The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become known as Giving Tuesday – a day to kick off the charitable giving season and encourage donations to nonprofit organizations. It was created as a way to offset the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a day focused on giving back.
While the intentions behind Giving Tuesday are admirable, the day has turned into a major workload headache for many nonprofit staff members. With so many donations flooding in on one particular day, nonprofit technology systems get bottlenecked, donation processing gets backlogged, and donor thank you’s and tax receipts are delayed. This influx of year-end gifts creates high-stress levels for nonprofit employees who work overtime to ensure donations are properly processed amidst the surge in generosity.
Thankfully, nonprofit technology has evolved extensively in recent years to streamline the donation process from beginning to end. Solutions like Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud (NPC) and the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) provide excellent tools to optimize donations on Giving Tuesday and throughout the entire year-end giving season.
6 Ways Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Improves Donation Processing
The Nonprofit Cloud is Salesforce’s dedicated CRM solution built specifically for nonprofit organizations. It includes the Nonprofit Success Pack, a suite of nonprofit-specific features and functionalities, as well as access to the full Salesforce platform.
Here are some of the ways the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud can optimize donations around Giving Tuesday:
- Online Donation Forms: One of the biggest bottlenecks nonprofits face on Giving Tuesday is manual data entry of donor and gift information. With NPC, nonprofits can set up customizable online donation forms on their website. Donors can complete self-service forms with their contact details, donation amount, payment method and more. As soon as the donor submits the online form, their information automatically syncs with the nonprofit’s CRM in real-time. This eliminates manual data entry and reduces human error from gift processing.
- Automated Payment Processing: In addition to collecting donor details, online forms can also integrate directly with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe to collect credit card payments. Donations can be processed immediately and automatically upon form submission. This automated payment processing increases the speed of donations coming into the nonprofit. There is no delay between the donor’s gift and the payment clearing into the nonprofit’s account.
- Instant Receipting and Acknowledgment: Once a gift is processed, NPC can automatically trigger a thank you email and tax receipt to the donor. Nonprofit staff spend less time drafting individual thank-you notes and receipt letters. Donors receive immediate acknowledgment of their generosity. Customizable email templates allow nonprofits to control the look, feel and messaging in automated communications. Emails can include links back to donor portals for recurring donors to easily manage their ongoing monthly gifts.
- Donor Portals: For regular and recurring donors, NPC offers self-service donor portals. These are customized web pages where donors can log in and manage their contact information, view donation history, update recurring gifts, and more. Portals reduce the amount of basic donor inquiries to the nonprofit so staff can focus on more complex issues. Donors have 24/7 access to view their giving details in a transparent, online portal.
- Dashboards and Reporting: Behind the scenes, NPC provides real-time dashboards and gift processing metrics so staff can monitor donation volumes. This allows them to adjust support resources to meet demand. Embedded reports and analytics provide insights into campaign performance. Nonprofits can see which campaigns are driving the most donations based on source, effort, channel and other criteria. This data informs future marketing and fundraising initiatives.
- Optimized Fundraising Pages: Beyond just donation processing, NPC also helps nonprofits maximize gifts leading up to Giving Tuesday. Features like peer-to-peer fundraising pages allow nonprofits to empower supporters to fundraise on their behalf. Customizable campaign pages with progress thermometers encourage more giving by showing the momentum of donations coming in. Nonprofits can tailor messaging around campaigns to share their mission and impact with donors.
Why You Need a CRM to Optimize Donations
Without a dedicated nonprofit CRM solution, nonprofit staff end up cobbling together various systems and manual processes to collect, track and manage all the donations around Giving Tuesday. Data lives in spreadsheets, online forms, payment processors, email systems, and accounting software.
This disparate environment leads to:
- Duplicate donor records and incorrect data
- Difficulty getting a single view of donors and their giving history
- Inability to track campaign performance and ROI
- Missed opportunities for stewardship and retaining donors
A CRM centralizes all donor and fundraising data into one place. NPC connects online forms, payment processing, donor management, email marketing, and analytics. Everything related to donations and donors flows through the CRM. This consolidated view enables nonprofits to optimize the giving experience from acquisition to retention.
Why Salesforce for Nonprofits?
Salesforce is the #1 CRM platform with over 150,000 nonprofit customers worldwide. The company has invested heavily in the nonprofit vertical with tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of charitable organizations.
Some key reasons why Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud is an ideal solution for nonprofits:
- Made for Nonprofit Workflows: The Nonprofit Success Pack and Nonprofit Cloud are designed specifically for nonprofit workflows around donors, fundraising, programs, and volunteers. They follows industry best practices out-of-the-box.
- Powerful Customization: Even with built-in nonprofit functionality, Salesforce offers powerful customization to tailor systems to each organization’s unique needs. Nonprofits can customize data fields, workflows, and automation.
- Robust Ecosystem: As the most popular CRM, Salesforce offers an extensive nonprofit app exchange with hundreds of integrated solutions for fundraising, marketing, peer-to-peer, and more.
- Flexible Deployment: Salesforce nonprofit solutions are available in the cloud, on-premises, and in hybrid deployment models. Nonprofits can choose the right approach for their technology infrastructure.
- Mobile Capabilities: With Salesforce’s mobile apps, nonprofit staff can access donor data and manage fundraising from anywhere. Salesforce makes BYOD (bring your own device) easy for nonprofits.
- Scalable Growth: As nonprofits grow and evolve, Salesforce scales seamlessly. The same solution can meet the needs of a small nonprofit just starting out to the most sophisticated enterprise charity.
- Dedicated Nonprofit Team: Salesforce has an entire team devoted just to the nonprofit vertical. They understand the unique challenges of the industry and guide nonprofits to success.
- Philanthropic Support: The Salesforce.org philanthropic arm provides discounted and pro-bono Salesforce licenses to qualified nonprofits. They also give grants, training and support.
How Plative Helps Nonprofits Succeed with Salesforce
Plative is a consulting firm specializing in deploying Salesforce and Oracle NetSuite solutions for nonprofit organizations. We have extensive experience implementing CRMs for nonprofits of all sizes and missions.
If your nonprofit is struggling to manage the influx of donations around Giving Tuesday and year-end, we can help! Get in touch.