Before settling on Raiser's Edge, make sure you understand all the advantages and disadvantages this software has to offer.

Raiser’s Edge: 5 Critical Pros and Cons (You Need to Know!)

If your nonprofit is considering implementing Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge as your all-in-one fundraising solution, you’ll inevitably have a lot to think about.

While a number of nonprofits have made Raiser’s Edge (and its newest iteration, Raiser’s Edge NXT) their Blackbaud software product of choice, like any software, Raiser’s Edge comes with a number of advantages and disadvantages.

To help you navigate the myriad of product reviews and cut down on research time, we’ve compiled the most important pros and cons you need to consider before buying Raiser’s Edge.

We’ll look at the following:

  1. Pro: Nonprofits can use Raiser’s Edge for virtually all of their fundraising needs.
  2. Con: Raiser’s Edge isn’t always user-friendly.
  3. Pro: Raiser’s Edge is highly customizable.
  4. Con: Blackbaud may not supply enough Raiser’s Edge training.
  5. Pro: Nonprofits can integrate matching gifts into their Raiser’s Edge platform.

But before we dive into the details, you can take a bird’s eye look at the buying process by reading DNL Omni Media’s walk-through of Raiser’s Edge from consideration to implementation.

Nonprofits can use Raiser's Edge for virtually all of their fundraising needs..

1. Pro: Nonprofits can use Raiser’s Edge for virtually all of their fundraising needs.

If you need expansive fundraising software, Raiser’s Edge won’t disappoint.

With features designed to improve operational efficiency, enhance donor acquisition and engagement, and of course, boost fundraising revenue, Raiser’s Edge is truly comprehensive. 

While nonprofits of all sizes can use Raiser’s Edge, its broad functionality makes it an ideal fit for nonprofits who need to store a significant amount of data and implement more complex fundraising strategies.

For instance, Raiser’s Edge can play an instrumental role in streamlining all of the following processes:

  • Data enrichment.
  • Communications and marketing.
  • Online payment processing.
  • Event management.
  • Wealth analytics and prospect research.
  • Crowdfunding and social engagement.

Of course, if you’re not prepared to use all of the tools within Raiser’s Edge, this pro can quickly turn into a con.

Having an overwhelming set of fundraising resources in front of you with no idea where to start is a position no nonprofit wants to be in. To avoid that situation, make sure you’ve done your research to find out exactly what kind of fundraising software you need.

Or, seek out the help of a nonprofit technology consultant who can guide you through the implementation process and ensure you’re on track for success!

Raiser's Edge isn't always user-friendly.

2. Con: Raiser’s Edge isn’t always user-friendly.

Because Raiser’s Edge is so multifaceted, some nonprofits have a difficult time finding their way around the product.

While the newest version of Raiser’s Edge, Raiser’s Edge NXT, is a notable improvement from the earlier Raiser’s Edge 7 interface, there are still some bugs that limit usability for this platform.

Typically, users struggle with a few important aspects of the Raiser’s Edge system:

  • Implementation. Many users note that while Raiser’s Edge is eventually a workable platform, it takes a lot of trial and error, testing, and training to get them to a place where they feel confident within the software. If you have a hearty IT team and plenty of time to devote to figuring out the system, you’ll be able to work your way through Raiser’s Edge. But if you need to understand all the features Raiser’s Edge has to offer quickly, your team might have some frustration to deal with.
  • Creating queries. Raiser’s Edge provides the ability to pull information on specific groups or segments of constituents using their query tool. However, many users have found that this feature is difficult to understand and utilize, and that the query process can leave them with duplicate information.
  • Generating custom reports. While Raiser’s Edge allows organizations to run reports on virtually any metrics within their database; unfortunately, a number of users aren’t able to take advantage of the full scope of analytics available because of the complicated process. Instead, they rely on the canned reports that come pre-set in Raiser’s Edge, which might not fully address their needs.

