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Fundraising Software - Fundraising in the 21st Century

By Tuesday knight

The complexity of fundraising has risen steadily over the last several decades. Technological advances have raised the stakes as well as the possibilities for all fundraising organizations across the boards. What was once a door to door and event oriented endeavor has benefited from new forms of communication. From television telethons to subscriber e-mail alerts, fundraising organizations have more ways to reach a wider audience than ever before.

As fundraising efforts have increased in complexity, the challenge of streamlining those efforts has necessitated the creation of fundraising software. Not-for-profit organizations often conduct fundraising activities on a year round schedule while garnering a portion of their budget from local, state and federal grants. For organizations such as these, fundraising software has become a crucial part of their daily operations.

Fundraising software allows for advanced contact management, giving organizations the ability to oversee all day-to-day interactions with donors, volunteers, members, alumni, grant makers, vendors and employees. It can also automate communications, by generating thank-you letters, receipts, letters and membership documentation. Most organization use fundraising software applications to cultivate relationships with new prospects as well. Fundraising software gives administrators the ability to see which approaches to donor aquisition work best through the reporting capabilities of the application.

Another benefit of fundraising software applications is the ability to keep confidential information secure within an organization. Some charitable institutions must keep donor information private, and of course, financial information is particularly sensitive considering the amount of identity theft that can occur. Fundraising software applications allow administrators to provide access to financial and other records only to those staff members who need to see them.

The reporting capabilities of fundraising software, however, are what really makes it a valuable tool for organizations. The ability to see which demographics are most charitable to a particular organization's cause allows that organization to effectively target its efforts toward garnering the best return. Most not-for-profits are severely limited on manpower and resources, and must make the most of their operating budgets. fundraising software allows them to do just that, which can mean the difference between reaching annual fundraising goals and falling well short of where they would like to be.
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