Fundraising Tools: The Age of Fundraising Automation is Here

April 3, 2019
6 minutes
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Fundraising friend, your life is about to get a whole lot easier. The age of fundraising automation is here! No, this doesn’t mean impersonal bots galore running your fundraising program. We’ll pass on that, thanks. Fundraising automation means more personalization and better relationship building that doesn’t require you to work more. And we’re not over here in some fantasyland when we say that. The incredible changes to digital tools really are making our best fundraising dreams come true.

Let’s chat about how automation can make your fundraising dreams come true.

First things first. What’s automation?

It’s pretty simple actually. Automation uses behavior to trigger a particular action. In fundraising, this could be donor behavior or email list subscriber behavior. This behavior is anything from making a gift, visiting a certain page on your website, or even an upcoming credit card expiration date. The behaviors each have a defined follow up action that could be sending an email, adding a tag in your database, and so on. There are a lot of possibilities.

This sounds too good to be true. Could this really work for my nonprofit?

Yep, automation really can work its magic for your nonprofit. While setting up automation workflows can involve some upfront investment time (unless you're using Funraise!), once they are up and running, you’ll free up more of your time. And of course, you’ll want to evaluate your automations over time to make sure they are working to the fullest potential.

The bottom line is that too many nonprofit professionals spend time manually doing tasks that technology can automate.

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Okay, so where should my nonprofit start with automations?

There are a lot of places to start, but one of the best things you can do is take a few minutes to write a list of tasks or processes that you do on a regular basis. This could include things like: sending out acknowledgment receipts, following up on expired credit cards, welcoming new donors, sending out annual tax receipts, and so on (P.S., with Funraise, we've made automation super simple with customizable automations based on donation activity).

Once you’ve got your list, start by picking one item to automate. You may need to research which tools can help you with the automation. More than likely it’s going to involve your email marketing software and/or your donor database. In an ideal world, these two tools are able to talk to each other, obvi. And guess what? With Funraise's growing library of integrations, including Mailchimp, automation is a cinch!

We promise this doesn’t have to be so complicated. We’ve got your back, fundraising friend. Let’s pinky promise to spend less time doing manual tasks.

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