Blackbaud does have a highly competent support team who can walk you through these issues if you do encounter them. Even so, it might be necessary to look into third-party help (i.e., a nonprofit consultant) who can ensure you’re getting the most out of your software.

After all, what good is a comprehensive fundraising solution if you can’t take advantage of all of its features and tools?

Raiser's Edge is highly customizable.

3. Pro: Raiser’s Edge is highly customizable.

For organizations who like to get under the hood of their fundraising software and design a platform that’s fully unique, Raiser’s Edge may be a good fit.

With a multitude of configurable settings and customization options, Raiser’s Edge is most useful when organizations take advantage of the ability to adapt the platform to their needs.

Let’s look at just a sampling of what your team can configure:

  • Role-based views and permissions.
  • Donor profile settings, including addressees and salutations.
  • Business rules and defaults.
  • Tables.
  • Constituent categories.
  • Fields.
  • Integrations and links to other platforms.

And that’s truly just a taste of what you can customize!

However, it’s important to understand that Raiser’s Edge configuration is not a task just anyone can try their hand at. There are resources to help you understand the customization process, but even getting through the configuration guides may be a major time commitment (most Blackbaud online guides range from 60 to 200+ pages!).

To truly capitalize on the advantage of in-depth customization, your organization will need to work with an experienced professional. 

A web developer or nonprofit technology consultant with Blackbaud expertise can save you time, headaches, and potentially damaging mistakes. Plus, a nonprofit consultant can take the time to understand your fundraising strategy and then implement the customizations that are proven to put you on the path toward success.

When Raiser’s Edge is already such an investment, you need to go the extra mile to make sure your configurations are in line with your goals and fundraising needs. A nonprofit technology consultant can be that missing link!

Blackbaud may not supply enough Raiser's Edge training.

4. Con: Blackbaud may not supply enough Raiser’s Edge training.

For a product that’s so extensive (and not necessarily user-friendly), you can anticipate that there will be a learning curve during the first stages of Raiser’s Edge use.

That being the case, you’ll likely seek out some form of training for your team as you get started with Raiser’s Edge. The problem? Many customers report that Blackbaud does not offer enough resources to adequately train nonprofits on using the platform.

While there are some online and in-person Raiser’s Edge training options offered by Blackbaud, it takes some digging around to find exactly what you need. (Though this master list of training resources from the Blackbaud experts at DNL OmniMedia can alleviate some of the time you spend on research!)

Moreover, a large population of users have found that the training options are not yet comprehensive, and that they still must do a great deal of self-training to get fully acquainted with the platform.

Obviously, not having access to robust training presents a major problem.

Many of your team members will be utilizing Raiser’s Edge on a daily basis, each in unique role-based ways. If everyone has a different level of understanding of how to use the software, you’re setting yourself up for inconsistencies, errors, and a lack of efficiency—which is exactly what Raiser’s Edge is supposed to help you avoid!

You can use Blackbaud Learn, the online Blackbaud Community, and free online guides and resources to supplement your learning, but the best way to ensure your team is all on the same page is to seek out dedicated Raiser’s Edge training from an expert Blackbaud consultant.

Your consultant can offer a personalized training plan with role-based paths, in-person coaching, and general counsel regarding using Raiser’s Edge as part of your fundraising strategy.

If you’re hesitant to invest in a consultant, look at it this way: do you want to spend your time and resources pulling together the information you need to use your software, or would you rather streamline the experience and guarantee your staff is ready to use Raiser’s Edge?

Nonprofits can integrate matching gifts into their Raiser's Edge platform.

5. Pro: Nonprofits can integrate matching gifts into their Raiser’s Edge platform.

Saving the best perk for last, we can’t forget that Raiser’s Edge makes it possible to seamlessly incorporate the oh-so-important matching gift process right into your fundraising software!

You already know how vital matching gifts can be to your fundraising strategy. Raiser’s Edge accounts for this by making it easy to store matching gift information within your database and use that intel to (literally) multiply your gifts. 

