Many fundraising professionals, like you, have experienced the different and somewhat overwhelming number of options that are available for Online Fundraising Technology. You begin to notice how complex it can be when weighing all the considerations in purchasing a new fundraising sites software package. Does it have the functionality you need? But, more importantly, do you have a solid understanding of your goals in order to decide what functionality your organization needs? In light of this, we’ve compiled 10 different tips that can help to make your software purchasing decisions not just easier, but more effective as well.

Tip # 1 Any Software Must Have Data Security

Unfortunately, cyber crime is a reality. Anything posted online has the potential to be taken by someone else for their own gain. This includes credit card information and personal information your donors provide.

When you are looking at Fundraising Software take the time to verify that it is PCI/DSS certified. This ensures that the software has met the minimum requirements of both MasterCard and Visa thus giving you and your donors the peace of mind in knowing that all information is encrypted and secure.

In addition to this, all your information should be saved on a redundant server in the event that there is an outage as well. That way any equipment failure or malicious user cannot destroy your valued information.

Tip # 2 Social Networking Reach

To get the most from your Online Fundraising Technology, find one that is compatible with email marketing and social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Twitter, in particular, connect with millions of people and you can expand the reach of your donation capabilities with these websites. Having the ability to connect through your supporters’ social networks will create more of a buzz around your cause and get more people more interested in donating.

Tip # 3 Uniqueness Is Vital

Fundraising Software that delivers the cookie cutter appearance can be a low cost way to get your feet wet with online fundraising technology, but it can also limit your potential. You need to have your Fundraising Software to mirror your company and deliver a powerful impact that people will want to donate to. Remember that you don’t want to blend in with other sites, this could lead to the confusion that similar sites with similar causes are the same organization just looking for more money.

Tip # 4 Reports Need Options

The report for fundraising company A will not necessarily meet the same reporting needs by fundraising company B. With this in mind, finding Online Fundraising Technology that gives you the option to generate reports tailored to your organization’s needs will benefit you in the long run.

Tip # 5 Features that Match Your Needs

There are all kinds of bells and whistles you can get with Fundraising Software. The goal is to make sure you get exactly what you need. While some features might be nice to have you should make sure the software covers your basics. Once it has managed to do that, anything above and beyond would be a bonus to you.

Some features that might interest you are:

• The ability to designate donations to particular funds

• Automatic recurring donations

• Donations over a timeframe

• Sponsorship Payments

• Memberships

• Registration for Events

• Donations made in memory or in honour

• Individual or team based fundraising (such as walking events, or local events)

• Events ticket sales

Tip # 6 Know Your Donation Potential

If your donation strategy centres on a large total amount of donations, a charge per each donation might not be an issue. However, If you anticipate a large volume of small donations, for instance in the amount of $5 – $20, you will quickly see your funds devoured in fees. In these cases, you may want to consider a flat fee donation system. That way, all donations, regardless of size or volume, will go directly to your account and your cause. What you pay won’t increase with the more funds you raise.

Tip # 7 Conspicuous “Donate” Button

Getting a potential donor to your website to engage them in your cause is only the first step. Making giving an online donation as easy as possible is the next and crucial step. An effective donation system should allow you to include a conspicuous “Donate” button on every page of your site in order to capture a donor’s impulse to give no matter where they are on your site.

Tip #8 If You Can’t Figure It out Neither Can Users

While some Fundraising Software is easy to use, more elaborate ones can be more difficult. On average, if it takes more than a couple of minutes to donate, you may lose that donation. A good way to avoid having this happen is to focus on a user friendly interface where donors can breeze through the donation process.

Tip # 9 Customer Service for You

There might not be a problem with the customer service that you provide, but if the provider of your Online Fundraising Technology is difficult to work with, solutions won’t come easy. This means it is vital that you take the time to focus on companies that offer excellent customer service with easy accessibility.

Tip # 10 Don’t Settle

Too often when it comes to Fundraising Software people choose to settle. This might be because they don’t know what else is out there, or it could be in connection to figuring that there isn’t anything more to the process than a donation button. But these systems are considerably more complex and you should take the time to make sure you get exactly what you need. Don’t be afraid to tell a company that they won’t work for what you need. Your donations are directly affected by this Online Fundraising Technology.

By Olivia

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