Giveffect | All-in-One Nonprofit Software

Giveffect is an all-in-one nonprofit software solution that streamlines your online fundraising systems into one platform.

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Top 5 Tips For Nonprofits from Giveffect Clients 

Giveffect reached out to its clients at the end of the year in a client survey and asked them for their top lessons learned in 2021. They generously shared their insight in this nonprofit tip set.

 

Nonprofit Tip 1: Personal communications are vital.
In their own words, clients said:
“Personal invitations are still the best way to engage donors and volunteers. If you don’t ask you don’t know what their answer will be.”
“Make each donor feel special.”
“Personalize communications as much as possible.”
“Personal contacts are meaningful.”
Tailored messaging was a very popular idea. It’s an easy idea to talk about, but it can be difficult to do for a large number of volunteers and donors. Segmenting your constituents and targeting smaller groups will allow you to create personalized communications.
For example, you can segment by multiple conditions:
– Donors who attended your spring walk events
– Volunteers who attended a fall walk.
– Donors who donated over $100 who volunteered over 100 hours.
Segment; then personalize the messages directly to those individual situations and events. A personal message is far more likely to be read by your constituents. It humanizes your brand, which is all the more important at a time when direct personal contact is often hard to develop.
This strategy isn’t particularly new or exclusive to nonprofits, as Accenture found:

 “91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.”

Accenture survey, 2018

Nonprofit tip 2: Planning matters and the earlier the better.
In their own words:
“Prepare for December donations.”
“Get started earlier than you think you should.”
While everyone is busy when planning a new campaign, it’s always critical to take extra time to review similar campaigns from the past and brainstorm creative new ways to approach the campaign using those lessons. This is particularly important for end-of-year planning and campaigns when a large number of donations come in, but the competition for them is high.
Early planning means you can have more people involved, and that often means they can discuss and find possible problems (and solutions) before the campaign even starts.
And starting early can allow you to hold brainstorming sessions to evaluate new ideas and what you have learned. Sitting down with your marketing group and your campaign group and discussing past issues and new solutions can lead to innovation.
And giving everyone time to ruminate on the needs at hand can lead to random “lightning” moments while washing the dishes from dinner or thinking of the solution in the commute to the office.
However in the end, the real point is to find better ways to engage your audience and the general public. A good idea is to start with the top three ideas from the group and continue to work with them and hone them down into key strategies, which will reveal which ideas will actually work on paper vs. just sound good in the discussion.
As the process progresses, so will your ideas. In fact, some ideas may end very far from where they started, but that starting point was key to the process.  Be sure to give the process plenty of time for revision and review, ideally months ahead of key deliverables on a large project.

Nonprofit Tip 3: Find the positive, be flexible.
In their own words:
“It never hurts to try something new, and going virtual in some aspects has had a silver lining because we can expand to helping and engaging with others in different states and countries.”
“Being able to adjust and pivot to COVID while still fulfilling our mission is vital”
“Diversifying our marketing efforts to engage people of different backgrounds and interests.”
“Be flexible.”
Particularly with the pandemic, staying flexible and positive has been key for many nonprofits. Finding new ways to reach out to communities may lead to many nonprofits offering more options in the future. For example, a community that has a large physically disabled population may take these lessons and create better online outreach and events in the future that serve that population better than in-person.
But you should keep in mind your audience and your regional attitudes. Some areas may be more open to online events and webinars, while other groups inside your nonprofit community may respond to phone or text messages more.
There may even be a demand for some in-person events, but you should always keep safety as a no. 1 concern for your community. But you can take actions like setting up online events. Or events that are partially online and partially in person, with safety protocols.
But flexibility is always key, as regulations and conditions can change. Always have a backup plan for an in-person event. And have a communication strategy set aside to let your attendees know if there is a problem.

Nonprofit Tip 4: Donor engagement/retention is critical.
In their own words:
“More donor engagement is needed. Staffing capacity is the greatest limiting factor we have in meeting fundraising goals. But, this needs to become more of a priority.”
“How to connect with donors and turn volunteers into donors.”
“The pandemic, as well as county-wide significant forest fire, affects so many people.  Funding and donor retention at the 2020 level was not sustainable, but significant focus must be spent on recognition and retention.  Donor retention is the name of the game.”
Donor retention and engagement are always critical for a nonprofit, but even more so when in-personal events are difficult. Right now, this tip can go hand-in-hand with tip 1: personalized communication, as it can help in donor retention and engagement.
But overall, the more donors you retain, the more donations you will continue to receive. As new donors are
Also, staffing and efficiency can be critical to outreach efforts as well. In a tight labor market finding the proper tools to effectively reach out to donors with the least amount of labor hours can make a huge difference.

Nonprofit Tip 5: Volunteers need extra support.
In their own words:
“Volunteers are still concerned with COVID. Taking it slow to return.”
“Volunteers don’t care for gifts [, they] just want to be acknowledged.”
Volunteers can be the life-blood of your nonprofit, from donations to events. They can make the difference from success to failure through their fundraising and support work.
But volunteers also require flexibility and support from a nonprofit, particularly in a pandemic. The more that you can put them in control of their own schedules, the more they can free their time to volunteer.
Acknowledging your volunteers is critical; and as stated above, it doesn’t have to be a physical gift. A simpler personalized note or email, or mention in a larger newsletter can go a long way. Also, just share your appreciation with their peers, as they do talk and they know how important their volunteering, and others’ volunteering, is to a nonprofit.
Tips into action
While this is all great advice, these clients also have a key difference in how they have handled 2021: They use Giveffect. This all-in-one tool helped them learn these lessons in an efficient and productive way and take further measures to address their needs.
From being able to segment your constituency for more effective communications, to smart automation that helps with staffing and donor/volunteer support, Giveffect gives them the ability to test and learn the best way to solve their problems.
Even as the pandemic changes and new problems arise, Giveffect gives clients the ability to easily assess and develop new strategies to take on whatever may come.
Let us help you with your challenges, set up a demo for Giveffect today: