Understaffed and pressed for time. If you run a non-profit organization, you probably have had that feeling more than a few times. As the competition for charitable donations becomes more and more fierce, that feeling isn’t likely to change any time soon. It’s a constant battle to find one more hour in a day and one more hand to get it all done.
That’s where technology comes in. Of course your organization has been utilizing the whatever tech it could afford for the last 20 or so years now, but are the programs and platforms you’re using the best for your mission?
Let’s look at a couple areas where a little bit more technology might be the answer to your organization’s problems.
Integration and Automation
Depending on the size and age of your organization, you may have experienced the issue of systems that don’t communicate with each other. You use a customer relationship management system that doesn’t sync with the social media management tools you employ. Your project management software can’t connect to your marketing automation tools. You’re spending more time importing and exporting data than on fulfilling your mission.
That’s where Zapier comes in. It works with literally thousands of apps and can automate tasks and connect systems to save you time you’d normally spend manually inputting or exporting data. For example, you may have people registering on your website for an event. With Zapier, once the user hits submit on the form, the information is automatically input into a Google Sheet, allowing you to access the information without the hassle of logging into the back end of the website. When someone on your site fills out a form requesting more information, Zapier can trigger a text message to you so you can reply more quickly.
Setting up these “Zaps,” which are basically “if, then” condition triggers will not only save you time though. Having processes automated also eliminates the chance that the ball will get dropped on routine, but important tasks. You can easily set up a task that ensures every time you post a blog on your WordPress website, it is automatically shared to your social media accounts.
Event Planning and Production
Almost every nonprofit organization has at least one signature fundraising event per year. Many of these events include an auction – silent and/or live. Keeping track of items, winners and payments can be a big headache. If it’s a large event with many bidders, processing payments can cause a huge bottleneck at check out, potentially leading to bidders leaving without paying for or receiving their items.
Implementing auction software can not only streamline your current processes but can also make it easier to scale and increase the number of items available, thereby increasing your fundraising capacity. Our choice for auction software is Auctria.
From start to finish, Auctria can streamline your process and save you time at check in and check out. Whether you’re doing a silent auction or a live auction (or a little of both), you can assign bidder numbers to people when they purchase their tickets. This will cut down on the possibility of recording the wrong bidder number as people are checking in. You can also store a credit card so whatever bids, purchases or donations are made, the card is charged and the donor can get their items and leave quickly – no line to wait in to pay for their pledges or items won. Additionally, you can send a text message to all the silent auction winners so they know while they are having dessert that there is an item waiting for them at check out.
You can also easily create a website for the auction, which means your donors can check out the items and decide in advance what they want to bid on. Creating excitement for the auction items before the event is a great way to boost the bids. If someone sets his/her sights on an item a few weeks in advance, they are more likely to try to outbid the competition on the night of the event. You can also send invoices and donation receipt letters right from the dashboard.
Auctria can also track donations and auction information year over year. If your organization tends to have a group of usual suspects at your events, this will save a lot of data entry time. Just copy all the donors into the new auction. Also, use the information to send personalized reminders and teasers to high bidders.
So that’s just a couple time / labor saving apps your organization can take advantage of. Get in touch and tell us what your needs are so we can give you specific advice on tech solutions. Or just tell us what tech is saving you time and money. Maybe we can implement it here and have more time to send you our awesome emails! (JK – we promise to only email when we have great info to share.)