Just like any aspect of nonprofit management, organization is crucial. With various moving parts and initiatives to maintain, keeping every bit of information stored and accurately coordinated to its specific function or project can be an arduous task. When organizations don’t take advantage of software for nonprofits, they run the risk of losing track of data reflecting donor history and preferences. One simple but important way that organizations can keep up with virtually all information is a donor database. However, charitable groups should first weigh their options before deciding on which kind of system would be most appropriate.

Knowledge is foundational According to Business 2 Community, the majority of nonprofits that haven’t invested in maintaining a database do so because they’re unaware of the benefits of having this sort of organizational system. At the same time, others don’t understand how a collection of donor information will influence fundraising efforts or they don’t have the dedicated staff required to maintain the software. The underlying cause of so many nonprofits hesitating to integrate a database through donor management software is because of a lack of information.

Nonprofits are faced with a choice of working with software systems that will either offer advanced capabilities, which bring a return through more detailed information, according to TechSoup, or systems that will aggregate superficial data and help guide overall fundraising efforts. In other words, there are software systems that focus on broadly-based segments or specialized ones that focus more carefully on individuals.

Get focused on contributors Those that are more targeted are donor management software systems, which provide more powerful resources for nonprofits to integrate into their overall operations and fundraising projects. They focus on donors and give organizations a depth of insight into behavior and preferences that can be integrated into other outreach tools, including email and social networking messages. According to TechSoup, nonprofits can use these systems to generate reports, track types of gifts and the ability to better target specific donors or segments for fundraising outreach. While this may require a bit more technical expertise, many software providers include training and ongoing support to ensure nonprofit staff members are capable of using the technology.

What philanthropic organizations cannot afford to do is continue to depend on outdated systems to manage their donors and contributions. Instead, it’s important for groups to educate themselves about the resources available that can improve efficiency and create a more effective system to organize information.

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