Within a Raiser’s Edge donor profile, you have the ability to view corporate giving data in a dedicated Matching Gifts section. All the relevant information, such as the company, match amount, and date, will be visible in one central location to make it easy to keep track of your matched funds over time.

Let’s look at a few ways you can take advantage of this pro:

  • Store donors’ employer information. You’ll have a hard time securing matching gifts if you don’t have your supporters’ employer data on file. You can request this information through event registration or donation forms, or simply reach out to donors to ask.
  • Create constituent profiles for employers. You should keep employers’ data on file in separate constituent profiles. That way, you can centralize important data such as matching gift ratios, deadlines, and eligibility requirements. Having their contact information on file also makes it easier to send them their own communications and thank-you notes for each matched gift.
  • Integrate a matching gift tool into your donation process. If you’re using Blackbaud NetCommunity as part of your Raiser’s Edge system, don’t forget to integrate Double the Donation’s easy matching gift tool on your donation confirmation pages and acknowledgement emails! Read this simple integration guide to find out how.

And if you’re a larger organization interested in implementing matching gifts into your fundraising strategy, see how 360MatchPro can help you take your efficiency to the next level through a Raiser’s Edge integration!


No software is perfect, but with the right guidance from a nonprofit consultant and a little research, Raiser’s Edge can be an excellent partner in your fundraising efforts.

Learn more about fundraising software by checking out these additional resources:

Find out if Blackbaud CRM is the right donor management solution for your nonprofit by reading through these 5 tell-tale signs.

Blackbaud CRM: 5 Ways to Know If It’s Right for You

If your organization is considering upgrading to new constituent relationship management (CRM) software, the well known product Blackbaud CRM might be toward the top of your list.

While Blackbaud is known for having a wide range of versatile nonprofit software products, Blackbaud CRM is a unique solution designed specifically for established organizations with highly expansive fundraising and constituent management needs.

That being the case, you’ll need to think carefully before choosing to invest in this powerful software.

To help you figure out if this CRM is the best fit for you, we’ve put together a list of 5 tell-tale signs that you should continue considering Blackbaud CRM:

  1. You’ve outgrown your current CRM.
  2. You need a CRM that can centralize your operations.
  3. You’re prepared to implement Blackbaud CRM.
  4. You have a plan to customize your Blackbaud CRM.
  5. You have room in your budget for Blackbaud CRM.

But before we start, make sure that you’re familiar with Blackbaud CRM by reading this helpful guide from Blackbaud experts and nonprofit consulting firm DNL OmniMedia.

If your current CRM doesn't have the scope or functionality to meet your needs, Blackbaud CRM might be a smart software choice to consider.

1. You’ve outgrown your current CRM.

As you may know, Blackbaud CRM was built for enterprise-level nonprofits and includes tools tailored to organizations with large-scale needs.

With that in mind, it makes sense that you should only consider Blackbaud CRM if your existing CRM system doesn’t meet all of your data management, fundraising, or donor engagement needs.

While some CRM software is built to be more lightweight to accommodate small or midsized organizations, if growth is a priority for your team, you’ll need a CRM with scalable functionality and a variety of features to support your many needs.

Blackbaud CRM comes with all of the following features to meet a diverse array of nonprofit needs:

  • Total relationship management for donors, volunteers, members, and more supporter types.
  • Support for multiple nonprofit chapters, field offices, departments, or programs.
  • Dynamic communications and marketing tools.
  • Custom analytics to measure success in all areas of your organization.

Plus, Blackbaud CRM can be even further expanded through configurations or integrations.

It’s important to note that if your organization doesn’t need access to tools that cater to such far-reaching needs, you’ll likely not want to invest in a platform as massive as Blackbaud CRM.

To get a better idea of how Blackbaud CRM’s feature set compares to other top-ranking software, read our reviews of the top 12 nonprofit CRMs!

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… your fundraising and donor management needs aren’t met through your current CRM solution.

