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How fundraising databases save your charity time and money

Investing in a new fundraising database can be expensive and take time to get right. If you are a smaller charity with lots of competing needs for your time and money, you might think it's not worth investing in new fundraising software and sticking to your frustratingly slow and old system. But some things pay off big in the end, both in time and money. For example, moving your donor management system to the cloud and transitioning to having your fundraising data available on a fast, modern service.

One of the pressures on you as a charity is to have some of the the lowest administrative costs around. You also need to have transparency with regard to your operating budget and provide financial statements to donors so that they can see how their hard-earned money is helping your cause.

Investing in a new fundraising database might sound expensive and take a lot of time, but here's how new systems on the market, like Donorfy, can help you save time, money and make your charity fundraising easier.

Identify your charity’s needs

There are lots of fundraising databases out there, so it’s important to identify up front what you need the new system to do and how much you have to spend.

Do you want a system that covers all the basics but isn't easy to customise with bespoke extras, or one that you can customise a lot, but requires developers to help you make changes? How much do you want to pay for the fundraising database and what kind of analysis and reporting would you like?

Set out what you need first and make sure that relevant and new staff get trained to use the system, to avoid unnecessary costs.

Avoid upfront costs

Some CRM systems cost a lot as soon as you put pen to paper and sign up. Some charities pay over £20,000 to pay for the initial cost of buying their donor management software and getting it set up to suit your charity's needs.

Even if you pay a lot less than that, the CRM software you've bought might not be ready straight from the box. Making sure that the system works with your other fundraising tools and services can take a lot of time and money.

Instead you should be looking at donor management software that has no upfront setup costs, is geared specifically towards the needs of charity fundraisers, and already works with your favourites digital fundraising tools.

For example, Donorfy has no up front costs, can take unlimited users and is designed specifically for charities like yours. Find out about our pricing here.

Be careful with ongoing costs

Now that you've bought your fundraising database, you'd expect it to just run and run, right? Not so fast.

What about all the data that you were working with on that old system? Or are swimming around in multiple spreadsheets? Migrating that data to your new platform can take a lot of time - and expertise if you can't do it yourself.

What if there's a key fundraising tool that you use and want to integrate with your fundraising software? You may need to pay for extra (expensive) developer time in order to build the integration for your specific installation.

Donorfy are always listening to and working with our charity customers to make sure that the latest and greatest fundraising tools are available to all of our customers, not just a select few who pay for the privilege

And our data migration tools and expertise make it a pain-free transition to move from your oops clunky system to our new fundraising database.

Work in the cloud and on the go

Spreadsheets are normally saved to your own computer. So while it's easy for you to be able to edit and update your donor information on the go, if someone else wants to be able to look at and update that data then you're going to have to send it to them.

As you can imagine (and may even have experienced!), version control can be difficult to keep track of when your charity is sending spreadsheets back and forth.

Excel spreadsheets can’t do analytics or analyse data in any particular way, such as tell you how likely your charity’s donors are to give to a particular fundraising campaign.

With donor management software like Donorfy, all the information is kept securely in the cloud. So anyone can access that data at any time and they'll always be presented with the most up to date information. This can save a lot of time and headaches when working with your donor data.

Save time with integration

A lot of older fundraising database aren't integrated with new digital tools and social media, which mean wasted time from exporting and importing data from one service to the next.

Even if you have few supporters and don’t anticipate much growth any time soon, you could still benefit from donor management software, as many charities that want to remain small still need an easier way to handle the supporters that they do have.

Donorfy makes managing donors data easy through integrating with tools like JustGiving, Mailchimp and Eventbrite.

And Donorfy also automates online payment processing, membership fees, recurring payments,  donations and Gift Aid, which will save your fundraising team immeasurable amounts of time and let them get on with their jobs.

Try before you buy

Charities are increasingly asking to see and use a prototype of a database before they buy it. This can be quite useful, as you and your colleagues can play around with a system to see if it’s right for you.

With that in mind, why not take advantage of Donorfy’s free 14-day trial and see for yourself just how much time and money Donorfy could save your charity.

Photo credit: svennevenn / CC BY-NC-SA


Want to learn more? Read about our 2016 Civil Society win, where Donorfy was voted BEST Charity CRM for cost, functionality, integration and more.