Nonprofit organizations and university departments are often strapped for budgeting, and on top of that it may seem counterintuitive (especially for those who have less experience in fundraising strategy) to spend money in order to bring in higher donation amounts. However, with proven techniques and the right set of tools, a little investment in fundraising solutions means an overall better bottom line for the organization.
After all, how can you hope to achieve your fundraising goals if you’re not properly equipped?
Convincing your boss, board or even the CFO of the organization is a crucial step to securing the solutions you need in order to improve the bottom line. We’re going to discuss the four most important steps in convincing others to support your fundraising strategy:
- Demonstrate Your Need
- Offer Solutions
- Plan Ahead
So, let’s get started to see how you can convince key players in your organization that it’s time to invest in fundraising solutions.
Demonstrate Your Need
You know that you need some help already, or you probably wouldn’t even be reading a blog post about how to convince your boss to purchase fundraising solutions. So, it’s important to narrow down exactly what your issues are and then identify ways to demonstrate your need.
For example, let’s say that your fundraising is failing to reach your potential donors. Maybe you work at a university and have lost track of where graduates ended up after several years, or maybe you’re working at a nonprofit where the supporter database still houses information from 8 years ago that hasn’t been touched since (I have worked at such a place before). Whatever the circumstance, one easy way to demonstrate the need for updates is by getting a free Data Quality Report. Even if you’re not sure this is your issue, it can’t hurt to know how good your data is at reaching your donors, so be sure to check it out.
Another potential need would be identifying the best donors to reach your goals. Analytics can reach into your database and help provide valuable insights about the best people to contact for donations, but an investment like this would require budgeting. However, this is where you can share case study information about how another nonprofit saved money by mailing to fewer people who were more qualified. Information like this can help you build a case for why this type of data is so beneficial.
However you choose to build your case, be sure to explain exactly why you need what you’re asking for and how it can benefit your organization.
Once you’ve clearly laid out what you need and why, the next step is to offer fundraising solutions for the problem you want to tackle. Research is key here since you’ll want to find a solution provider that’s familiar with the types of challenges your organization is facing. While many companies may provide certain options for nonprofits, it’s important to select experienced people who can truly help make a difference.
Some things to keep in mind when researching:
- Does the company work with nonprofits or universities often? If the answer is yes, this is a safer bet for you.
- Are there results you can see from their past work? Explore the website a little and see if you can find some results they’ve gotten for past clients. Established companies often can provide this type of information.
- Does the solution appropriately match your problem? If they can only provide half of the answer, it’s probably best to check out a different vendor. If needed, get on the phone to make sure you fully understand what is offered and what is not.
With a little due diligence on your part, you can easily find solutions for your problems. In the examples above, if you were researching solutions you would be able to discover that AlumniFinder offers a robust set of analytics and data solutions for identifying your best potential donors or you’d find that you can easily fix all your database records with a batch update.
Depending on what type of solution you wish to implement, you’ll want to think ahead to take into account any upcoming fundraisers you have going on. Is this going to disrupt your process in any way? Choose a time that’s in-between events or major campaigns in order to ensure that you’re not running into any issues.
This should be a quick step in the process, but a very necessary one to demonstrate to your boss and any others in leadership that there will be no disruptions to your efforts while you add this new solution to your fundraising strategy.
Once you get the green light, move forward with your plans to implement the new solution. Once you’ve used your new data, insights or other fundraising solution keep track of all your results. When the time is right, be sure to follow-up with your boss to demonstrate exactly how this new tool is creating results. By showing what this has allowed to you to do, you’ll be in a better position for the future if you’d like to get more data updates or need assistance in some other capacity with your fundraising.