Whether you’re a school sports coach, a member of a PTO or booster club, or the manager of a nonprofit sports organization, you understand just how vital fundraising is to keep your team going. If you already have a few campaigns under your belt, you may be wondering how to improve your outreach or communication methods to continue meeting revenue goals. On the other hand, if you’re just getting started, you’re probably looking for the perfect fundraising idea for your team. 

Seasoned fundraising veterans and newcomers alike can benefit from using fundraising software made with group fundraisers in mind. In this guide, we’ll cover how software can boost your fundraising strategy in the following ways:

  • Improved organization.
  • More flexibility and convenience.
  • Increased reach.
  • Streamlined communication. 

Fundraising campaigns have so many moving parts, and when you add your team’s players into the mix they can get even more hectic. First, we’ll cover the ways you can use team fundraising software to make the process more streamlined and organized. Let’s get started!

Improved organization. 

There are many things to chart out when planning your fundraiser to keep your campaign running smoothly. However, you’ll likely need a tool to help you organize the many small tasks that come up throughout the fundraising process.

Fundraising software will help you be more organized by streamlining:

  • The creation of fundraising pages. When holding a team fundraiser, it can be helpful to create both a team-wide fundraising page and individual pages for each player (especially if you’re using a peer-to-peer fundraising strategy). The software should allow you to customize the pages with your branding so they are cohesive with the rest of your fundraiser’s marketing materials.

  • Data and reporting. Set goals and easily track your progress to ensure your fundraiser is on the right track. Your software will gather this data for you and format it into neat reports so you won’t need to update a spreadsheet every day. Additionally, you can use this data to create leaderboards that gamify the fundraising process and motivate players to participate.

  • Payment processing. With fundraising software, all payments will go through the solution rather than you and your staff. Make sure the software you choose accepts all major credit cards and third-party payment methods (e.g., PayPal and Apple Pay). This way, you can save time by directing donors to the convenient and secure payment methods accepted through your software.

With help from fundraising software, you’ll be able to save valuable time, effort, and energy throughout the fundraiser (and reallocate that time toward more valuable tasks). 

More flexibility and convenience.

To get more donations and participation from your community, it’s key to make contributing to your campaign as easy as possible for supporters. This means ensuring they can give when they want and how they want with just a few clicks. 

Fundraising software can offer more flexibility in these areas by:

  • Providing more payment options so donors can give via their preferred method.
  • Accepting payments 24/7, rather than during a certain timeframe or on a specific date. 
  • Allowing donors who are not local to your organization to give securely online.
  • Saving donors’ payment information and preferences in your database to streamline their next donation form and customize communications. 

It can be difficult to reach supporters and motivate them to give. The last thing you want is to lose a potential donor because giving was too difficult or time-consuming for them. Fortunately, the right fundraising software will open up a new world of payment methods and increased security for your donors. 

Increased reach.

Fundraising software makes it extremely easy to take your next campaign online. Not only are these fundraisers low-cost and easy to market via emails and social media posts, but they also allow you to reach supporters well beyond your local area. 

Let’s look at an example of how you can use your fundraising software to reach more people during a read-a-thon using the steps from 99Pledges’ guide to read-a-thon fundraisers:

  1. Create a participant pledge page for each participant. These pages live online and are easily shareable.
  2. Each participant collects pledges from friends and family. Encourage participants to share their donation page on their social media accounts or send links directly to friends and family (both local and remote). 
  3. Participants read as much as they can. Use the 99Pledges reading logs so participants can track and share their progress online. This can entice new donors to support your team and update those who have already pledged donations. 
  4. Report participants’ results. Your software should tally up the total time each participant spent reading so you can share it online, reminding donors to submit their final donations. 

By shifting more of your focus to online fundraising, you can refresh your support base with new donors and increase the overall giving your team receives.

Streamlined communication. 

At the crux of every successful fundraiser is effective, personalized communication with donors. This means that you’ll need to adjust factors like the frequency of emails and the communication platforms you use to donors’ preferences.   

Some of the ways you can personalize and streamline communication using fundraising software include:

  • Automating donation receipts. Donation receipts are necessary—they confirm that donors’ payments were successful and can be used when tax season rolls around. Fundraising software will send receipts automatically so you never forget or fall behind. 
  • Optimizing marketing efforts. Once you get a feel for which communication methods and strategies work best for your audience, you can compile a list of best practices to achieve better marketing results. Remember to share this with your PTO, participants, and anyone else helping you spread the word about your campaign.
  • Reminding donors to submit pledges. If you’re familiar with the pledge fundraising strategy, you know that donors often need reminders to submit their gifts once the fundraiser concludes. Your software can automate these reminders so you don’t have to contact dozens of donors.
  • Sending personalized thank-you messages. While any thank-you messages are appreciated by donors, avoid using boilerplate, robotic ones. eCardWidget’s guide to thank-you emails suggests including personal details like a donor’s name and their specific contribution to your organization. If possible, explain what impact a gift of that size can have on your organization. 

Remember not to discount the value of a heartfelt thank-you email or letter, even during online fundraisers. While a donor may live on the other side of the country and never meet you face-to-face, a warm expression of gratitude could be the thing that brings them back next year.

Fundraising without the help of technology can be needlessly challenging. Instead of pouring over donations, creating donation pages, and spending hours communicating with donors, invest in a solution that will handle these time-consuming tasks for you. 

Once you’ve streamlined your routine, you’ll have more time in your day to develop creative fundraising ideas, connect with donors in the community, and, most importantly, spend time with your program’s beneficiaries.