Fundraising professionals understand that communication is vital to building relationships with their donors. However, many nonprofits have small fundraising departments, and staff are short on time, making it hard to communicate with large groups of donors.
Fundraising automation makes it possible to send personalized emails to more donors regularly. Emails can be set up through an automation flow using Power Automate or AutomateGenius. These flows can draft communication for special events like first-time donations, birthdays, years of giving, anniversaries, and more.
These aren’t the mass emails you might send through Constant Contact or Mailchimp. These emails set up through fundraising automation are sent from a real staff person to a donor or groups of donors with customized messages unique to them.
Fundraising automation can help take relationship-building with donors to the next level without becoming time-consuming for staff. Fundraising automation can also help alert fundraising staff when meaningful gifts are made, when there are gifts from unassigned constituents, and help with database clean-up.
What We Know About Email and Fundraising Efforts
Email can be an essential part of any fundraising strategy. Research has shown that nonprofit organizations should email their donor lists more often than they think.
Personalized emails from an actual staff member can improve donor relationships, increase giving, and improve donor retention. Emails should be personalized and heartfelt, without photos or graphics.
Emails should happen on an 8:1 nourishment ratio. This means that for every email that asks for a donation, the nonprofit should send eight others about impact and appreciation.
When Prenger Solutions Group tested this strategy, those donors who were emailed regularly were 62% more likely to give to an appeal than donors who did not receive emails.
How Nonprofits Can Email Donors More Often with Fundraising Automation
Fundraising automation is the key to emailing your donors more often, but where do you get started? Microsoft offers Power Automate to nonprofit organizations for just $4 per month. Nonprofits can get started by verifying their nonprofit status at nonprofit.microsoft.com.
Power Automate has a free trial for nonprofit organizations, where you can try out automation to assist with fundraising efforts. Visit flow.microsoft.com to learn more.
For those who need a bit more help setting up automation, tools like AutomateGenius can assist.
How Automation Can Assist Fundraising Efforts
Email is one of many things fundraising automation can help with. On this recent webinar, Using Automation to Streamline Gift Processing and Reporting, the AskGenius team discussed how automation could help with data clean-up and gift processing.
Automation and data clean-up ideas:
- Alert when duplicate constituents are created
- Automatically fill in blank “preferred” name/nickname fields in your database
- Mark e-mails/phones as primary
- Validate new email addresses and alert when email addresses are invalid
- Allow non-privileged users to submit a record change
- Update consent records from info in constituent emails
- Mark records with a blank address as “No Valid Address”
Automation ideas to help with gift processing
- Automatically run donor acknowledgment letters
- Provide an email supplement to year-end tax letters
- Bring data directly from an online census form into Raiser’s Edge or other CRM systems
- Alert when a large gift from an unassigned donor is received
- Alert staff when an opportunity has an upcoming ask date
- Alert a gift officer when a portfolio donor makes a gift
- Automatically tag giving circle/society members
Fundraising automation can help nonprofit organizations streamline fundraising operations and build stronger donor relationships. Using automation will save time, so development staff can spend more time face-to-face with donors and raise more money for their mission.
Check out the automation tools and get started today.
If you’d like to learn more about how automation has helped others, watch this webinar, Using Automation to Streamline Gift Processing and Reporting, today. To learn about AutomateGenius, sign up to join the waitlist.