Skip to main content

The Importance of Native Online Giving Tools

When you're shopping for fundraising software, it's important to ask the right questions. In this article, we break down two types of giving tools.

The Importance of Native Online Giving Tools

When reviewing nonprofit fundraising software, you’ll find that there are many tools and modules available to help your organization engage donors and raise funds more effectively. Many nonprofits never give a second thought to exactly how those tools work.

For example, most of the time, tools are integrated with the core technology. Sometimes, you can find fundraising software with the tools natively built right in the platform; no data syncing or separate logins required. In this article, we will take a look at integrated and native giving tools and demonstrate the ways in which native tools can help your nonprofit. 

Integrated Online Giving Tools

Let's start with a look at integrated tools. For example, many nonprofit CRMs integrate with MailChimp for email, or Constant Contact, or Eventbrite. The functionality is there, but it’s sourced from a third-party platform. While this is a viable solution, there are inherent problems:

  • Data is siloed. For example, if all your email addresses are in MailChimp, you must export them for use in another platform.
  • Data must sync, usually once a day. This means you have outdated information for more than 23 hours in any day.
  • Because the tools exist outside of your core technology, performance can lag.
  • Integrated tools are not usually customizable.
  • Any time data is being transmitted, there is a security risk. The more third-party tools you use, the more vulnerable you are.
  • The user experience can suffer. One popular nonprofit CRM uses a payment processor that requires a separate login. Users must remember that login information and transfer to the third-party site.
  • When you plug a lot of integrated tools into your CRM, they can conflict—resulting in degraded data or performance.

 Now let's take a closer look at native fundraising tools.

Native Online Giving Tools

When tools are native, they are developed within the core technology. Not many, if any, fundraising software vendors can honestly say they have all the core fundraising tools nonprofits need natively built within their platform.

CharityEngine’s fundraising software uniquely offers every core donor management and fundraising tool built directly within our platform. In fact, CharityEngine was developed for a large, national nonprofit that couldn’t figure out how to duct-tape together a solution. Our CEO saw how impractical a wholly integrated ecosystem was and built CharityEngine.

Native tools provide value to your organization. An obvious benefit is the lack of data silos. Your data seamlessly connects to other data points within the CharityEngine system to provide you with a real-time, 360-degree view of your donors. You will effortlessly understand donor actions, even if they occur in different modules. You will know if a donor opened an email, registered for an event, and mailed a check…it’s all right there, in real time. This insight creates an opportunity for hyper-personalized outreach that resonates with donors.

Other benefits of native tools include:

  • Easily track and manage contributions in real time, even if they are on different channels or are different types of gifts (i.e. monetary, time, in-kind).
  • Highly customizable form design. Forms can be customized to include your branding and your design. Choose which payment options you want to offer and enable features to increase online conversions.
  • Native payment processing means that it’s easy to offer frictionless giving. One-click giving, auto-completion of address fields, payment options including virtual wallets like Apple Pay, and automatic credit card updating are all features that help you raise money.
  • Intelligent gifting tools will process hundreds of thousands of data points from across the platform to inform giving probability, personalize ask amounts based on giving history, and even create AI-generated (and automatic) gift receipt emails.
  • Nonprofits can designate online donations using CharityEngine, meaning they can be earmarked for a specific initiative, campaign, or program. Donors respond favorably when they know their targeted donation will be applied where they intend.
  • Donor analytics are a critical measure of the health of your online giving program. When tools are natively built into your CRM, you can measure KPIs that will help you identify effective channels for online giving based on segmented donor audiences as well as critical measures of online giving, such as donor lifetime value, average gift size, and even collection and retention rates.
  • CharityEngine’s platform offers a comprehensive permissions system, so it’s easy to customize user access controls. Create permissions based on defined user roles.
  • Users of our fundraising software have a single login, so there’s no need to keep multiple logins and passwords straight. 

Understanding the difference between native and integrated tools is key to selecting the software that’s right for your nonprofit.

The Only True All-in-One Fundraising Software Platform

While a system built of many parts will initially satisfy a nonprofit, any organization with a multichannel approach to fundraising will quickly find that stuck-together solutions are lacking. A comprehensive nonprofit CRM with native tools and one tested with the highest volume of data will allow the most effective, efficient donor management and fundraising possible.

If you'd like to chat about how CharityEngine's natively built fundraising platform can help your nonprofit, book a demo. We'd love to talk!