8 Ways to Break Nonprofit Barriers and Go From Small to Superstar
You’re a small nonprofit making a big impact. Perhaps you dream of how much more you could accomplish with a bigger staff, or a bigger budget…or both. What the next world-changing program could be if you weren’t juggling 5 different people’s jobs or putting out fires.
Around 90% of our nonprofit customers at Salesforce.org are small organizations with under 100 employees. Small Nonprofits face the same challenges building capacity with a lack of resources. Organizations are overcoming these hurdles every day, but not by hiring more or working harder, as those aren’t always options.
They use technology to their advantage. Where newly-established infrastructures used to mean less stability, they can now mean more agility and flexibility. Where modest size was once a hindrance, it can now be a huge advantage.
We’ve taken what we’ve learned from the thousands of small nonprofits we work with to create a suite of tools to help you in our latest Small & Emerging Nonprofit e-book. Although it will not help you triple your staff overnight, using the tools outlined in it may make you feel like you did! We love technology, nonprofits, and helping you do more.
Here are eight specific ways small nonprofits break traditional barriers using technology.
1. Relationship Building to Scale
To scale, small nonprofits leverage more than donation history. How about one (yup, only one) place to manage how a donor interacts with you, your programs, and your marketing efforts? But it’s what you do with that data, across more than just donors, that really matters. And it is also the part no one has time to remember. Use technology to manage, segment, and cultivate your constituent relationships with automated tasks and communications.
2. Make Communication Personal
Have you seen the last 300 studies on the millennial generation? Younger donors, volunteers, and supporters want to feel like special snowflakes – not the recipients of a mass market approach everyone else is getting. We’re pretty sure this goes for supporters of all ages. Use the data captured on relationships in tip one to personalize your emails.
3. Marketing Automation
Your staff has their hands (very) full, and doesn’t have time to send these communications by hand. Small nonprofits give their marketer(s) superpowers, by triggering communications at different points in their relationship with your organization or based on any particular action they took. All without any extra work from your staff.
4. Connect Engagement Channels
Why does your social presence have to operate all by itself? What about teaming it up with your web, email and direct mail outreach plans for one mega-connected engagement strategy humming in omnichannel heaven?
5. Streamline Collaboration
Why introduce another tool or system to help staff collaborate when you can use features already built into the products you use to raise money and communicate? Use integrated chat functionality, project planning tools and tracking spreadsheets. Goodbye other passwords to remember or the learning curve of a new platform.
6. Empower Self Service
Small teams need to be super efficient, which is why the ability to empower volunteers or donors to self-service tools can help free up valuable time for other projects. We mean an online interface prompting a volunteer to take the next step and recruit friends to help out with a fundraiser… and about a trillion other applications!
7. Instant Access to Data
For reporting back to decision makers, making program decisions, measuring impact and more. Wouldn’t your life be a bit easier if you had embedded reports and dashboards at the ready in just a few clicks? Debates over what you should do next in meetings will hush. Foundations and board chairs will swoon.
8. Build (or Borrow) Intelligence
Now that you have a system that functions across functions, connecting data from development, marketing, and fundraising departments, the sky’s the limit. You can look at programs data mixed with civic data to determine program expansion, re-segment constituents based on behaviors, or leverage artificial intelligence to find your next major gift.
We’re here to help remove one (or 54) of the hundreds of hats you wear and help you stay mission focused. Are you with us? Has all of this streamlined big picture thinking gotten you ready to download this helpful e-book? Psst. It is perfect for reading on the bus while heading to work tomorrow.
Download the Small and Emerging Nonprofit e-book
About the Author
Jarrett O’Brien is passionate about helping nonprofits build capacity and further their mission with technology. He focuses on the success of small organizations at Salesforce.org, as a Product Marketing Director on the Industry Solutions team. Before Salesforce.org, Jarrett founded a startup helping nonprofits with their software strategy, and connecting missions with corporate partners. His background has been in marketing, consulting, and business development with software companies over the last 15 years. Connect with Jarrett on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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