All-in-One Online Fundraising System Key to Effective Constituent Relationship Management
Marjorie Jones clicked on the "Order Now" button of the Parents in Recovery website, proud that her business, Jones Investments, had grown to the point where she could now afford to purchase a gold sponsorship at PIR's annual fundraising gala, "New Families, New Starts."
For the past five years, Marjorie had volunteered at the nonprofit, served on several committees, participated in the annual 10K run and made modest annual donations. Now she was ready to do more. Her gold sponsorship included a table for 10 guests. She'd give nine of those tickets to her most well-heeled clients so they could learn firsthand about PIR's life-changing work. She'd also urge them to join her in becoming PIR supporters.
After a short delay, the PIR website displayed a "thank you" message and a confirmation number. Satisfied, Marjorie jotted it down and then turned her attention back to managing her business.
Over the following week, Marjorie received five e-mails and three phone calls from PIR staffers. Two of the e-mails, sent to her private e-mail address, invited her to buy tickets to the gala. This was followed by a phone call to her home. She explained politely that she was already a gold sponsor. The PIR staffer apologized, and Marjorie thought no more about it until she received an additional e-mail asking her to consider volunteering at the gala to take tickets and show guests to their tables. This was followed by yet another phone call. Once again, Marjorie politely informed the volunteer coordinator that she was a gold sponsor and would not be able to serve as an usher or "man" the reception desk.
Finally, Marjorie received a "personal" message from the PIR CEO at her business e-mail address asking "business leaders like you" to join the platinum club by donating at least $25,000 per year. Among other benefits, this included a gold sponsorship to the annual gala. The following day, two different platinum program coordinators phoned Marjorie, leaving urgent messages with her secretary to schedule meetings to discuss "PIR's importance to the community."
This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Now Marjorie was really angry. None of her clients would have tolerated such impersonal treatment. She had been a loyal supporter for five years, yet PIR seemed to have no idea who she was or how - or even if - she was supporting the organization. If PIR was so disorganized internally, she wondered, how effectively could it serve families in crisis? She began to consider shopping around for a more professionally managed nonprofit.
This fictionalized scenario is all too common in the real world. Of course, nonprofits like these don't intentionally alienate donors and supporters. All too often, they simply lack an adequate infrastructure for fundraising and advocacy, relying on a patchwork of donor tracking and communications systems that create separate silos of information spread across multiple departments.
The marketing department, for example, may be using an e-mail marketing program to create and track solicitation campaigns. The information about the resulting donations, however, is collected by the development department, which records the names of the donors and the amounts they've contributed in a separate donor tracking system. Since the e-mail campaign and the campaign results cannot be evaluated together, it's impossible for the two departments to collaborate and optimize these efforts.
The marketing department may also maintain a second database, perhaps in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, to capture contact information for event attendees, some of whom may be invited guests of the sponsors recruited by members of the development department. Once again, there is a fatal disconnect between both systems and departments.
The results are predictable. With no way to centrally track and coordinate activity across the organization, each department acts independently. Prospects and supporters receive redundant, sometimes conflicting solicitations. Multiple copies of expensively bound and printed annual reports are mailed to stakeholders and supporters. Business leaders like Marjorie are hounded by well-meaning but inadequately equipped marketing, volunteer and development staff.
In today's nonprofit environment, there's no excuse for this kind of chaos and inefficiency. There are companies now that offer "all-in-one" online systems for fundraising and advocacy that collect and consolidate all stakeholder information in a centralized database.
Fundraisers need a platform that includes a comprehensive array of fully integrated online fundraising and communications applications for donor tracking, website content management, online marketing, social networking, personal fundraising, online donations, online auctions and event management.
David Blyer is the founder and CEO of DonorCommunity, the first All-In-One software solution to provide online fundraising exclusively for the nonprofit sector. The company helps small to midsized nonprofits create awareness, cultivate donors, reach new potential donors and raise funds year-round.
David Blyer is co-founder, CEO and president of Arreva, a digital fundraising, donor relationship management, health care hospitality and auction software that has been serving the nonprofit industry for more than three decades.
David founded DonorCommunity in 1999, the first all-in-one fundraising software, and co-founded Arreva with Susan Packard Orr, through a merger with her company, Telosa, in 2017. Since forming Arreva, David merged two companies, acquired two companies, and integrated all technologies into one unified online platform and expanded the organization's account base in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In 1994, he co-founded Vento Software, a provider of packaged vertical business intelligence applications, and served as CEO and president until November 1999, when Vento was acquired. After the acquisition, he served as president of the company's Enabling Technologies Division, opened offices in the U.S., Latin America and South Africa, and built a distribution partnership to expand globally and participated in acquiring 40-plus companies in a roll-up strategy.
Prior to Vento, Blyer held executive management and sales positions with Tandem, NCR and other leading technology/consulting firms.
David remains active in community affairs, serving as a member of the Entrepreneurs Council at Nova Southeastern University since September 2006, and the university's Blue Ribbon Scholarship Committee. He received the Nova Southeastern University Student Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013 Alumnus of the Year. He is actively involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida and Davie Police Athletic League.
David received his MBA in finance from Nova Southeastern University, and his Bachelor’s of Arts in business management from the University of South Florida.