FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Increase Donor Loyalty with a Membership Program

AdventistQuilt

Membership programs may have many practical benefits, but the biggest benefit to an organization is their potential to increase donor loyalty. Someone who sees herself as a member of an organization will generally feel more ownership and involvement in an organization than someone who sees herself just as a donor, even if the member never has any more concrete involvement than simply giving money. 

In order to create a strong membership program, there are  four basic questions you need to be think through in order for things to run smoothly. Knowing the answers will get a new membership program off to a strong start; or help clear up problems in one that is already established. Either way-- whether you are new to membership management or needing to strengthen one you already have, knowing the answers to these questions creates a solid foundation:

Continue reading
151 Hits

5 ways your donor management software can help create a thriving membership organization

Membership5

Key to a thriving membership organization, is giving each member the sense that they are your most important. How can you do that, when members have different reasons for joining and different preferences for how you communicate with them? Your donor database can be your closest ally. With it, you can tune in to what it is that motivates a person to be a member, and record special preferences. That will help you to give each member the sense that you have them specifically in mind when you communicate with them, even as your membership continues to grow.

1. Make each member feel like they are your most important member

In a donor database, each donor/member has a record where you can enter information that is specific to that member. These specifics can be as basic as name and contact information, however to truly personalize your communications you need to go well beyond that. By recording information on what is important to a particular member about your organization, you can tailor your messages to speak to those interests. If you know what brought a member to your organization to begin with, what events each person participates in, and what friends, business associates or relatives of a particular member also belong to your organization, you are well on your way to understanding how to best connect with a particular member. 

Continue reading
141 Hits

Do you know the difference between the 2 types of nonprofit membership programs?

Membership2types

Membership initiatives can be a powerful way for your organization to increase donor loyalty and the size of gifts... but what do you actually mean when you say 'membership'? In fact, two very different types of outreach efforts are both called 'memberships' and they are managed in very different ways. Different staff skills are needed for each, as well as different donor database features. Understanding the differences between the two main types of membership will help you create a thriving outreach effort.

The two main types of memberships are...Benefit-driven memberships where donors give more money to receive greater benefits. Often these are used during membership drives. Often, there are several membership 'levels', with higher donations amounts bringing more valuable benefits/premiums/privileges.Recognition-driven memberships where donors give money and receive recognition, such as a wall plaque, engraved brick, or even a named building. These are also called 'philanthropic memberships'. They are a development tool, used to convert  prospects into donors and to increase the size of gifts.These also often are offered in levels, with greater donation amounts offering greater recognition.How donor management differs between the two types of memberships

In a nutshell, donor management of benefit-driven memberships depends on keeping track of lots of different pieces of data, and following up in a timely manner on those bits of data. It is in fact, very much like accounting. Donor management of recognition-driven memberships relies on the tools that help you build relationships. It relies more on the people-side of development work.

Continue reading
123 Hits

Case study: Making members feel like they are the only one in your database

MembershipCaseStudyIRLT

This case study from the files of FundRaiser demonstrates how effective a membership program can be to increase donor loyalty. Original published in 2008. 

Indian River Land Trust, where Melanie Jones works as the Membership and Events Coordinator, is a completely membership-based organization. Instead of donor drives, they have membership drives. For Jones, "the most important aspect of my job is knowing my members and making them feel like they are the only member in our database." FundRaiser Select helps her to accomplish that. "With FundRaiser, we can be as specific as we want with each donor entry. We can record the information that lets us know the interests of each member."

Continue reading
129 Hits

Establishing Giving Levels and Perks Can Increase Membership Donations

Establishing Giving Levels and Perks Can Increase Membership Donations

 

What's in a Name?

You can be creative in determining the names you'll assign to each membership giving category, but donors will be drawn immediately to "tags" specific to your organization and related to your mission. You can also employ familiar categories such as, Friends, Benefactors, Pacesetters, etc., or designations such as "Individual," "Family," "Associate," or "Sustaining.

