Non-profit organizations that rely on donations strive to keep administrative costs low and donor engagements high. Part of the efforts to achieve these goals may involve manual administrative activities, often performed by volunteers or part-time employees. Unfortunately, this practice puts important aspects of the fundraising operation in jeopardy. Consistency, timeliness and personal touches are difficult to maintain when the organization’s donation process is mostly manual.
Automated donation workflows provided by modern technologies help organizations to efficiently capture and store accurate donor data, and leverage this data to improve communications with individuals, better track the donation process, and ultimately collect the funds your non-profit needs to support its mission with less efforts. Your organization can target and track solicitations more accurately, and respond to donations with personalized and consistent messages that encourage donors to continue contributing – in a streamlined, efficient and fast manner.
A Better, Smarter Way to Capture Data
All non-profits run on forms to collect important information on the donors and other stakeholders they deal with. Whether individuals are signing up as members, receiving services, or volunteering, they will almost always be asked to fill out a form. Filling out paper forms can be a bad experience – especially when asked to provide the same information repeatedly or are required to wade through questions that aren’t relevant. And manually inputing data from the paper forms to the non-profit organization’s core system is time-consuming and error-prone. However, digital form solutions like Xpertdoc Smart Forms provide a better, faster way to capture donor information at every step of the donation process, and store it in your CRM system, improving data accuracy and internal productivity.
Smart Forms are intelligent, web-based forms that enable donors to swiftly enter and submit their information via an entirely electronic process. Instead of burdening potential donors with lengthy questionnaires, Smart Forms ask only relevant and necessary questions once, eliminating duplicated data entry. Guided functions embedded in the forms, such as definitions, mandatory fields and warnings, assist donors throughout the completion process, ensuring the required information is error-free and complete the first time.
Business rules apply to Smart Forms can also be configured to present questions according to information provided by individuals as they fill out the form. If a donor indicates they do not wish to receive a tax receipt for their donation, the form will not request them to enter the information needed to issue these documents – related questions will remain hidden, and the donor will continue answering questions relevant to their situation.
Non-profits can embed short videos in Xpertdoc Smart Forms to help donors make choices such as designating the program they want to support. Donors can click to play videos that describe each program, show volunteers providing the services, and demonstrate how the program benefits the community it serves. All the information needed to earmark their donation is conveniently located near the boxes they must check. Donors won’t have to hunt for more information on the internet or search for printed brochures. This makes the decision to donate a lot simpler for individuals – which increases chances of retaining potentially recurring donors.
Automated Creation and Delivery of Personalized Communications
Once captured in Smart Forms, donor information is automatically stored in your organizations’ connected CRM platform. You can use this information throughout the donation process to segment donors into categories – donation amount, giving frequency, program supported, etc. – and trigger the delivery of personalized communications via automated workflows.
Automated workflows offered by technologies like Xpertdoc Smart Flows provide the ability to create and deliver template-based correspondence that includes donor data stored in your system, in a single click; dynamic templates associated with your flows ensure your documents are consistent across your non-profit organization and personalized with accurate information. You can configure automated workflows at any step of the donation process to instantly deliver data-driven communications like welcome messages, tax receipts or certificates recognizing milestones, such as a lifetime donation amount or longevity of a donor’s support.
A welcome series is a good example of a triggered process. It lets supporters know you’ve received their donations; doing so in a swift and efficient manner shows donors how much the non-profit values their participation and demonstrates the entity is well-organized. Immediate donation acknowledgements imply the donor’s money will support the non-profit’s programs right away. Moreover, through a pre-defined set of direct mail and digital messages delivered over time, the welcome series reinforces the donor’s decision to give. The welcome messages also provide the information necessary for supporters to share news of their participation with their friends and relatives, creating opportunities to collect added donations from referred individuals.
Delivering personalized, relevant and consistent communications at the right times in the donor relationship can have a favorable impact on their experience. It shows you recognize individuals for their contributions and reinforces the trust they have in you organization, which can lead to more engagements.
Operational Benefits of Automated Donation Process
An automated donation process addresses a common obstacle for non-profit organizations – high staff turnover. When operations are mostly manual, every time an organization replaces a staff member, a little knowledge walks out the door. It may take weeks or months for the new person to learn the ropes. In the meantime, new employees or volunteers can make mistakes or even fail to complete critical tasks. In contrast, organizations that automate their process to trigger immediate creation and delivery of templates-based, personalized solicitations, acknowledgements, tax receipts, and other correspondence can continue operations without interruption.
Automation gives non-profit organizations more time to accomplish their missions. It prevents staff frustration that accompanies tedious repetitive tasks and lets employees and volunteers focus on the reasons your non-profit exists. Examine your organization’s systems for handling donations and consider how a streamlined, automated donation process leveraging accurate donor data can help you build personalized communications and experience in a more efficient way than with manual operations.