Getting 'Relationship Fundraising' Right With Technology
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Many large, consumer-based businesses invest heavily in state-of-the-art CRM and data warehousing, so they can reach each customer with exactly the right message at right time, building loyalty that results in deeper support — often for a lifetime.
But, improving customer service needn’t break the bank. Here are two technology tips to improve customer service:
- Use business automation software. This can be a lifesaver — it runs silently alongside your database and can be set up to "spot" situations and respond accordingly. For example, upon entry of a large donation, the business automation software could immediately send an e-mail or text to the fundraiser and prompt him or her to make a thank-you call. Or, an inbound e-mail complaint can be intercepted and forwarded to the customer-service manager for action, and a polite response can then be immediately sent. Once set up, you don’t have to remember to respond; the business automation software does it for you.
- Capture enough (but not too much) information at the time of a donation. Remember the five W's: who gave the money; where can you get in touch with them — at least one mailing address, e-mail address or phone number, and the preferred contact method; what they supported; why they gave — did they click on a banner ad or respond to a piece of direct mail; and when — the date and time of their gifts. This data is critical to making your subsequent communications with the donors more relevant.
So, "relationship fundraising" is a mind-set — but the right technology will help you implement it.
Robin Fisk is senior charity technology specialist at ASI.
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