Continue reading
5985 Hits

Magnificent Memberships: Using FundRaiser To Boost Your Numbers

Magnificent Memberships: Using FundRaiser To Boost Your Numbers

My nonprofit experience has been limited to membership groups, and in my training, I’ve discovered this is an area in which FundRaiser excels. All three versions of FundRaiser (Spark, Select, and Professional) have the ability to manage members, though in Select it is an optional module. The process is very similar in all three versions as well.

When you enter a gift the type can be marked membership dues. This triggers the system to set up a new membership where you can input the type (family or individual), any benefits, and double check the renewal date. As an organization, you can choose how you want the memberships to renew and any default benefits as part of the settings. In fact, you can print membership cards.

Continue reading
1850 Hits

Starting a Membership Program

Starting a Membership Program

Dear Kim,

I am the director of a very small nonprofit organization that provides programs and services to adoptive families. We are considering starting a membership program. I really don’t know where to start. Levels? Benefits? Any suggestions?

Continue reading
1800 Hits

Changing from Membership to Non-Member Organization

Changing from Membership to Non-Member Organization

Dear Kim,

I am the director of a membership nonprofit and our board is thinking about changing us to a non-member organization to help us refocus our efforts to serve our clientele, clean up organizationally and become more streamlined and efficient. Would this be a mistake and how tough is it to do this? What is the real question we should be asking ourselves to help determine whether we should be a non-member or member nonprofit? —Members Only

Continue reading
5150 Hits

What Lies Down the Membership Road?

What Lies Down the Membership Road?

Dear Kim,

I sit on the advisory committee of a regional program whose mission is to fight racism and educate the public about celebrating diversity. They are hoping to increase their coffers by starting a membership program. I agreed to do some research into:

Continue reading
3059 Hits

How can memberships benefit my nonprofit organization?

How can memberships benefit my nonprofit organization?

Membership programs may have many practical benefits, but the biggest benefit to an organization is their potential to increase donor loyalty. Someone who sees herself as a member of an organization will generally feel more ownership and involvement in an organization than someone who sees herself just as a donor, even if the member never has any more concrete involvement than simply giving money.

In addition, enrolling a donor as a member gives a concrete reason for sporadic donors to become regular donors, at least once a year when their membership renewal comes due.

Continue reading
4096 Hits

Launching a Membership Campaign

Those who can, do. Those who can do more, Volunteer.

Once you have established the basics of your campaign, you'll need to develop a plan for attracting members, (personal solicitations, direct mail, events, etc.). You'll also need to develop and produce the materials needed to support your plan (Case for support, brochures, letters, event and meeting invitations, instructions, PR material, etc., as well as to provide necessary campaign information and related materials for the volunteer campaign team of leadership and solicitors. (Such working examples are often easily obtained from other organizations).

Recruiting Your Solicitation Team

Job #1 is the identification and recruitment of a volunteer leader for the membership campaign. If no such candidate emerges from the board, seek a strong supporter from the business community—preferably someone with sales and marketing skills—and influence.

Continue reading
2339 Hits

Membership Campaigns: Moving Members Up The Giving Ladder

Contact lapsed donors as part of your membership program

Read part 1 of this series, Membership Campaigns: The "How-To" In part 2 on building a membership program, you'll learn how to prepare to ask your members to move up the giving ladder.

Creating a Reality-Based Gift Chart

Compile an A to Z listing of all current donors and  lapsed donors—no more than three years (excluding those whose reason for lapsing is known).

Continue reading
6001 Hits

Membership Campaigns: The “How-To”

Give Thanks for Unknown Blessing Already On the Way

You want to introduce a membership campaign, preferably as part of the Annual Fund Campaign. Your objective is an expanded and reliable base of donors who renew their support year after year. Good thinking. Give yourself a pat on the back: An effective membership campaign can be one of your greatest assets and building it requires little more than a dose of common sense and strategic approach.

The Purpose Of a Membership Campaign

Philanthropy-driven, recognition-based, membership campaigns are proven and effective tools used to convert prospects into donors, to increase the size of gift, and to build and strengthen relationships. They are one of the most useful solicitation methods fund-raising managers have.

