What “We Can’t Afford Fundraising Software” Really Costs You

As I talk with hundreds of nonprofit organizations, I often hear “we just can’t afford a fundraising database right now. What we are using now isn’t costing us anything!” Have you ever made that statement… or thought it?

Free SignI had the incredible privilege of having dinner with Kent Stroman at the AFP International Conference on Fundraising in San Antonio last month. Of course, if you know Kent, you are always in for a treat with his humble Oklahoma style and years of experience in the nonprofit world. Our conversation came around to relationship-building and how it can make you successful in your fundraising efforts.

As the conversation developed, I mentioned that many times the organizations that need fundraising software the most to take their efforts to the next level mention how comfortable they are not currently paying for a service. Kent thought for a minute and then made a statement that immediately jumped out at me: “Let me tell you how much not using software is costing you!”

That wise statement comes from a wealth of knowledge and experience! So, let me tell you how much your “free” system is costing you:

1. Unknown Donor Retention

A spreadsheet won’t allow you see the real-time donor retention percentage for your organization and offer tips on how to increase that percentage. Poor data management means the fundraiser doesn’t have access to truly make their donors tick… meaning they may never giving again.

2. Unknown Engagement

An Excel spreadsheet can’t automatically calculate the level of engagement of each of your donors. Are your donors truly engaged, or are they disengaging and in danger of lapsing? Excel won’t tell you.

3. Poor Communication

That system that isn’t costing you can’t analyze your communication for content allowing for increased response rates, increased giving amounts, and even more recurring (monthly) donors.

4. Inefficiency and Staff Frustration

When giving summaries take days to pull together for a board meeting can you truly say “my system isn’t costing us anything?”

5. Missed Opportunities to Upgrade Donors

When true and successful donor relationships form, the donor not only gives again(retained) but typically gives more!

So, please ask yourself how much your current system is really costing you.

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Wayne Robbins

Wayne Robbins

Wayne Robbins was VP of Sales at Bloomerang. A graduate of Hyles-Anderson College, Wayne has over 15 years experience in nonprofit and faith-based development and fundraising in addition to his 10 years of experience in sales.
By |2017-06-10T19:36:34-04:00April 13th, 2014|Software|

4 Comments

  1. Lance Leasure April 13, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Great points Wayne! The number of nonprofits I encounter who honestly believe that a “free” solution is good enough is dropping fast, which is great news. The remaining hurdles I’m finding are helping them learn how 1) to make the software live up to the promise of the vendor, and 2) to form the habit of using the software for more than a data repository and list generator. But once they do… Oh boy!

  2. Kent Stroman April 22, 2014 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Great article, Wayne! (Did I really say that?)

    Glad I was able to inspire your post. And thanks for fleshing out the idea. Bloomerang does a great job … I wish everyone had such an affordable, usable, and useful tool.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. [News] We’ve done it! | April 22, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

    […] What “We Can’t Afford Fundraising Software” Really Costs You As I talk with hundreds of nonprofit organizations, I often hear “we just can’t afford a fundraising database right now. What we are using now isn’t costing us anything!” Have you ever made that statement… or thought it? @BloomerangTech […]

  4. […] because they aren’t a great solution and certainly aren’t databases. Sure, the nonprofit might save some money, but they’ll likely have a harder time tracking actionable donor […]

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