Donation management software is a great way for nonprofits to increase the efficiency of their processes, keep in touch with constituents and increase fundraising. As the economy recovers from the Great Recession, charitable giving has been on the rise, which means it could be a good time to upgrade from spreadsheets and implement a new platform to manage donor information.

The Nonprofit Times cited a new report from the Atlas of Giving, which indicated charitable giving will increase by 5.7 percent in 2014. The report estimated that $417.8 billion was raised in 2013 and that the number is expected to rise to $441.58 billion in 2014.

In the report, Rob Mitchell, CEO of the Atlas of Giving called 2013 a record-setting year for philanthropy in the U.S.

“Stock market growth fueled much of the giving but improving employment, growing real estate values, a lack of inflation, low-interest rates, and acceleration in GDP also helped to make 2013 an especially strong giving year. Breaking the $400 billion mark is a historic event that bolsters U.S dominance of world philanthropy,” Mitchell said.

The Nonprofit Times noted that projections from the Atlas of Giving differ somewhat from earlier estimates from the Giving USA Foundation, which projected that $335.17 billion was raised in 2013. Either way, the numbers are looking better than they did a few years ago.

Transition to donation management software now

As charitable giving is on the upswing, nonprofits can benefit greatly from the improved donation climate. Focusing on new software now could be a great way to allocate resources better in the future. Once you have a significant list of donors to keep track of, it becomes imperative to switch to a system that contains this data all in one central location.

According to Ideal ware’s “A Consumer’s Guide to Donor Management Systems,” using a spreadsheet can become difficult once your organization is handling more than just a few donations. Also, databases quickly outlive their usefulness too, leaving nonprofits with files that are packed with duplicate entries and what amounts to hours of wasted time and energy.

Moreover, being able to keep better track of donors is a good retention strategy. When a potential donor calls, you can quickly ascertain whether or not they’ve given before, and you won’t have to waste their time and yours by asking for information that’s already in the system.

As charitable giving increases, nonprofits will be able to better accommodate the influx of gifts with a more efficient platform.