How to Accomplish a Lofty Mission on a Little Budget

Doing more with less is the norm in the nonprofit world. However, leaner inputs do not equal less sophisticated outcomes. Plenty of free and inexpensive process and productivity tools exist today. Below is a summary of such solutions, which can help nonprofit leaders accomplish a lofty mission with a little budget.

Customer relationship management

Although nonprofits rarely think in terms of “customers,” customer relationship management (CRM) software can allow certain nonprofits to oversee their interactions with current and potential clients by analyzing data throughout the relationship. At its most fundamental level, a CRM can serve as a digital address book with analytics capabilities intended to improve client relationships.

Salesforce is a well-known CRM provider used by many for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Other software designed specifically for nonprofits include:

The better the relationships you maintain with your customers, the easier it is to keep them. A CRM makes sense for nonprofit organizations such as theaters, art schools, or summer camps that are primarily providing full-price services to clients.

Donor management

Many CRM solutions designed for nonprofits also include integrated fundraising features. For agencies seeking a more targeted tool, donor management provides a platform to track collected resources and the individuals contributing them. Such software streamlines all current funds while strategically sourcing prospective donors.

Software Advice is a detailed database of fundraising software, complete with consumer reviews. Many top-rated solutions streamline online giving such as:

When a nonprofit can accurately track fundraising trends, it learns to forecast donor behavior and more efficiently grow its resource base.

Website Analytics

For real-time information about visitors to an organization’s number one brand bearer—its website—analytics capabilities are a necessity. Such data allow a nonprofit to gauge its website’s effectiveness and determine changes needed to make it better.

Analytics engines such as Google Analytics also empower a nonprofit to track hard conversions and soft conversions. Hard conversions are those online activities that contribute directly to organizational programs and resources, such as donations, event registrations, and volunteer submissions. Soft conversions are engagement and awareness-building activities that lead to hard conversions, such as downloading an annual report or program whitepaper.

Additional website analytics sources worth checking out include:

Analytics provide insight into how an organization’s website is helping to accomplish its goals, allowing leaders to make better decisions for the agency.

Stakeholder engagement

Most nonprofit organizations have evolved past the written customer satisfaction survey. Today leaders are measuring engagement on a broad spectrum—from employees and customers to Board members.

Using survey software, nonprofit leaders can collect insight on a variety of mission-critical and strategic issues, including what stakeholders think of a new program, how engaged employees are in the organization’s work, and how likely first-time donors will become repeat givers. These tools offer built-in data analysis and reporting capabilities, so users need not be statistically savvy.

Survey Monkey is the most well-known and widely used survey tool available. It allows for 10 questions, 100 respondents, 15 question types, and light theme customization and templates. Other free survey options are:

These tools are low-cost, low-risk, and high-reward. Trial offers allow users to experiment with a handful and choose the option that works best for them.

Many high-performing nonprofit leaders who are ready to take their organizations to the next level choose productivity tools to enable transformation. Often extra guidance is needed to implement new solutions and processes systemically and strategically. For expert support and an objective perspective, contact organization development consulting firm Brighter Strategies today.

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