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Donor Participation Project

The Future of Fundraising: Automation, Personalization and a Blank Canvas Tool

The future of fundraising is digital, automated and personalized. Dan Lombardi, Donor Innovation Director at Grand River Hospital Foundation, shared how they are innovating to build deeper donor relationships and work more efficiently.

Automate repetitive tasks.

Dan’s team built an app connecting their Shopify website and Raiser’s Edge CRM to automatically transfer donation data and issue tax receipts. They use Zapier to send automated thank you emails and tag donors for personalized communications. Automating frees up staff to focus on high-impact work like stewardship.

Personalize at scale.

Using ActiveCampaign, an email marketing and CRM tool, Dan’s team tracks donor engagement and tags interests. They will customize email content and frequency based on donor interests and actions. Dan says personalization and automation allow them to “make our donor experience more pleasant.”

Explore blank canvas tools.

Dan described Notion, their project management tool, as a “blank canvas.” They created a database to track projects, tasks, hospital funding and donor communications. While still improving how they use it, Dan said Notion’s flexibility allows them to build customized solutions. Blank canvas tools offer opportunities for innovation.

The keys to leveraging technology for fundraising success are: start with small improvements, continue learning and iterating, and choose tools that fit your needs.

Begin automating repetitive work, personalizing communications and trying out blank canvas solutions. Technology is shaping the future of fundraising, and nonprofits must keep up to build meaningful donor relationships. Focus on the why, involve stakeholders, get buy-in and make the most of your tools.

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

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