In this three-part series, we highlight some of the ways CiviCRM can be used to enhance your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. Part One explains how to use CiviCRM to promote and accept honorary donations. Part Three explains how to improve your ask with A/B email testing.
Your nonprofit uses a variety of strategies to raise funds for your mission and programs. Each of these strategies, from hosting a gala to cultivating major gifts, will speak to a specific segment of your supporters. Yet funds raised from these strategies may all be directed toward the same campaign or budget line. Your CRM should make it easy to track and report on the individual and collective success of your efforts.
Nonprofit development directors, rejoice! With CiviCampaign, CiviCRM makes it easy out-of-the box to manage an array of fundraising strategies, while seeing real-time metrics on the progress you have made toward your fundraising goals.
What is CiviCampaign?
CiviCRM functionality is provided via a series of “modules.” Because of the unique scalability of CiviCRM, modules and extensions can be added over time to your system. CiviCampaign is one of these modules, allowing you to link together events, mailings, activities, and contributions under one “umbrella” or campaign.
Let’s unpackage three things you can do with CiviCampaign to enhance your fundraising program.
One: Tailor CiviCRM so it fits your nonprofit’s fundraising strategies.
Typically when you accept a donation or registration fee through CiviCRM you are doing that through a price set. Price sets are created using a variety of Financial Types and Financial Accounts in the system. Each financial type, like “Donation,” is tied to a number of financial accounts in CiviCRM. These financial accounts should ideally be based on your organization’s Chart of Accounts.
Here are the standard Financial Types and their corresponding Financial Accounts that come out-of-the-box with CiviCRM.
Customizing these options will bring your accounting team peace of mind, while giving you more options in reporting. For example, if you go to Contributions > Find Contributions, you can filter and search through your donations, event registration fees, membership fees, and more by Financial Type.
However, if you need to share an update on a multi-year fundraising campaign that has benefited from individual donations, major gifts, grant funding, and special events, just looking at Financial Types won’t cut it. For this, you need CiviCampaign.
With CiviCampaign, you can customize the Campaign Types you have in the system and then create an unlimited number of Campaigns based on your organization’s unique strategies.
Here are some examples of Campaign Types in the system.
When you create a new Campaign, you associate it with the correct Campaign Type, give it a start and end date, revenue goal, and more. Again, this all comes out-of-the-box with CiviCRM. There is so much more you could add and track by creating custom fields for your Campaigns.
You can now use these Campaigns throughout the system to tie together donations, product purchases, event fees, mailings, activities, and more.
Here’s an example of what that looks like when creating an event:
Here’s an example for how to incorporate campaigns into your nonprofit donation page:
Here’s an example of how a Campaign can be added when you are recording a donation manually in the system:
With Campaigns, every dollar you raise, no matter how it was raised, can be tied back to the same goal.
Two: Do more with Advanced Search.
Now that you have customized your Financial Types and Accounts and have created Campaign Types that match your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy, you can use that information to strengthen your relationships.
Let’s go through an example.
Let’s say I’m in charge of a capital campaign to expand our offices and I want to give our donors a personal update on our progress. With Advanced Search, I have an array of criteria I can use to filter my results. From there, I can take immediate action, like creating a smart or basic group, sending a mailing, or exporting the information for additional analysis outside of the system.
For this example, I want to find all individuals who live in Colorado that have given at least $200 in the last year benefiting my Campaign. I’ll use these filters:
- Basic Criteria > Contact Type(s) > Individual
- Address Fields > State/Province > Colorado
- Contribution Amounts > From $1 to $200
- Contributions > Date Received > Last 12 months including today
- Contributions > Campaigns > 2018 Capital Campaign
From there I can quickly email these individuals from Actions > Email — schedule/send via CiviMail using Mosaico’s beautiful email template builder.
I can repeat this process, changing the contribution amount or date range each time. By using tokens, CiviCRM’s equivalent to mail merge fields, I can quickly send personalized communications to all of my donors.
There is so much potential here. Advanced Search also lets me view the search results in different ways. The top fieldset in Advanced Search is called “Display Settings for Results.” Beneath “Display Results As” you can choose to view your search results as Contact (default), Contributions, Event Participants, Memberships, Activities, Cases, Related Contacts, and Mailings. (Depending on which modules you are using in CiviCRM, some of these options may not display.)
Each of the display options comes with a slightly different set of actions that you can take on the results. For example, if you view your search results as “Contributions,” you could complete bulk updates on all the contributions, or choose to either print or email invoices.
These features allow you to efficiently take action and provide your team with the information they need, so you can get back to building relationships.
Three: Create better reports.
CiviCRM offers an array of reporting options. As you become more familiar with your system, you will learn when it makes the most sense to use Advanced Search and when to use Reports, depending on the type of information you are looking for and what you want to do with it. For a bird’s-eye view of your Campaigns, use the Campaign Progress report template.
Like all other reports, you determine what columns of information you want the report to display.
You also have multiple filter options to refine your results.
Besides this report, which can help you analyze your success across multiple efforts, you can display the Campaign as a column of information and use it for filtering results in most other reports.
Unlike Advanced Search results, reports can be automatically generated and delivered via email to individuals in your organization, such as a weekly report to your Executive Director and a monthly report to your Board President.
Make sure the core members of your team know how to run these reports. This is one of the beauties of CiviCRM; if everyone is consistently recording their interactions and ways your target audience is connecting with and giving to your work, no one should be in the dark on the progress you are making. You can see and celebrate in real-time your nonprofit’s fundraising successes.
Get to Work
It is a privilege to set up and train our nonprofit clients on how to use these features to support their fundraising efforts. The features and functionality discussed in this blog post require no custom development. There is much that can be layered on top of this functionality to extend its value, but this starting point can provide an immediate and affordable value to your nonprofit.
More DIY Posts
Learn about other ways you can use CiviCRM to enhance your fundraising efforts.
- Encourage your donors to make honorary gifts
- 10 engaging nonprofit donation pages
- The anatomy of an effective donation page
- 7 tips for creating a successful year-end donation page
- Increase donations with A/B email testing
- Easily create branded emails with CiviMosaico