Contrary to what you might expect it would not be too difficult to screen your donors to identify the majority of higher rate tax payers.
Using the WealthEngine comprehensive screening service you can screen all your donors in your database at one time or by using FindWealth Online a web-based identification tool you can have immediate results on individuals and companies whenever you receive donations.
So not only can you identify those higher tax payers but it will allow organisations to identify wealth and encourage them to cultivate high-end donor relationships.
If you would like more information on WealthEngine please do not hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
As previous commentators have indicated there is no such thing as a “free lunch”.
I thought you might be interested in this article from Doug Schoenberg CEO of DonorPerfect.
First let me remind my readers that I’m the CEO of a software company whose business is providing fundraising software to non-profits, so I can’t claim full objectivity on this topic. That said, I’m pretty tired of reading blog postings and articles from non-profit consultants espousing the virtues of “free” software for various aspects of nonprofit administration — from constituent relationship management (CRM) and web content management systems (CMS), to online donations, etc. In some cases the products being recommended are open-source software like ebase, Civicrm, SugarCRM, etc. and others are from philanthropic entities set up by for-profit companies like salesforce.com.
Sure, its nice of salesforce.com to provide nonprofits with free licenses for their software, but they are able to do this because their real business is providing salesforce as a sales contact management system for businesses. Adapting salesforce to provide the processes and reporting necessary to meet the unique aspects of nonprofit fundraising is a daunting effort. Of course these consultants have a solution — just hire a consultant to adapt (customize) the system to meet the needs of your nonprofit. Unfortunately the cost involved often far exceeds what the nonprofit would have to spend to buy a product that is already designed and tailored for non-profit fundraising.
I have a similar criticism of open source products, where the products must be maintained and supported by a community of developers. Again, the motivation — providing nonprofits with inexpensive software — is laudable: however the results almost always require the nonprofit to spend far too much time and effort on figuring out how to make it work.
As I noted at the outset, you can reasonably question my objectivity, but take a look at these quotes in a recent article from idealware that presents case-studies of a few nonprofits’ experience with general-purpose CRM systems.
From NY-NJ Trail Conference (NNTC)
“While ebase was a low-cost solution for NNTC (ebase can be downloaded for free and used on top of Filemaker Pro), the real cost has come in the staff time it has taken to modify the database. Daniels’ deep technical knowledge allowed him to make major changes. The rest of the staff now knows enough to make routine changes as necessary and train each other as new staff members are hired.
Because of his comfort with technology, Daniels did a lot of the CRM implementation himself, though he knows this is not an option for many nonprofits. “Most organizations don’t have a high-powered techie to implement a CRM for them, and finding a sophisticated volunteer is not possible for most organizations,” he says. “Without sophisticated knowledge you may have to hire consultants.”
Words of Wisdom
Daniels cautions against getting locked into a product. In NNTC’s case, ebase has not progressed and there is no upgrade path without doing a significant rebuild of the existing data and reports. “Nearly the entire CRM would need to be rewritten to upgrade.”
From Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC)
Salesforce itself is free for WTC to use because of Salesforce’s donation program (which provides up to 10 licenses for 501(c)3 nonprofits). However, it cost $10,000 for their consulting firm, ONE/Northwest, to migrate WTC’s data and build custom features. “We couldn’t have done it without them,” says Dawson. The project took about four months to go live. For an organization with about a million dollar annual budget, the CRM modification “wasn’t chump change,” says Dawson.”
“Not everything is better in Salesforce. WTC likes to create very specific solicitations to donors based on their interactions with the organization, and it is difficult to print a spreadsheet with a full history of giving. Ebase did this better by storing all donation data in one place. WTC’s Consultant, ONE/Northwest, created a custom view of some interactions but not of others.”
Here is a link to the complete article which has a lot of other interesting insights and also includes many positive comments http://www.idealware.org/articles/crm_case_studies.php.
My point is simply that non-profits need to realize that the cost of software is just a small component of the total investment in successfully implementing technology. As a software vendor focused entirely on nonprofit technology we have a strong financial incentive to help our clients use our products successfully. We serve as their technology experts, so they can spend their time and energy on their missions and building stronger relationships with their donors and constituents — not on building software.
DMACS are UK authorised distributors of DonorPerfect fundraising software
The simple answer to your question is yes!
