock the potential to propel your organization toward greater success.

What’s your experience of the value of fundraising CRM reports? Let us know in the comments below.

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