5 Ways Tech Improves Non Profit Donor Experiences

Automation helps lower operational fundraising costs

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Over the past year, COVID-19 has put a significant strain on the ability of nonprofit organizations to meet fundraising goals. Many nonprofit professionals report that the pandemic is the number one fundraising challenge they face today, and almost a third of respondents anticipate a shortfall in 2021.

The inability to get in front of donors has, and will, continue to impact fundraising efforts. Challenges of traditional canvassing models have inspired nonprofits to get creative in how they connect with their donor communities – including casting a wider net to reach more potential supporters, increasing investment in developing major gift pipelines, and exploring new, innovative digital philanthropy platforms like crowdfunding.

Even if outreach strategies are executed smoothly, poor administration and processing of contributions can create delays in getting critical revenues to an organization and even damage donor relations. Many organizations still grapple with donor processes that rely heavily on manual transactions. 

Recognize gaps in agreement execution

A recent survey of employees working in development departments of not for profit organizations found that, on average, one third of organizations experience gaps in gift processing, collection, and information stewardship​ due to workflow challenges. They report that donor processing timelines and staff continuity are among the more common issues.

Over half of organizations struggle with incorrect information on pledge agreements. Those inaccurate agreements, which represent a promise of funds, have a major impact on the ability to finalize donations, leaving money on the table and increasing staff workload and processing time. 

Wayne Combs, President of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals had this to say on aligning the challenges of managing a multitude of agreements with the donor experience. 

It’s not uncommon for development teams to have multiple sets of language that they use in their agreements: standard template language, and language that is used for exceptions. Managing this can be difficult and mistakes in agreements with the wrong language introduces confusion that can slow down the overall agreement process – and negatively impact your donor experience.”

Improve donor experiences with technology

When nonprofit organizations struggle with manual gift agreement processes and an over-reliance on physical signatures, technology can play an important role in streamlining gift-giving and improving donor transactions. “When you are in the field of development, the donor comes first,” said Combs. “We want the donor experience to be as easy and intuitive as possible. It's critical to use tools that enhance the donor experience – and that are equally easy to use by multiple parties – both backend and user facing.”

One way development teams are using technology to improve the donor experience is by adopting modern agreement technologies. With new technology available for non profits, organizations can benefit from:

  1. Increased efficiency and ease of use Automate manual tasks and link complex workflows for a streamlined process. Pre-built connectors and APIs enable key tasks in other apps like pulling in data, generating agreements, and triggering downstream actions. 
  2. Better transparency and improved interdepartmental relationships Connect and track agreement processes across contributors, reviewers and approvers, providing greater visibility into gift status to all stakeholders.
  3. More accuracy, fewer mistakes Prevent costly mistakes by standardizing and automating donor processes with secure agreements in a centralized repository. Automatically review and flag language that may introduce risk to the organization.
  4. Improved reporting Identify and address approvals and review bottlenecks with advanced analytics to improve overall fundraising strategy. 
  5. Frictionless donor experiences A personalized, digital transaction improves the donor submission experience which in turn improves the cost per dollar raised through donor efforts.

Modernize you donor experiences with the Docusign Agreement Cloud for Nonprofits.