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Donor Management Study: 200 Nonprofits

What nonprofit doesn’t want to be more effective and efficient when it comes to donor management – without recreating the wheel?

Recently two hundred nonprofits shared their successes and challenges with VolunteerHub. We’ve consolidated the information here to assist your organization with strategic planning.

In this article, we’ll answer some questions you may have on your mind as you look forward. You’ll learn about donor management best practices, find out tips for engaging more volunteers, and discover how to convert more volunteers to donors.

How Do Nonprofits Manage Donor Information?

Let’s face it: for a variety of reasons, nonprofits can sometimes be slow to adopt new technology. So it may not come as a surprise to you that 30 percent of nonprofits surveyed are still using spreadsheets or similar documents to track donor information, and another 15 percent have created an in-house system of their own.

donor technology

However, half of the respondents are using a constituent relationship management (CRM) system for this task. Of those using an electronic donor tracking system, Raiser’s Edge is the most popular solution, utilized by 51 percent.

CRM Usage

Choosing a CRM seems to be a long-term commitment, with 72 percent staying with the same system for over two years.

Even though CRMs are implemented to solve problems, they can still create challenges of their own. Top concerns among CRM users include connecting volunteer and donor information, staff training on the system, and synchronizing the CRM with other third-party software.

How Efficient are Your Donor Management Processes?

Unfortunately, 80 percent of nonprofits feel their donor management is less than highly efficient. In fact, many headaches crop up among agencies without integrated volunteer and donor management systems. Manual data entry and validation issues top the list at 40 percent, with another 19 percent citing the lack of integration between the data sets of volunteers and donors. Inefficient donation tracking and inconsistent donor engagement also throw the proverbial wrenches into systems and procedures.

Are You Converting Volunteers to Donors?

This is actually still a challenge for many agencies. However, one of the easiest ways to develop donors is to cultivate them from your volunteer pool. This can be difficult, though, if your volunteer database doesn’t communicate with your donor software.

As one respondent notes, “We don’t know which of our donors are volunteers and vice versa.” Another adds, “We would like to cross reference our volunteers and donors without breaking everything down into multiple (manually made) spreadsheets.” Others say their concerns revolve around tracking volunteer to donor conversion rates, keeping contact information up-to-date, and the labor-intense nature of data entry.

What Does it All Mean?

The survey data indicates that many nonprofits have room to grow when it comes to volunteer and donor management. It’s time to move beyond paper and spreadsheets in both of these arenas.

If your nonprofit is looking for a means to create efficiencies, look no further than to VolunteerHub’s integration with Blackbaud’s suite of CRMs (The Raiser’s Edge, eTapestry, Luminate CRM, and Blackbaud CRM). For more information about the integration, click here.

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Headshot of Corbit Harrison

About Corbit Harrison

Corbit Harrison is VolunteerHub's Chief Operating Officer and has been actively helping nonprofit organizations engage constituents for over 10 years.

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