Fundraisers today are working harder than ever for fewer donations. Is fundraising getting harder? What is it going to take to grow and scale your fundraising efforts? Are donors becoming more selective? Or, like many other industries run over by the tech revolution, is fundraising getting left in the dust?
In 2017, I co-founded Wisely with the express objective of helping nonprofits grow and scale their fundraising efforts. Having worked in the nonprofit tech space, I saw first-hand how archaic tools and ineffective processes were crippling organizational efforts to raise more money. A Blackbaud report found that in 2018, barely half of all gift officers were able to raise more than $500,000 and that in terms of relationship management, two-thirds of top prospects were not assigned. Two. Thirds. That’s a huge number!
Nonprofits and CRMs
From personal experience I know that nonprofit teams are passionate about what they do and driven to support their cause, meaning that lack of talent and effort are not to blame here. What is to blame is something I like to call the ‘nonprofit effectiveness gap’. While nonprofit teams are highly motivated and driven, they lack the tools to truly take their efforts to the next level – specifically, their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and analytics.
Another profession very similar to fundraising went through a similar struggle over the past decade and has come out on top thanks to help from technology. The profession I’m referring to? Sales.
Sales and Fundraising. Similar? How?
Sales and fundraising are two variants of the same process – finding prospects and convincing them to invest in your product or service. Decades ago, salespeople struggled to “sell” through their CRMs as it was a tired and slow process. Just as salespeople were about to throw in the towel, a new era of sales tools appeared, aptly referred to as sales enablement.
These sales enablement tools allowed salespeople to better manage their customer relationships and take sales strategies to the next level. As a result, sales enablement technology helped salespeople grow their businesses dramatically over the past decade.
When founding Wisely, we asked ourselves, could we use similar technology to revolutionize the way nonprofits fundraise? The answer was a resounding “Yes!”, and ever since Wisely has been focused on helping nonprofits grow and scale their fundraising efforts through sales enablement.
In 2018, 70% of the $440 billion raised by nonprofits in North America came from individual donors, which is why developing and nurturing relationships with this key donor group is so imperative. Wisely, powered by AI, has built a platform that takes the guesswork out of fundraising. Wisely, when integrated with Silent Partner and Raisers Edge NXT CRMs, provides real-time insight on who will give, how much, and when. This let’s fundraisers connect with the right donor at the right time and make the fundraising journey stress-free and efficient.
Why has sales enablement in fundraising succeeded where other efforts failed? The short answer is that it helps fundraising teams be more productive, grow and scale their fundraising efforts, and exponentially increase donations. Given better tools, better processes, and better information, nonprofit fundraising teams spend less time managing data and more time building relationships.
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