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.

The Value of a Salutation

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As many of the letters being sent transition from paper to digital and even email is being replaced by text messages and push notifications on apps, it’s important to think about whether we still have a place for formal salutations. While politeness and courtesy will never go out of style, too often when we call someone Mr. or Ms., such titles are eschewed for the person’s first name. When appealing to donors, what salutation should you use?

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Creating Value with Non-Ask Events

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Most of the time organizations offer donors reciprocated value. They send thank you notes in response to donations, preprinted labels in the hopes of receiving a donation, tickets when purchased, or other tangible things received either in response to or in anticipation of a donation. This isn’t bad, but it’s very reactive. It assumes the organization has a quid pro quo relationship with its donors.

To start thinking proactively, it’s important to work on non-reciprocated value. This is something that you can offer to your donors for free without asking for a donation or any other consideration. When it holds real value for them, it becomes memorable.

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Three Tips for Managing Your FundRaiser Codes

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When you’ve used a database for any length of time it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of codes you have. The power of codes is that they’re what the system uses to show you data. Too many, and you won’t know what information you can obtain or how you’ve coded your donors to get it. Just like we do “spring cleaning” at home, it’s a good idea once or twice a year, usually spring and fall, to do a review of the codes in your database. These three tips can help.

1.  Use the Code Listing Report (Reports > Code Listing) to see what you have

When running this report, check the box that says “show inactive codes” so you can see every code in your system. Then review the report to see what codes can be marked as inactive (or hidden) so that you don’t see them during day-to-day data input or if you have duplicate codes which need to be merged.

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Short take: Making Event Participants into Regular Donors

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 Your event was a smashing success and you raised a lot of money. After entering the participants into FundRaser, you might be wondering what the next steps are. How do you convert them to prospective, and hopefully future, donors?

First, make sure you’ve coded them as having been a participant at the event. This could be using the motivation code from their gift or ticket purchase to attend or even just a category code. If you have FundRaiser Professional, our Campaign Management Module is a great way to keep track of complex events and their participants.

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What's THE Best Fundraising Strategy?

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Dear Kim,

I only want to use the most successful fundraising strategy. Which is it?

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Short take: Event Managment

Short take: Event Managment

FundRaiser Software provides many tools for managing event participation and donation. Users of FundRaiser Pro have access to the Campaigns and Events Module, which will track participation, donations, sponsorships, and provides detailed reporting. If you’re interested in the Campaigns and Events Module, you’re encouraged to sign up for the next training class.

However, even without the Campaigns and Events Module, you can keep track of campaign participation several ways. The Motivation Code records what motivated someone to give, and that’s usually because they attended an event or received a mailer. Using a unique motivation code will allow you to run reports as well as create groupings based off of event donations.

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Successful Closure to My First Fundraising Campaign

Successful Closure to My First Fundraising Campaign

As mentioned in earlier blog posts, I tried my own hand this year at fundraising for an organization I support. From creating my first fundraising campaign, to doing a little extra donor outreach with FundRaiser to reach our campaign goal, I enjoyed the experience and look forward to more. 

One of the very satisfying things was not just reaching the fundraising goal, but also an additional and important side benefit that I had not foreseen:  Based in part on the work our fundraising committee did, we had a wonderful turn out for the event in spite of some challenges that hit just before the event took place. Here's what happened...

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Organizing Your Letters

Organizing Your Letters

My family is big on writing letters, and I think there’s no more powerful form of written communication than a letter in the mail. It shows that someone took the time to write, print, sign, and mail a letter. The organization (or the individual) cared enough to use a stamp and make sure the letter got to the carrier or the post office. It’s a personal way to communicate.

FundRaiser has many features for helping you with this fine mode of communication. One feature that I'd like to highlight here is that of being able to mark letters active or inactive as necessary. This comes in very handy for events which occur on a regular basis. How does this work?

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New Year, New Codes

New Year, New Codes

For organizations with annual events or campaigns, there are many ways to track the donations that come in each year. From fund and motivation codes to more general category codes, there are a multitude of ways to make sure you know exactly how and why your donors gave to your organization.

Keeping your coding system understandable plays a big role in the effective use of your donor management software. Therefore, when it comes to your annual events, think about using one main code and append then year to it. For example, a gala would be GALA14, GALA15, and so on. This way you would know that all codes that start with “GALA” would be for your annual event. (Or whatever prefix you choose to use for your event.)

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Organizing a charity golf tournament

Organizing a charity golf tournament

by Tom King

Far too often, if we'll be honest, the motivation for organizing a special event, like golf, is to avoid having to do basic fund-raising. We hate making the calls. We hate asking for money.  So, to avoid having to do things we don't like, we have a golf tournament because we do like that!

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Importing Data campaign management advanced tab major donors charity golf tournaments capital campaign disaster relief repeat donors data analysis End of Year Letters giving levels updates fundraising letters FundRaiser Basic new donors operational costs auction online donations #GivingTuesday gift acceptance policy add ons mission driven Thanksgiving donor retention rate donor attrition rate office data entry in honor of donations texting donors annual campaign vacation thank you letters ticketsales New Year FundRaiser Spark community arts nonprofits tribute gifts new version FundRaiser Hosted role of nonprofits Excel look and feel Resiliency LYBUNTS Task List donor profile board members Reporting to IRS customer service pictures Facebook security follow up training tip small donations Facebook campaign operating systems nonprofit fundraising banquet Groupings legacy giving entering auction gifts mode code reports budget backing up data NCOA processing new features Volunteer module merge fields Company culture gift notes field the Ask raffle overview spreadsheets announcements moves management ROI event management animal rescue Congratulations planning GivingTuesday donor preferences community supported gardens Thank You foundations membership programs grassroots campaign transparency appeal letters product news annual maintenance plan volunteering premiums government grants donor source solicitors segmenting donors development director phoning donors donor targeting volunteers community broadcasting direct mail endowment campaign planned giving flash sales letter templates Constant Contact happiness grants Cloud PayPal SYBUNTS Donor Portal donation history communications membership benefits Personalizing Reminders relationship tracking personalizing letters welcome packet how to handle auction gifts Network for Good National Change of Address membersip benefits training pledges memorial giving online donations correspondance case study arts donor contact information Alternative Addresses fundraising new nonprofit building donor relationships change of address updating understanding giving trends alumni donor giving history technical support prospects Snow Birds accounting software general social media motivation code GoFundMe project on site training gift entry customer portal anonymous donors Crowdfunding Campaign correspondence donor attrition adding personal notes to letters Codes corporate sponsors donor loyalty brick campaign user interface features upgrading donors user spotlights salutation donor recognition targeted mailings In-Kind gifts donor slip recurring gifts monthly giving data conversion importing csv merge notes new leadership lapsed donor how-to videos tech tip donor advised funds publicity materials password protection custom page tax summary letters upgrade spare fields Tickles increasing giving amounts large donations major gift prospects support ticket sales motivation word processor

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