As fundraisers, we focus (as we should!) on finding the money needed to further our mission. I remember the days when we used to keep index cards to track information about our donors. When we got updated information, we would “white out” the old info and type over it with updated info. Times, they are a changin’.

Because our culture today is so technology driven, you could spend all of your time reading tweets and Facebook status updates – certainly interesting, but not always productive. So, how do you harness technology to help you maximize your capital campaign? it goes without saying that you need a relational donor database to capture, store and extract information about donors and prospects. If your donor database has been neglected over time, your capital campaign planning must include updating information about your donors and prospects.

Thinking about a major fundraising effort? Here are three ways you can maximize the use of technology in a capital campaign:

  1. Target the right donors and ask amounts using wealth screening. As fundraisers, we should be spending our time building relationships with those who can make the biggest impact on our mission. Most of us have donors in our database that we think can give more, but how do we know for sure? Wealth screening is an effective tool that can point you in the right direction. But it provides only part of the story. Always do your homework to determine the propensity a donor has for your mission. All the money in the world won’t help your organization if the donor doesn’t feel engaged in your mission.
  2. Reach your donors in real-time. Connect with your donors and prospects by showing the impact that giving has on your mission. Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and Pinterest, along with your own website—can tell incredible stories. Just remember to update them regularly and share them with your donors. Discover your donors’ interests and send targeted emails to different donor segments for an especially personal appeal. 
  3. Build life-long relationships. It takes time to nurture and engage donors into major investors. Use technology to reach them where they are, educating them on issues that interest them, and provide them with opportunities to opt-in for communication opportunities that interest them. The annual fund donor you cultivate today might just be your next capital campaign’s lead donor.

Article written by: Jim Bush, Senior Consultant

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