Nonprofit Software Journey Mapping: For Fundraisers

Donor Management & Engagement/ By Mike Crum

There’s a huge emphasis on donor journey mapping. Less clicks means more gifts. More donor engagement means repeat giving. You get the point.

But:  What about Nonprofit software journey mapping for fundraisers?

Quite simply:  How can you ensure you’re optimizing your journey towards donor engagement?

The average Nonprofit uses  20+ software programs. Most of these programs don’t talk to each other – so you’re stuck having to live out of Excel and doing double data entry. Lots of clicks, lots of programs, lots of data re-entry – not an optimal journey for you as a fundraiser.

You’re spending valuable time doing work-arounds to ‘use’ your software – while you could be using that time on direct donor engagement.  This results in errors and missed opportunities.

Successful fundraising is all about donor engagement. Unfortunately, most Nonprofit software doesn’t have a bias for engagement – in fact, all those various standalone software products seem to be working against you, rather than for you.

Your software should be helping you optimize your journey as you strive to engage donors – and optimize their donor journey with your Nonprofit.

Yes, you should have software that manages your donors – you’ve got to have accurate records somewhere to capture institutional memory. But you’ve got to have software that helps you engage donors. Why not get both?

You can optimize your fundraiser journey to engage donors by using Nonprofit software that’s integrated and all under-one-roof. Just like with your donors, less clicks means ease of use and results. You don’t need to have standalone silos using different software for events, task management, email marketing, your donor crm, or peer-to-peer campaigns. Get one turn-key system and you will spend much more time focused on donor engagement.

To make it as basic as possible:  Your data should be integrated and actionable across all your functional areas. You should be able to get a snapshot of every donor’s journey in your Nonprofit – at the press of a button. With integrated software you can get a global or a granular view on your entire moves management process with only a few clicks. Is Ann opening and clicking through emails you’ve sent? Have your followed up and answered Munis’s question he asked during your recent lunch? How is Freda’s peer-to-peer campaign going, and does she need any assistance setting it up? How many major donors have registered for the campaign kick-off reception?

Of course, integrated data is great, but how many clicks does it take you to make your data actionable? Fortunately, there have been incredible strides in the past few years to make software intuitive and easy-to-use. You can find integrated software that doesn’t require three weeks of online video training just so one staff person can learn the basics of the software.

Best of all, uber-nested navigation is a thing of the past with some software. Again, less clicks for you, means more donor engagement.

Software dashboard have also come a long way in the past few years, and some software will allow you users to personalize a dashboard so they can have one screen where they can monitor and track key data. From managing your tasks, to viewing recent touchpoints with donors, to monitoring event RSVPs, to at-a-glance reports – you can stay on top of all your fundraising activity.  

Probably one of the best things about integrated software is the ability to set, manage, and complete tasks for you, your team, and fundraising volunteers. This is central to donor engagement! Systems trump intentions every day, and easy-to-use and robust task management helps you follow-up and follow-through with your donors. Best of all, it helps you activate fundraising volunteers, and help them succeed with their donor engagement activities.

In addition to staying on top of task management, you need actionable data – when you need it. Older software systems have archaic reporting functionality, and you often spend more of your time creating reports rather than learning and acting on them. Newer and integrated software programs make comprehensive reporting easy.  

Donor engagement increasingly means peer-to-peer campaigns. Rather than relying on a costly software add-on, and a two-year plus contract, integrated software will provide peer-to-peer fundraising capability. Best of all, it’s so easy to use that fundraising volunteers and donors can easily create and publish their own pages as a standalone initiative, as part of a team with other fundraisers, or join a specific campaign. Look for this capability to be standard, not an add-on, as you search for fundraising software.

These are just a few of the ways you can improve your fundraising journey. Integrated fundraising software that is easy to use is now available. Don’t settle for anything less – the direct and indirect costs are just too high to keep plodding along with multiple standalone software that’s clunky and not that easy to use. Improve your fundraising journey and you’re sure to improve your Nonprofit’s donor journey as well!


Mike Crum

Subject Matter Expert

Mike is a recognized expert, thought leader, advisor and speaker in the Nonprofit world. Over the past four decades, Mike served as an Executive Director, COO, see more

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