Continue reading
2144 Hits

Membership vs. Monthly Giving

The art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go and holding on

Dear Kim:

We are in the middle of a debate in our organization regarding the next step to take. What are the clear differences between monthly giving and membership programs? Does one favor a different demographic? -Comparing Apples and Orange Juice Dear Fruity: Monthly giving is a strategy that allows people to give bigger gifts by spreading the payment of the gift out over several months. People who want to do more for an organization often love a monthly giving program, as it is a fairly painless way to become a significant donor. A monthly giving program can be offered to members, to donors, to major donors, and it is not at all in opposition to membership. They complement each other; in fact, one is usually a strategy for promoting the other. The idea of membership appeals to people who want to have a feeling of ownership in the organization. In some membership groups, such as unions, the members are involved in all the decisions that are made (or should be, anyway.) In others, a member is largely a name describing a donor. (What a member means is established in the by-laws of the organization.)

Continue reading
2240 Hits

Options and Choices are GOOD things


Summer is almost upon us, officially, although many of us have been experiencing summer-like weather already, and there are some great things about summer that need to be pointed out from time to time.  I was talking with a friend the other day and the conversation somehow wound around to how I've always been a bit envious of those who don't wear prescription glasses, and I'm looking forward to cataract surgery that will also correct my distance vision.  This means I'll be able to buy cheap sunglasses for the first time in my life.  I'll have options, choices, and decisions to be made regarding the size, style, color, and so on, that I've never had before, since I've been wearing prescriptions since I was 9 or 10.  What an epiphany!  Where is that rack of $1.00 sunglasses??  I can't wait!

 

Continue reading
2775 Hits

Asking for a Specific Amount

Acknowledging the abundance that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.

Dear Kim:

I have often heard and others say that when you are asking for money, you need to name an amount or a range.  I feel uncomfortable doing this, and I think some of my donors do not like being asked for a specific amount.  I work with a lot of donors who are deeply religious and look to GOD to tell them what to give, not me.  Can I violate this best practice and still be successful?

Continue reading
2486 Hits

Understanding donor management of nonprofit memberships

Understanding nonprofit memberships

Membership initiatives can be a powerful way for your organization to increase donor loyalty and the size of gifts... but what do you actually mean when you say 'membership'? In fact, two very different types of outreach efforts are both called 'memberships' and they are managed in very different ways. Different staff skills are needed for each, as well as different donor database features. Understanding the differences between the two main types of membership will help you create a thriving outreach effort.

The two main types of memberships are...Benefit-driven memberships where donors give more money to receive greater benefits. Often these are used during membership drives. Often, there are several membership 'levels', with higher donations amounts bringing more valuable benefits/premiums/privileges.Recognition-driven memberships where donors give money and receive recognition, such as a wall plaque, engraved brick, or even a named building. These are also called 'philanthropic memberships'. They are a development tool, used to convert  prospects into donors and to increase the size of gifts.These also often are offered in levels, with greater donation amounts offering greater recognition.How donor management differs between the two types of memberships

In a nutshell, donor management of benefit-driven memberships depends on keeping track of lots of different pieces of data, and following up in a timely manner on those bits of data. It is in fact, very much like accounting. Donor management of recognition-driven memberships relies on the tools that help you build relationships. It relies more on the people-side of development work.

Continue reading
3279 Hits

3 FundRaiser Versions for Membership Management


Choose the features you need at a price that fits

The membership Management Module is available in 3 out of 4 FundRaiser Software levels, excepting only the entry-level FundRaiser Basic.  Which of the others (Spark, Select, or Professional) you choose amy depend on a combination of price and features available.  As the official "Tour Guide" for our online tours of the software, I always recommend starting at the least expensive level that has the features you absolutely must have, and working up from there in the future.  Sasha's recent blog does a great job painting the general picture of what the Membership Module can help you do, but in this installment, I'll explain the three versions that can manage memberships, starting with the least expensive and ending with the most versatile.  For a quick view, you can visit the comparison chart found here.