I like you have used an access database combined with a mixture of spreadsheets. We went through the expense and pain of upgrading the database, but it never was really satisfactory. I then discovered DonorPerfect fundraising software. The saving in time, increased efficiency in having an integrated database was phenomenal. Just having all the information about your supporters easily accessible alone is worth the investment.
The benefit of DonorPerfect is that you can track numerous capital projects at the same time, so if for example you have a supporter who makes a donation that covers more than one project you are able to split the gift easily between different projects.
With DonorPerfect all modules are included so you receive everything you would expect from a fundraising software database. Detailed history of supporters, sending out mailings, keeping track of fees, current position of your capital campaigns is all a breeze.
I was so impressed with DonorPerfect who have been developing the software over the last 15 years and are second only to Raiser’s edge in the US that I would urge you not to waste time and expense in developing what always will be an inferior system. In fact I was so impressed with DonorPerfect that we at DMACs have become an authorised UK distributor for DonorPerfect.
I can understand your reluctance with regard to making a large investment in fundraising software especially in these hard economic times. But there is an alternative DonorPerfect Online.
DonorPerfect Online eliminates the large upfront cost of hardware and software, allowing you to pay just a low monthly subscription fee. This fee is based on the size of your database and we now offer even lower cost subscriptions for organizations with fewer than 1,000 records.
DPO GO (DonorPerfect Online for growing organisations) is a special offer designed for nonprofits that are just starting out or have less than 1,000 records. Both our installed versions of DonorPerfect and DonorPerfect Online are used by nonprofits worldwide that manage donor CRM databases with thousands or even millions of records.
I would be more than happy to arrange a demonstration for you to “test drive” DonorPerfect so that you can judge for yourself the benefit of fundraising software over your current system, just email me email@example.com. Having been in your situation I am sure once you see the benefit you’ll wonder why you ever managed without it!
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Raiser’s edge with all the functionality, then DonorPerfect Online (DPO) could be an ideal option.
DonorPerfect are the second largest fundraising software company in the world with over 7,000 clients worldwide. They offer DPO GO (DonorPerfect Online for Growing Organisations) specifically for smaller charities and NFP’s and it is now available in the UK. With 900 contacts you would qualify for DPO GO and the cost would be less than £70 per month including full support. With DPO GO you get all the features of DonorPerfect but being an Online system there is no upfront investment required in software or hardware, all you need is a PC with an internet connection.
DMACS are authorised UK distributors of DonorPerfect and I would be happy to supply you with more details of DonorPerfect Online or installed version. We can also arrange a demonstration for you. Just send me your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
As previous commentators have mentioned there are numerous software packages available for charities to use.
We at DMACS are authorised UK distributors of DonorPerfect fundraising software and we have recently launched in the UK, DPO GO which is specifically targeted for smaller and growing charities. DPO GO (DonorPerfect Online for Growing Organisations) starts from just £20 per month. I don’t know whether this is applicable to yourselves but I would be happy to discuss your requirements in more detail.
You may be interested to know with DPO GO we offer a fully refundable 30 day money back guarantee if DPO GO does not live up to your expectations.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for more information
I have used used Quickbooks for charity accounts and did find the charity/not for profit option a very good starting point. I found it very easy to use and adapt to a particular charity’s needs.
Quckbooks also intergrates with DonorPerfect fundraising software. So that you can export GL transactions out of DonorPerfect straight into Quickboks. The ability to import and export data with Quickbooks is a great feature.
DonorPerfect fundraising software have recently appointed DMACS as an authorised UK distributor. DonorPerfect with over 6,500 clients worldwide has been enhanced and also tailored for the UK:
*Enhanced Outlook, Excel & Word Integration
*New Automated & More Powerful Acknowledgment Processing
*New and Improved Reports and Selection Filters
*Improved Mailing Export
*Easier User Security Setup
*Automatic Gift Aid calculation
*R68 Gift Aid report
*Track net & gross gift amounts
*Full audit trails
Now with local support.
DonorPerfect has also launched DPO GO which is especially aimed at smaller charities with pricing starting at just £20 per month.
For more details on DonorPefect call Nick on 01989 73325
New editorial themes! Ask to advertise alongside legacies (Feb 15th) and mobile and cashless giving (8 March)Ask for details