Create a Social CRM Experience
The main fundraising-related goal of all nonprofit organizations should be to create a great giving experience for donors.
To achieve that positive giving experience, fundraisers must meet five key elements:
- Create a sense of belonging in your donors, so they feel they’re recognized for their contributions, both immediately and in future interactions;
- build trust, so donors know at any time and with confidence that their gifts were received;
- provide instant gratification by showing donors how their gifts specifically helped the organization come one step closer to achieving its mission;
- foster a sense of social impact; and
- allow for emotional release, for example, when a donor feels so strongly about a cause or event that the act of helping evokes passion, whether it’s a sense of relief, sadness or accomplishment.
The best way to provide a rewarding giving experience is to implement a social constituent-relationship-management system within your nonprofit. A social CRM system enables you to drive meaningful interactions and relationships with donors. It extends beyond the simple collection and analysis of critical information, becoming a knowledge platform to be shared and utilized across departments, chapters and the whole organization. The platform enables organizations to understand the value of every supporter’s complete relationship and serves as a launching point for
more meaningful communications and interactions.
Using a social CRM knowledge platform for information about your supporters, such as interests and personal contacts, helps you create a positive giving experience for donors, better target them with personalized communications and improve your fundraising efforts. A social CRM system also must provide organizations with interactive and engaging communications; real-time data analytics; role-specific, data-driven workflow automation; and social wallet capabilities. Following are suggestions for how to use your social CRM system.
Work from a knowledge platform
A highly flexible and feature-rich database should be at the core of your nonprofit’s CRM system. This will help you centrally record and manage the most important aspects of your relationships with your contacts, thus providing better giving experiences for them. Integrating input from nonprofit staff, volunteers and supporters, a social CRM database allows your nonprofit to build more complete contact profiles, automatically record online interactions, track offline activities, manage donor financial transactions and segment your constituency. Wealth-screening tools also are part of the knowledge platform, and work to identify and cultivate your organization’s best donor prospects. Having this type of information at your disposal will tell you which prospects to focus on and what an appropriate
donation amount is for each donor depending on his or her economic status.
Design interactive communities
A social CRM platform also should include relationship-management solutions that foster interactive communities throughout your organization. A group of nonprofit employees, volunteers and donors share content and a common set of data in order to enhance communications and community spirit. Interactive features drive the group to efficiently achieve fundraising and program objectives and, at the same time, create an extraordinary sense of accomplishment and commitment, as well as a significant giving experience for donors and staff. With a social CRM system, nonprofits can use extensive knowledge to make interactions more productive and meaningful. The more defined and targeted the knowledge your community shares, the more effectively your community will function and the greater the fundraising accomplishments will be.
For example, a campaign-wide online activity report helps supporters monitor fundraising progress. Statistics such as total dollars contributed
and rankings of top fundraisers create friendly competition and drive staff and volunteers toward successful completion of campaign goals.
Identify and target donors
Affinity, propensity and capacity are key in identifying and targeting potential major-gift donors. Information such as assets, affiliations and professional history can be critical when approaching prospects. Real-time access to internally generated and externally acquired data is necessary for effective fundraising. By analyzing individual donor and prospect information — and looking at their relationships and affinities — fundraisers can target the right people in the right ways.
Configurable, role-specific workflow automation enables automation of all business data and processes. A social CRM system that provides a centralized hub for updating all interactions and milestones will help fundraisers manage opportunities and workflow. These tools allow fundraisers to set due dates, priority, status and other task information, allowing them to monitor the tasks they’ve assigned, keep track of progress throughout the organization and ensure projects are completed on time. This results in consistent, best-practice approaches to report on information organization-wide.
Give donors more choices
A social CRM system should offer a holistic view of an individual’s contributions and accommodate preferred methods of giving, including donor-advised, fund debit cards. At a basic level, a fully integrated payment service offers a broad spectrum of real-time payment options, secures transaction processing and enables organizations to effectively collect donations online. But organizations must offer and track designations for supporters. Donors want to have choice, power and visibility into how their contributions are used within a nonprofit. Soft credits, advanced householding, split receipts and fund accounting enable organizations to offer ongoing transparency and remind donors of their social impact.
A social CRM system is a revolutionary way your organization can provide a better giving experience for your donors. The giving experience empowers stewardship by arming your organization with the information and tools needed to deliver on promises.
Harry E. Gruber, M.D., is CEO of Kintera.