 

Continue reading
2718 Hits

5 ways to use your donor management software to create a thriving membership organization

Making members feel ike stars

Key to a thriving membership organization, is giving each member the sense that they are your most important. How can you do that, when members have different reasons for joining and different preferences for how you communicate with them? Your donor database can be your closest ally. With it, you can tune in to what it is that motivates a person to be a member, and record special preferences. That will help you to give each member the sense that you have them specifically in mind when you communicate with them, even as your membership continues to grow.

1. Make each member feel like they are your most important member

In a donor database, each donor/member has a record where you can enter information that is specific to that member. These specifics can be as basic as name and contact information, however to truly personalize your communications you need to go well beyond that. By recording information on what is important to a particular member about your organization, you can tailor your messages to speak to those interests. If you know what brought a member to your organization to begin with, what events each person participates in, and what friends, business associates or relatives of a particular member also belong to your organization, you are well on your way to understanding how to best connect with a particular member. 

Continue reading
3013 Hits

4 questions to answer to create a successful membership program for your nonprofit

Benefits of a Membership Program

In order to create a strong membership program, there are  four basic questions you need to be think through in order for things to run smoothly. Knowing the answers will get a new membership program off to a strong start; or help clear up problems in one that is already established. Either way-- whether you are new to membership management or needing to strengthen one you already have, knowing the answers to these questions creates a solid foundation:

What role do you want people to play in your organization who are not board or staff?What should be the base membership fee?What benefits should you offer to members?How can you best manage joining and expiration of membership?1.  What role do you want people to play in your organization who are not board or staff?

The answer to this question helps you decide whether you actually need or want a membership program at all! There are many benefits to a membership program but it will also be additional work to keep it running smoothly. Will this extra work be worth it to you?

Continue reading
11845 Hits
Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
donor retention rate general annual maintenance plan in honor of donations membersip benefits building donor relationships role of nonprofits government grants look and feel Facebook campaign campaign management office grassroots campaign LYBUNTS relationship tracking Congratulations tax summary letters online donations Facebook data analysis arts endowment campaign customer portal segmenting donors happiness pledges Excel accounting software upgrading donors monthly giving spreadsheets community supported gardens follow up donor attrition rate increasing giving amounts online donations motivation Snow Birds capital campaign updates backing up data major gift prospects board members ROI overview PayPal understanding giving trends volunteering GoFundMe project how-to videos End of Year Letters gift notes field moves management announcements Donor Portal phoning donors In-Kind gifts upgrade change of address updating giving levels raffle budget lapsed donor #GivingTuesday solicitors FundRaiser Spark motivation code product news disaster relief animal rescue annual campaign alumni data entry reports ticketsales community broadcasting password protection custom page community arts nonprofits volunteers brick campaign welcome packet Thank You event management donor recognition training add ons social media data conversion appeal letters Company culture Volunteer module new leadership banquet National Change of Address nonprofit fundraising donor memorial giving membership programs SYBUNTS case study tech tip operating systems spare fields premiums user spotlights donor loyalty donor slip the Ask Alternative Addresses charity golf tournaments Task List fundraising advanced tab security flash sales targeted mailings donor contact information grants foundations mission driven gift entry features tribute gifts communications mode code recurring gifts Codes fundraising letters support membership benefits on site training word processor GivingTuesday customer service major donors donation history development director donor source operational costs importing csv correspondence Reporting to IRS merge fields Tickles thank you letters Groupings corporate sponsors Resiliency Reminders small donations donor attrition publicity materials Crowdfunding Campaign NCOA processing training tip ticket sales

Connect With Us

  800-880-3454 ext 3
  Email Us
  Request More Information
  Monday-Friday
      8:30AM-5:30PM CST

Customer Portal Login Form

User Name:
Password:

If you are not sure about your Customer User Name, please call 800-543-4131 and we will be able to help you.

Or you have lost your password, Request Password