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Use Your CRM to Maximize Specialized Giving

Your CRM can easily handle one-time donations, but what features matter when you're talking about different kinds of gifts? We'll break it down for you.

Use Your CRM to Maximize Specialized Giving

Of course your nonprofit wants to raise money! And (of course) you are tech-savvy enough to know that the right nonprofit CRM can significantly help you raise more money.

But let’s drill down a little deeper into some specific kinds of gifts, and let’s talk about how a nonprofit CRM can help you catch some of those elusive bigger fish. We’re talking about major gifts, in which a certain subset of your donors offers the largest donations you receive; in-kind giving, in which your nonprofit received goods or services that aren’t cash; Donor Advised Funds, in which you’re donating to a trust, and planned giving, in which your nonprofit will benefit from future giving, such as in an estate.

As you can see, there are many ways to give, some of which fall outside a one-time or monthly cash donation. They allow for continued, or specialized, giving to ensure your impact is felt as intended.

Believe it or not, your choice of software can influence these types of gifts. There are features you’ll want to ensure your technology offers so you know you’re using all the tools you’ve got to help your nonprofit succeed.

CharityEngine offers some great tools that create additional fundraising opportunities. We will share them here as examples of what you might want in your technology.

Types of Giving

In this article, we will focus on four specific types of gifts.

Major gifts aren’t categorized by standard measurements. Rather, your nonprofit’s major gifts are the gifts from a single source that are the largest you’ve received in a fiscal year.

You can see that this would vary greatly by nonprofit. It’s common to hear fundraising professionals say that most nonprofits get 80% of their revenue from 20% of their donors, making major gifts a critical component of your fundraising plan.

In-kind gifts supply your nonprofit with non-cash goods. This can look like food donations to a food bank or supplies to a humane society, computers, or even cars or office space. Donors get rid of something they don’t need and get a tax write-off while you get something you need while saving your precious cash.

Donor Advised Funds (DAF) are gifts (cash, stock, real estate, and more) you make to a 501(c)(3) organization that maintains an account comprised of donations from individuals. While the nonprofit has legal control over the money, the donor can advise the nonprofit regarding the distribution of funds and the investment of assets in the account.

DAFs allow donors to make a charitable contribution and receive an immediate tax deduction, and then stay involved with the nonprofit and recommend grants from the fund over time.

Planned gifts can be given at any time, but most often, they’re placed into trusts so that an estate can continue the individual’s commitment to your nonprofit.

The good news is that you’re probably already working on planned giving, whether you intend to or not. This is because planned gifts result from relationships built over time, and most nonprofits we know are busy building and nurturing donor relationships all the time.

10 CRM Features that Help with Specialized Giving

Planned gifts, major gifts, and even in-kind gifts and DAFs come from something your nonprofit already does: establish and nurture relationships with your donors.

But how can you use your nonprofit CRM to identify and steward these donors? We can show you the features of CharityEngine that our clients use to maximize specialized giving (and, really, all types of fundraising).

  1. Your CRM can help you segment your audience according to any parameter. So you might look at age or location demographics, or even giving history, to identify the most ardent supporters of your nonprofit.
  2. CharityEngine collects tens of thousands of data points about your donors, and the software helps you map a donor through every stage of their lifecycle. It also provides detailed tracking of interactions over time, illuminating prospects and helping you steward them appropriately.
  3. Once you have that comprehensive data, CharityEngine offers a robust moves management platform to nurture donors and close transactions.
  4. And – still talking about the amazing data CharityEngine collects – because our platform has native tools, it tracks every single interaction between your donor and your nonprofit. So, for example, you could get an alert when someone reads an article you’ve written on how to give a major gift. That’s priceless intelligence!
  5. Our marketing and email automation (which uses if/then logic) mean you can create truly personalized outreach to your donors, enhancing your relationships and moving them toward specialized gifts.
  6. Using artificial intelligence and thousands of data points, CharityEngine can calculate a gift probability score. The higher the score, the more you know to reach out and talk about major gifts or planned giving.
  7. CharityEngine partners with WealthEngine so you can attribute wealth ratings and scores and merge them with your contact data. Once you have the information on things like assets and propensity to give, you can use advanced reporting tools to analyze the data and find patterns that will help.
  8. While it’s obvious that in-kind gifts aren’t cash, many major and planned gifts and contributions to a DAF are also non-cash. For example, a planned gift could be a life insurance policy, stocks, or real estate. Our software can natively track in-kind and non-cash goods because CharityEngine was built for fundraisers and is 100% focused on nonprofits. Most CRMs can, at best, track cash. In CharityEngine, you truly get a 360-degree view of your donors, no matter how they choose to support your nonprofit.
  9. Many kinds of gifts require pledging, and CharityEngine offers comprehensive pledging functionality so you can collect pledges and then track progress as they are fulfilled.
  10. All the data in the world isn’t super helpful unless you can analyze it. With heavy-duty reporting and analytics, you can hold your data up to the light and look at it from any facet…and our business intelligence that’s baked in will point out patterns and insights that compel action.

The ABCs of Nonprofit Donations

We’ve offered our audience lots of advice about nonprofit donations, and sometimes drilling down into the basics – the ABCs – can spark an idea or strategy that can help your nonprofit succeed.

Any nonprofit CRM is going to help you with donor management and fundraising. Once you leap from spreadsheets to technology, you’ve taken a giant step in the right direction. And there is technology that is suitable for every nonprofit. In fact, one of our most popular articles talks a lot about what our competitors do well.

What makes CharityEngine special, particularly regarding planned giving, major gifts, DAFs, and in-kind gifts, comes down to advanced technology and a platform with native tools, built just for fundraisers.

Not a CharityEngine client? Take this list to your nonprofit CRM vendor and see how much functionality they can match. If features are missing, put in a request so the technology works for you.

As you plan and execute your year-end campaigns, take a moment to think about specialized giving. What can you do today that will set you up for fundraising success down the road? If you need ideas, give us a ring. We’d love to chat.