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Your nonprofit’s constituent relationship management (CRM) software is pivotal to your fundraising success. Your CRM houses all of your most important data and enables you to better understand donors, ultimately boosting gifts to fuel your mission. This makes it crucial that your CRM is comprehensive and tailored to meet nonprofit needs.

That’s why so many organizations choose Salesforce for Nonprofits, one of the most robust nonprofit CRMs available. 

But investing in the right technology is only half the battle. You also have to use and build on it strategically to reach your goals. Whether you’re thinking about making the switch to Salesforce or you want to use your existing Salesforce instance more effectively, these tips will help you learn how to transform your nonprofit’s fundraising with the platform.

An infographic of the four ways nonprofits can use Salesforce to revolutionize their fundraising, explained in this article.

Use Your Data Wisely

Whether you use Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud or the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), one of the top benefits of the Salesforce CRM is data centralization. Instead of having donor data distributed across multiple platforms and fundraising tools, resulting in harmful data silos that prevent your team from easily finding accurate information, all of your data lives in one central location—the Salesforce CRM.

With this centralized data, your organization gets a valuable 360-degree view of each of your supporters. See a donor’s contact information, engagement history, previous donations, and personal connections all in one place to get the full picture of their relationship with your nonprofit.

But don’t stop there—to boost your fundraising results, use this data to enhance every aspect of your communications with donors. For example, you can:

  • Personalize fundraising appeals. Tailor your fundraising asks to each donor’s giving level, reference specific ways they’ve engaged with your organization recently, and appeal to them using the methods you know they’ll respond to best.
  • Thank donors effectively. According to Fundraising Letters, personalizing thank-you messages with data is one of the top strategies for recognizing donors. Include personal data in your thank-you emails, and use Salesforce’s segmentation tools to group donors by demographics or communication preferences to tailor messages further.
  • Showcase impact. It’s much easier to show donors their personal impact on your mission when you can see everything they’ve done to help your nonprofit in one place. Use their giving and engagement history to provide individual donors with genuine, compelling reports on how their contributions impact your cause.

Ultimately, using your donor data wisely will help you build stronger, lasting relationships that sustain your nonprofit long-term. But this is only true if your data is accurate and up-to-date. Make sure to comb through or audit the data in your CRM periodically to ensure its accuracy.

Don’t Be Afraid of Automation

You may have seen some skepticism throughout the nonprofit sector about new automated technologies like AI, but don’t let that prevent you from leveraging Salesforce’s many impactful automation features.

Features like automated donation processing, supporter segmentation, and Salesforce’s own AI tool, Einstein, can help you streamline the donor journey and boost fundraising results by making it easier for donors to give. The goal of these tools is to make your staff more efficient so they can put more time towards the hands-on parts of fundraising, like personally interacting with top donors.

Plus, Salesforce offers additional automation solutions like Marketing Cloud, which allows your organization to build out complex automated email journeys for your supporters to follow. Instead of sending out a generic chain of emails to all of your contacts, you can ensure that every supporter receives only the messages that are most relevant to them.

Integrate Your Other Fundraising Tools

Since Salesforce is so widely used, many other fundraising tools integrate with the Salesforce CRM to help you use both tools more effectively. If you haven’t already, check to see if any of the other tools your organization uses can integrate with Salesforce. These might include:

  • Matching gift tools. Plenty of nonprofits use solutions that help them find, track, and promote corporate matching gift opportunities to their supporters. When you integrate your matching gift tool with Salesforce, it’ll scan your database to quickly identify supporters who are eligible for the top matching gift programs and help you automate all of your matching gift communications.
  • Online event platforms. If your nonprofit uses software to run virtual or hybrid fundraising events, such as an online auction platform, see if it offers an integration that can help you improve the event with your Salesforce data. These integrations might allow you to automatically populate event communications with donor data and add participation data from the event right to your Salesforce donor profiles.
  • Marketing solutions. Do you use a specialized social media or text marketing app to interact with donors across communication channels? Integrating these tools with Salesforce can make it easier to personalize messages and track the results of your marketing campaigns alongside fundraising results.

Reach out to the provider of each of your tools to see what the integration process entails. Ask if there’s an additional price for the integration, and determine if your nonprofit’s team is equipped to perform the integration or if you’ll need to hire an outside expert.

Work with a Salesforce Partner

Even if you don’t need an outside consultant to integrate your other fundraising tools with Salesforce, working with an official Salesforce Partner can be highly valuable. These technology experts are certified by Salesforce to provide organizations with platform guidance, implementation services, and more. Working with a Salesforce Partner can change the entire trajectory of your nonprofit’s journey with Salesforce.

Specifically, technology consultants with both Salesforce and nonprofit expertise can help your organization leverage your CRM to its fullest potential. For example, Redpath’s nonprofit Salesforce consulting page explains that the best Salesforce partners can help you use the platform to streamline fundraising processes, engage donors, and improve program delivery. They do this by:

  • Discussing your goals for Salesforce and current pain points.
  • Analyzing your existing technology stack to find any gaps or opportunities for improvement.
  • Suggesting actions you can take to improve your usage of Salesforce, such as investing in the best Salesforce apps for nonprofits.
  • Implementing your chosen solutions and ensuring that everything functions properly.

A Salesforce Partner can also organize training resources for your staff, educate you on Salesforce best practices, and guide you through all the phases of improving your CRM to meet your fundraising goals.

With these strategies and the right mindset, your nonprofit can reach new fundraising heights with Salesforce. Improving the way your team uses your CRM isn’t a one-time endeavor, though. Make sure to consistently monitor how you leverage Salesforce and the results you’re getting to keep moving in the right direction.

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