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Donor Participation Project

From Manual to Automated: Scaling Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Efforts

For nonprofit fundraisers, time and resources are always in short supply. Manual processes limit productivity and prevent organizations from reaching their full fundraising potential.

Automation is the key to doing more with less.

Nick Prenger, CEO of the Prenger Solutions Group, shared how his firm helped nonprofit clients scale their fundraising using automation. For the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix’s $10 million annual appeal, Prenger’s team used marketing automation to convert 21% of online donors into recurring givers, significantly increasing revenue.

The first step is evaluating your data infrastructure.

Many nonprofits struggle with inaccurate or disorganized data, limiting their ability to automate. Pringer recommends starting small by automating “affirmation” emails, like thanking recent donors. These small automations have little downside if errors occur but can make a big impact. Fix data issues as you go.

With good data, you can automate more advanced fundraising workflows.

For example, automate sending a welcome email to first-time donors from your CEO or development director. Set up a follow-up email two months later highlighting the impact of their gift. Automate sending recurring giving invitations to donors as they fulfill pledge payments. These personalized touches make a memorable impression and boost loyalty and lifetime value.

Of course, legal and IT approval can be challenging. Don’t try to explain the benefits yourself.

Prenger advises having the technology vendor address concerns directly. They are best equipped to articulate how the system works and proper data security measures. Legal and IT teams simply want to ensure there are no issues, so addressing their questions thoroughly upfront smooths the approval process.

While manual processes feel familiar and safer, they prevent nonprofits from maximizing their potential. With the right approach to data, tools, and approvals, fundraising automation can scale your organization’s impact by boosting donor participation and revenue. The time to start automating is now. Your donors—and your mission—will thank you.

View the full recording of this session in our Resource Library.

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