03 Oct 2018

How To Make Fundraising Amazing With 10 Beautiful Apps

Written by Kristian Rusten

Charities are striving to achieve big things, but lacklustre fundraising often stands in the way. These apps can help you shape a new fundraising future and give your organisation the donor support it needs to make a difference.

Fundraising is a sink or swim factor for any charity. Though some view it as dirty work, the reality is the bigger your budget, the more chance you’ll have to make a lasting impact.

Whether you’re just kicking everything off or need something nifty to make what you’re already doing more effective, there are apps to help. If you want the best apps out there to ensure you get the funds your organisation and its beneficiaries deserve, read on.

Crowdfunding

Many articles on fundraising turn out to be lists of crowdfunding platforms. Well, sites like GoFundMe have had huge success, but they can also be very inconsistent. If you’re working on the big picture and aiming for stability for your organisation, crowdfunding isn’t where you want to put your energy. Invest in a decent website with an online payment processor like PayPal or Stripe. This will put the focus on building an enduring supporter base for consistent giving.

Donorfy

Browser-based; scaled pricing

Donorfy is a cloud-based database that makes everything about contact management easier. Fundraising without a database is a mistake. Finding one that fits your needs will take your donor support up a level. Donorfy’s ease and flexibility make it great for small and mid-sized organisations, but with databases, one size does not fit all. Raiser’s Edge, DonorPerfect, Salesforce, Lamplight, and White Fuse are a few of the many good contenders.

WorkMobile
Multi-platform; A$36 per user, per month

With tools like WorkMobile, the world of NGOs lurched from the world of paper and into the digital realm. It uses electronic forms for sign-ups to put supporter information directly where it’s needed. Not only does this help you process donations better, but it also doesn’t let donor interest wane after that vital first conversation.

A DIY system with Google Forms could be a cheaper but more difficult alternative.

MailChimp

Browser-based; scaled pricing

Communication with donors is a huge part of fundraising. Keeping supporters informed will make them feel more involved and more likely to keep giving. MailChimp manages your email lists and makes it easy to automate and personalise messages. It also offers great feedback on things like deliverability, open rates, and clicks. All this makes it a powerful communications companion.

Square

iOS, Android, with hardware; varied pricing, 2.75% processing fee

Square enables street fundraising with electronic payments. This is great for bridging the gap between old-school collections and the card-toting modern human. If your fundraising involves any sort of spontaneous cash ask, Square should be well worth the expenditure.

Excel

Multi-platform; A$159.00

Excel is a fundraiser’s best friend. You can find Excel fanatics in workplaces the world around. Once you get to grips with its functions, pivot tables, macros, and everything else it can do, it'll be easy to see why.

Understanding your fundraising past is always going to be vital in knowing how your organisation needs to develop. Excel’s versatility and power make it an amazing app for that and countless other tasks.

OptInMonster

Web-based; scaled pricing

Finding good leads can be the hardest part of fundraising. OptInMonster promises to capture more of the people who visit your website. This gives you the chance to take someone’s spontaneous, otherwise fleeting interest and turn it into real support. It also means you get more from the effort you’re putting into your online presence.

Eventbrite

iOS, Android, Browser; scaled pricing

Eventbrite helps to link useful information with those smiling faces at events. If someone’s coming out to something you’re hosting, they firmly fit the profile of a potential donor. By beefing up the registration process, Eventbrite makes it easier to capitalise on connections made at events.

ABBYY

iOS, Android; free, with in-app purchases

Collecting business cards is a networking favourite. That’s true too in recruiting donors. The ABBYY business card reader scans and converts those cards to digital contacts. This saves you precious time between shaking hands and securing a major giver’s much sought-after support.

Sales Navigator for Gmail

Chrome; free

Sales Navigator puts LinkedIn information straight into Gmail. If you're networking for major givers it can be a great aid in building and maintaining rapport. That means, in short, more donations. It’s simple, elegant, useful – the basis of a great app.

Which apps power your fundraising machine? Flick us your tips, and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Speak to Maureen Shelley

Kristian Rusten

About Kristian Rusten

Kristian Rusten is an NGO worker living in Paris

View all posts by Kristian Rusten