How Many Nonprofit Tech Tools Does Your Organization Need?
We live in the era of high performance tech. Everyone is getting on board—even nonprofits. Or, should I say, especially nonprofits. Your fundraising training never prepared you for all the nonprofit tech tools. There’s a blithering array of CRMs, wealth scanning platforms and market scoring systems; that doesn’t include the automated event managers, peer-to-peer trackers and the rest.
And while this tsunami of tech has overwhelmed fundraisers, the general office isn’t far behind.
All this is well and good. Except… when it isn’t.
The question is, just how many gadgets do you need? What will they do for you?
Let’s hope you haven’t fallen for the lie that these tech wonders will solve your fundraising dilemmas—because they won’t.
They’re tools. Their usefulness is only as great as the skill you bring to them.
A lot of what passes as fundraising training these days isn’t. Instead, it’s training on how to manipulate software.
Fundraising training isn’t learning to be adroit and clever on the computer. Effective fund development has nothing to do with technology. It’s about people.
The carpenter who has developed skills with a hammer and saw knows it is in how he applies those skills to his trade that results in the product he’s looking for. His tools don’t decide; they don’t act; he does.
Before you can choose your tools, you must have the right mindset. That’s called learning the “soft skills.”
“But that’s too simple,” you say. “I need to drill down and learn the fine points of data mining and market analysis.” Well yes—and no. The so-called “soft skills” are easy to understand in principle but far more difficult to execute.
So where do you begin? You must have an appreciation of human nature before all else. People come in all sizes and stripes. The good news is—human nature is amazingly consistent across culture and time.
Here at The Eight Principles™ our number one focus is helping fundraisers—both professional and volunteer—adopt the mindset, which produces long-lasting results that scale. Our fundraising training programs focus on this goal.
Principle 6 of The Eight Principles™ is Divide & Grow™. Building your fundraising program around this principle requires understanding the subtle “whys” of philanthropy and yet it’s essence is simple. “Treat different people differently.”
This is why I often say that fundraising isn’t about money. It’s about people. And it’s not even about you. It’s about those who invest in the lives of others. Keep this in the forefront of your mind and you’ll be much less likely to binge on tech tools.
Look at your program. Get the fundraising training that counts. Decide what tools you need. Get the best and stick with them. That’s the formula for getting the most from your technology.
To your fundraising success!
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
Reach Larry on social media at: