Many nonprofit organizations can leverage their boards to increase donations. However, for some nonprofits, this may not necessarily be an option. Every organization has unique requirements and expectations for board members, as Blue Avocado noted. While some boards don’t contribute financially, others spend nearly all their time fundraising. Either way, donation management software can be a beneficial way to enhance communication between staff members and help organizations with development initiatives.
How board members can increase donations
The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently wrote about how two board members helped to increase revenue at the Tenement Museum in New York City. While it has always been a popular attraction, drawing up to 1,000 visitors each day, fundraising was a challenge. Paul Massay and Merryl Zegar issued challenge grants that encouraged fellow trustees to make additional gifts to the museum. All board members contributed and gained additional donations from external sources such as foundations, corporations, and personal connections.
In addition to working on fundraising initiatives themselves, board members can also spearhead organizational changes that will strategically increase membership and donations. The Tenement Museum board hired a new lead fundraiser, Stephanie Wilchfort, to increase development initiatives.
Donation management software increases giving
One of Wilchfort’s first moves was to invest in better donation management software. In an interview with the Chronicle, Wilchfort said the new platform enables the museum to better keep in touch with constituents. Twice a year, the museum asks previous ticket buyers for a contribution, and they also receive a weekly newsletter with a prominent “donate now” message.
With the changes, membership at the museum has increased almost 60 percent since 2012.
While board members can certainly contribute themselves, this isn’t the only way they can assist the organizations they support in fundraising. They can also lead the way in establishing new practices that will increase the effectiveness of fundraising in the long term, such as encouraging new initiatives and even suggesting the use of better donation management platforms.
More effective software can make a significant difference when it comes to increasing donations. The more organized museums and other nonprofits are when it comes to keeping track of constituents, the better fundraising efforts are likely to be. Maintaining contact with previous donors and members is one of the most effective ways to gain gifts year after year. A donation management platform can help organizations to better keep in touch with the people who care about the museum and want it to continue improving.