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8 Ways You Need to Use Technology for Your Next Fundraising Campaign

Improve your organisation’s fundraising, volunteering, and outreach projects with these tech solutions and ideas!

More companies are embracing fundraising and volunteering as a way to give back to their communities and improve their workforce cohesion. If your brand is working to make fundraising a regular goal, then it’s important to have the software to back up your plans — and that’s where outreach can get a little complicated.

Unless your organisation is a nonprofit, your everyday tools may not be specifically designed to help with volunteering, fundraising, or other types of community involvement. To really recruit technology for your side, it’s important to find the right solutions for your giving goals. Here are the top ways to use software solutions to make your fundraising efforts easier and more focused, no matter what type of business you are working with.

1. Send Mobile-Friendly Emails

Email doesn’t get as much attention as it used to — but just because social media and instant messaging are trendy doesn’t mean they are always as effective. In fact, as different mediums develop, email is starting to specialise in more professional reach outs (it’s especially effective for fundraising efforts), which makes it perfect for fundraising or contacting people about volunteer activities. However, quality is vital: Send out strong, clear emails with engaging graphics, a simple message, and a visible CTA. Make sure they don’t look too much like ads or newsletters so that readers understand this is a different occasion.

Additionally, make your emails as mobile friendly as possible. Find the mobile expert on your team and check compatibility, images, load times, and all other mobile-related optimisation issues. More than half of today’s emails are opened on mobile devices, so you need proper mobile compatibility when sending out your messages.

2. Accept Payments Through Social Media and Email

If you are fundraising for a specific cause and aren’t focusing on activities (silent auctions, etc.) then digital payments can be a very powerful tool for your efforts. We’re not just talking about PayPal, either. Today, many popular platforms allow you to exchange money with contacts. Facebook has a whole set of tools that allows people to communicate and donate through the social network. Twitter and Snapchat both have options to instantly give money via the right hashtags and filters, while YouTube uses donation cards, and even Gmail allows for instant money transfers.

Side note: For an expanded version of this step, adopt mobile payment options. Android, Apple, and Samsung Pay all allow users to quickly transfer money from mobile wallets. Since everyone has a phone, this works especially well at fundraising events and casual activities where it becomes very easy for guests to donate.

3. Use Mobile Bidding

The silent auction is a time-tested method for businesses and other organisations to raise funds for a cause they are trying to support. Fortunately, technology has now made the process of setting up and conducting a silent auction much more effective. If you aren’t using mobile bidding for your silent auction, this is an excellent time to start. Mobile bidding makes the process faster, more accurate, more private, and more open to analysis afterward. Give it a place in your fundraising strategy and enjoy the results!

4. Crowdfund to Fund a Need

It’s understandable if your company feels trepidation about adopting a crowdfunding site to raise money for a cause. Not all crowdfunding sites support such fundraising, and not all are trustworthy. But those that do have a good reputation and that support the type of fundraising you are interested in can be excellent focal points to direct employees, customers, and other interested parties. If you like the idea of such a hub, then look into options like Fundly, GoFundMe, Booster, and other sites. There are other fundraisers that focus on very specific types of fundraising, so doing a little research is a good idea.

5. Adopt Volunteer Scheduling Software

In a world crowded with data solutions, it’s no surprise that some vendors have developed tools for businesses to help organise their volunteer efforts. If your outreach programs are less focused on fundraising and more on getting employees to volunteer, then pick up some scheduling software to make the project go much smoother. These tools offer web forms for signing up, shift planning, signups for specific skills or projects, hours tracking, and much more.

6. Keep a Database of Donors and Volunteers

This is an important step, and can usually be accomplished with a CRM system or just a basic spreadsheet, so your organisation probably doesn’t need to adopt any new tools. But it is very important to record those who have participated in fundraising and volunteering in the past. Send them thank-yous afterward, and send them personal requests and reminders for your next event! You collect data to establish communication with customers: Why not do the same thing for your outreach?

7. Talk About It on Workplace Social Media

Today’s social media for business, like Yammer, is an ideal place to bring up your next fundraising project and how employees can help. There are several reasons for bringing this up on social media. First, it’s an organic way to raise interest, provide information, and answer questions all in the same space. Second, it helps recruit employees more reliably, and employees benefit in many ways from volunteering. Increase participation rates with social media and make sure to post a few follow-up pictures to show off the results of the project and how everyone’s work helped out.

8. Use It in Your Marketing

Finally, after a project is completed, your organisation should look for ways to branch out into other platforms and create new content that can be used in marketing. A simple Instagram photo of smiling volunteers can have a very healthy brand impact. Spread that to Facebook or Twitter with new posts and video clips, and you have a powerful marketing initiative that can improve brand loyalty. The right scheduling software can help coordinate these efforts.

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