“To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven”
– The Byrds
For some organizations, a PayPal button is all that is required. If your organization is in start-up mode, you probably don’t yet have an enormous volume of donors, dollars, and processes.
However, an important question to ask — of all things really — is, “Does this process scale with me as a I grow?”
Rachel has started a nonprofit focussed on helping stray dogs and cats find new homes. She posts a few messages on Facebook to let people know what she’s doing – and includes a link to her PayPal page so people can help keep her mission moving forward.
Soon enough, people respond:
- She immediately gets 20 donors.
- 10 of them give a monthly gift of $25
- She sends each an email receipt and a physical thank you letter.
- 15 of them want to receive email updates about her progress.
- Rachel tracks all of this on a spreadsheet
A great start. And if this is where it all ends, then end of story.
Turn, turn, turn…
Fast-forward two years.
- Rachel has 200 donors.
- 75 of them are giving monthly gifts
- She launched a website to help connect pets with homes
- She is struggling to keep up with receipts, thank you letters, expiring credit cards, change of address requests, cancelled recurring gifts, occasional refunds, unsubscribe requests… the list goes on
- She has hired an assistant to help her manage it all
- Rachel still tries to track all of this on a spreadsheet
- As funny as it sounds, the more she grows, the more frustrating the “work” of doing good has become.
Turn, turn, turn…
It started with a Facebook post and a donate button. If you give people enough of a reason, they want to help. They want to do good. But as your mission propels forward, the complexity of doing good on a wider and wider scale can be overwhelming.
Nonprofits need smart and cost effective ways to connect with donors and automate processes. Otherwise, success will lead to a tidal wave of manual processes that will keep you busy, rather than being productive.
Fortunately, there are a myriad of fantastic web-based tools that can help. Look for tools and services that:
- Provide an intuitive giving experience
- Integrate with your essential systems
- Automate your most time consuming processes
- Empower your donors to manage their information and giving
- Are attentive to answering your questions and helping you grow
Surely this list goes on and on, but the pain points that nonprofits deal with each day are real and have significant consequences. They aren’t just annoying, they are holding back the impact for good that an organization can have on its community. And moreover, that donors have entrusted you to pursue.
Undoubtedly, we believe RaiseDonors is a great place to start. But with or without RaiseDonors, it’s time to take the next step.
Take your life back from manual processes. Inspire generosity. Grow your impact.
Let’s get to it.
About The Author: Stephen Boudreau
Stephen is Co-Founder of RaiseDonors. He spends his days helping growing nonprofits discover better ways to do online fundraising.
More posts by Stephen Boudreau