As the Ice Bucket Challenge continues to go viral and take up prominent space on Facebook feeds, many philanthropists have begun to question the fundraising method itself. As an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy pointed out, not only is it dominating the philanthropic conversation in the face of other issues that need to be addressed but encouraging people to douse themselves in cold water may not be an effective fundraising idea in the long run.

Among the questions raised by the Chronicle were whether the ALS Association would be able to retain these donors and whether the resources are being properly allocated. In other words, once the ice buckets have run their course, will the organization be able to maintain the momentum?

Donation strategies that work on fundraising success

Information from Nonprofit Research Collaborative shared by Nonprofit Quarterly highlighted some methods that are proven to work. To start out with, organizations that have established an annual fund were more likely to report that their fundraising goals were on track. More than 75 percent of nonprofits with annual funds reported being on target with fundraising, as opposed to just 57 percent of organizations that have no annual fund.

One of the highest predictors of future success is donor retention. According to the study, organizations that retain at least 50 percent of donors from the previous year are more likely to meet their annual funding goals. Having dedicated staff for the annual fund was another way to predict success, regardless of the size of the organization in question. However, larger organizations are more likely to have an such a strategy established.

Donation management software

Another important way to achieve success is through the use of donation management software. Most of the above predictors of meeting fundraising goals can be further enhanced with the use of donation management platforms. For donor retention to be effective, nonprofits need a way to keep in touch with former contributors and thank them for their gifts. A cloud-based platform like CommunityForce’s can help nonprofit staff more easily maintain contact with these individuals who form the backbone of their organizations.

Moreover, keeping on top of an annual fund can be difficult with the home base that donation management software can provide. These platforms can also provide reporting features that allow nonprofits to quickly visualize data related to their fundraising campaigns.

Donation management software can make nonprofit fundraising initiatives more effective.