Originally published in the June 2017 AHP Connect.
Fundraising technology is a game changer for hospital fundraising professionals, making it easier to gather, sort and store valuable donor data and insights. Use technology to streamline efficiencies and strengthen donor relationships as you strategically integrate functionality across your systems.
Analyze your data. Fundraising technology makes it easy to track results and provide insights. User-friendly platforms deliver data offering opportunities for fundraisers to make real-time adjustments to their appeals and campaigns that will better resonate with their donor pool.
Offer ways to donate via mobile devices. In 2015, Blackbaud reported that 17% of the Giving Tuesday donations it processed came from mobile devices (1). Convey a sense of urgency along with your needs and encourage quick action with the ‘donate now’ button.
Create technology plans for special events. Incorporate mobile bidding in silent and live auctions to ensure every item has been “spoken for.” Give bidders time to raise more money by opening auctions online in advance of events, creating more excitement and offering non-attendees a chance to donate, as well. Strategic use of technology can also help make the best use of volunteer time. For example, transferring event invitations and pre-registration to an online platform frees up volunteers to spend more time on expanding donor relationships rather than on telephone outreach or tracking mailed RSVPs.
Streamline event registration and event check-in with technology. You’ll reduce the need to recruit multiple volunteers and you’ll help guests avoid long lines at the beginning and end of the occasion. Embrace real-time data to make targeted decisions, such as delivering personalized messages to key donors to encourage higher bidding and make sure all items bring in funds. You might save hours of post-event analysis by accessing accurate reports based on real time check out results. Use these powerful insights to quickly reach out to thank key donors, building stronger more powerful donor relationships.
If events are not a core of your tactical toolkit, crowdfunding offers a new way for donors to get involved. The success of crowdfunding demonstrates that today’s donors want to understand the impact of their dollars on specific projects and programs. Be sure to highlight your needs by emphasizing the impact donations bring to patients. Crowdfunding websites and software allow institutions to use fewer general appeals in favor of more targeted requests for assistance (2).
Hospitals that implement modern tactics may reach and retain more donors and more effectively juggle outreach and relationship building. For example, nonprofits retain only one in five new donors due to negative post-gift experiences. Think about ways to use technology in the service of creative stewardship plans. Try, for example, embed a patient thank you video message in a donor email.1 Bring your appeals and campaigns to life by adding compelling patient stories and images.
Cracking the code of what hospital donors are seeking can be a laborious and often variable process. However, the more multifaceted and customized the approach, the more chances there are of getting it right.
About the Author: Jim Alvarez is the founder and CEO of full-service fundraising technology company Gesture. Gesture has helped nonprofits across the country raise over $300 million since 2011 through the use of technology. Alvarez is the recipient of the Chicago Innovation Award and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award for his innovative idea and launch of Gesture. Alvarez drives the growing company to make hope happen for nonprofits developing innovative ideas that embrace technology.
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