Leveraging systems and technology for fundraising success
The strengths and weaknesses of fundraising technology systems are an integral factor in the success or failure of your institution’s campaign. Your system must manage several key processes, including recognizing a campaign’s defined time period, and then understanding it is not an ongoing process. It also must track progress of campaign goals and milestones, and understand the difference between a pledge and a gift. Most fundraising systems can accept and record one-time gifts, but many do not understand the concept of a pledge.
Your institution’s systems must also determine between different types of giving, including designating funds to specific areas and managing restricted funds and unrestricted funds. In addition, information technology (IT) systems should track your campaign budget, recording both revenue and campaign expenses. Tracking revenue and expenses within your fundraising system increases visibility into total campaign activity.
An effective fundraising solution can help your institution:
- Track past pledges associated with prior campaigns with projections of asks for the current campaign
- Generate analytics for specific donors and enhanced reporting and dashboards
- Provide necessary pledge and payment acknowledgements and tax reporting
- Integrate with your accounting system and mapping to the appropriate accounts and general ledger segments
- Identify major individual and institutional prospects, creating donor profiles with demographics, financial information and other key areas of interest
- Manage donor segmentation, email marketing and key distribution lists, and leverage social media to find and cultivate donors
Finally, your institution’s fundraising system must have the ability to manage your campaign structure, and segment your campaign into subcomponents that reflect how donations are actually managed and tracked. For example, the fundraising campaign’s overall goal can be tracked by various affinity groups, geographies or other groupings, reflecting the team, including staff and volunteer assignments. Dashboards can provide enhanced insight, detailing the campaign structure and team assignments.