Nonprofit fundraising teams are often overworked and understaffed. But automation can help scale your efforts and allow small teams to achieve more. Nick Pringer, CEO of the Pringer Solutions Group, shared how his team has leveraged automation to drive fundraising for Catholic dioceses across the country.
Pringer recommends starting with a tool like Microsoft Power Automate to set up simple automated workflows. For example, you can automatically send a welcome email to new donors, thanking them for their first gift. This simple act can have a big impact, making donors feel appreciated and more likely to give again.
To increase recurring giving, design an online donation experience focused on monthly donations instead of one-time gifts. Pringer has found that 20-25% of donors who give through these customized pages will opt to donate monthly. Focus your direct mail and email appeals on driving people to these personalized donation pages.
Not sure where to start with automation? Begin with “low-risk, high-reward” tasks, Pringer suggests. Send automated stewardship emails with updates on how donors’ gifts were used. Automate birthday or anniversary emails to build personal connections at scale. These small acts of gratitude and acknowledgement can yield big dividends in donor loyalty and lifetime value.
Of course, no automation can replace genuine human outreach. Pringer still recommends that fundraisers pick up the phone whenever possible to steward donors. But by automating routine tasks, your team can spend more time on high-touch cultivation and stewardship of key donors.
To get buy-in to use new tools, Pringer recommends having the technology vendor explain data security and compliance to your legal team. Start with a pilot program to test the technology on a small group of donors and work out any issues before a wider rollout. With the right approach, automation technology can be an incredible force multiplier for nonprofits looking to strengthen donor relationships and fundraising revenue.
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