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3 tech tools that improve nonprofit management

By Murad Bushnaq
December 10, 2019

Close-up of two back-to-back laptops with people typing on them

In order to stay organized, your nonprofit probably has some processes in place to track donations, donor information, and other metrics that help you manage your organization.

However, depending on the process you currently use, you may not be taking the most effective approach. Are you using spreadsheets to track donor data? Are you having issues keeping information organized and updated?

If you answered, “Yes,” to these questions, it might be time to look into some tech tools that can streamline your nonprofit management process. Even if they require an initial investment up-front, these tools can save you time and money down the line.

Our favorite tech tools include:

  1. Content management system
  2. Online donation forms
  3. Constituent relationship management platform

Leveraging the right tech tools can boost your organization’s productivity and help you earn more funds down the line. Let’s take a closer look.

01. Content Management System

1. Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) manages the creation of your website. Your nonprofit’s website serves as a main resource for supporters who want to learn more about your organization and potentially become donors. For that reason, it’s important to maintain a professional, easily navigable, and effective website.

Home page showing three children of different races and ethnicities smiling at the camera

Choose a CMS that doesn’t require extensive coding knowledge so that anyone from your organization’s staff can manage your website. Using a non-technical platform will enable your team to:

  • Easily format your website. A CMS with drag-and-drop features and live editing tools will allow you to experiment with your design as well as view how it looks on the front end of your website in real time.
  • Make everything mobile responsive. Mobile responsiveness means that your website can easily be viewed on any type of device, whether it’s a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. This feature prevents web visitors from leaving your site due to frustrating user experience on a mobile device. 
  • Use SEO tools. Make your website easier to find in search engines by leveraging meta titles, meta descriptions, and customizable URLs that target specific keywords you want your organization to rank for.

Looking for inspiration? Check out this list of top nonprofit websites to get some ideas.

02. Online Donation Forms

2. Online Donation Forms

If you’re not leveraging online donation forms that are built directly into your website, you may be missing out on a lot of donation revenue. Online donations forms are an important part of your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy and can make it easier to manage your donations.

Keeping your donation form on your website helps instill trust in your donors and makes it easier for you to manage your donation data. It’s ideal if you can create a donation page through your CMS platform so you can easily edit the form and ensure it matches the branding and styling of the rest of your site. 

Three online donation featuring photos of the activities the organizations support

Look for a platform that offers a custom form builder to help you collect information from site visitors, such as newsletter sign-ups, volunteer registration forms, career applications, and others.

Keep these best practices in mind as you design your donation form:

  • Brand it to your organization and website. Clearly display your organization’s logo to instill trust in your donors and reassure them that their donation is going directly to you. If your CMS comes with a form builder, all of your forms will automatically match your website’s branding.
  • Offer multiple giving options. Add a recurring donation option and suggested giving amounts to help donors decide when and how much to give.
  • Make it minimal. Less is more! Don’t overwhelm your donors with too many fields, or you risk the chance of them abandoning the form altogether. Restrict your form fields to only the essentials and indicate whether they are mandatory or optional.
  • Include a thank-you message. Be sure to thank site visitors for filling out your donation form and let them know that their information was received. Look for a CMS that allows you to customize the message and send automatic email confirmations.

Easily manage your donations using a donation form created specifically with your nonprofit in mind. By branding it to your organization and only asking for the information you need, you’ll bring in even more funds.

If you’re looking for additional donation page design tips, check out this helpful guide.

03. Constituent Relationship Management

3. Constituent Relationship Management Platform

Many nonprofits have to update their donor data manually across multiple systems, which can lead to human error and the loss of important information. For that reason, look for a CMS that integrates with most constituent relationship management (CRM) platforms so you can eliminate redundancy and keep your data up-to-date.

What is a nonprofit CRM?

A nonprofit CRM allows you to track metrics about your supporters, such as donation history, donor stewardship history, demographic information, contact preferences, and more. It’s an efficient way to keep track of all of your constituents, personalize your outreach, and most important, keep all of your data organized.

Why is this integration important?

Your website is constantly collecting new information, including donations, email subscriptions, and volunteer applications. If these forms don’t send data directly to your CRM, you’ll have to add it manually, which takes time away from your staff and can also lead to disorganized records.

Once you have this donor data organized, you can then:

  • Personalize your outreach by referencing past gifts and other information about your constituents. Sort your constituents into different mailing lists to tailor your messaging based on their past interactions with your organization.
  • Cultivate long-lasting relationships with your donors. With updated contact information, you’ll be able to stay connected and show the impact of their donations.
  • Keep your donors involved through volunteer opportunities, event invitations, and more.

Your CRM serves as an integral part of your nonprofit’s tool kit. Be sure to choose nonprofit CRM software that will help you stay organized and on top of your constituent data. From there, your nonprofit management process will become much easier.

Closing thoughts

Finding the right tech tools for your nonprofit will help you streamline your website, donations, and constituent management processes. Though these solutions may require an initial investment up-front, the donations you raise and the time your staff saves can be well worth it in the long run.

Start with this guide as a way to educate your organization about what you need, and then you’ll be ready to leverage these tools as part of your daily operations.

Tags: Technology; Websites