If your nonprofit has far-reaching needs that require a number of fundraising and constituent management solutions, Blackbaud CRM can centralize your efforts.

2. You need a CRM that can centralize your operations.

In addition to enhancing your CRM functionality, Blackbaud CRM can also streamline your overall nonprofit operations in a holistic way.not

If your organization is currently relying on a variety of disparate fundraising platforms, donor management software, and other data sources, Blackbaud CRM can centralize those efforts.

Blackbaud CRM seeks to simplify the nonprofit management experience by giving you access to all of the information and tools you need in just one system.

Through the Blackbaud CRM platform alone (i.e., without any third-party software integrations), you’ll be able to manage all of the following aspects of your organization’s fundraising and constituent relationship management efforts:

  • Annual or capital campaign giving.
  • Major and planned giving.
  • Volunteer systems.
  • Social media.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising.
  • Web design.
  • Multi-channel marketing.

(And more, if you can believe it!)

Having access to a full scope of fundraising capabilities in one system gives your nonprofit ultimate flexibility when it comes to planning out your strategies.

While you can always integrate external software or build out custom solutions, Blackbaud CRM comes equipped with a robust feature set that can allow you to manage every aspect of your nonprofit in one place, thus limiting the need for complicated data migrations and mitigating the risk of lost or damaged data.

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… your organization is using a variety of disconnecting platforms to manage your fundraising, donor management, and constituent engagement efforts.

The Blackbaud CRM implementation process requires time, money, and strategy.

3. You’re prepared to implement your Blackbaud CRM.

So far, we’ve spoken pretty highly of Blackbaud CRM. It’s multi-functional, powerful, and scalable—what’s the catch?

It’s true that Blackbaud CRM can do a lot, but before you can capitalize on all of its features, you’ll need to successfully implement the system at your organization.

The Blackbaud CRM implementation process can be complicated, time-consuming, and costly. If it is the right software for you, the payoff will be well worth the time you spend getting set up with the product; however, you’ll still need to carefully consider if you’re prepared to take on such a project.

Here’s what we recommend doing to make sure you can move forward with implementation confidently:

  • Set an implementation timeline. To stay on track and limit unnecessary interruptions, your team will need to establish a timeline for the implementation process. If you’re working with a nonprofit technology consultant, they can help you set a realistic time frame, complete with benchmarks along the way.
  • Appoint an implementation manager. Not only will an implementation manager help keep the team on track, he or she will also help resolve any confusions, report progress to stakeholders and your board, and work with your consultant to document your process and establish best practices moving forward.
  • Determine the best path for training. After you get your platform up and running, you’ll need to train your staff on how to actually use the Blackbaud CRM system. Know your resources and be aware that you’ll want to receive the most comprehensive training possible, not just a hodgepodge of videos and how-to articles.

Be forewarned: while it might be tempting to manage your CRM implementation and training on your own to save some money, when it comes to Blackbaud CRM, implementation is not a one-person job.

You’ll receive help from your vendor (and hopefully, your IT department), but we strongly recommend seeking the help of a nonprofit consultant to walk through the process with you as well. They’ll be able to provide structured support, guidance, and training, as well as an expert’s perspective on how to maximize your new system.

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… you’ve spent some time considering the implementation process and have mapped out a plan to minimize risks and maximize long-term success with your new software.

If you're considering Blackbaud CRM, make sure you know how you'll customize your software through integrations and configurations.

4. You have a plan to customize Blackbaud CRM.

To really get the full Blackbaud CRM advantage, you’ll need to make your software your own.

How do you do that? Simply put, you’ll need to customize your CRM to fit your nonprofit, which you can do in a variety of ways.

Working with an experienced developer or Blackbaud consultant, you can integrate third-party platforms or build out completely custom solutions within your CRM.

For examples of how you might integrate your platform, you might consider adding:

  • Matching gift tools (we suggest 360MatchPro!).
  • Mobile giving software.
  • Dedicated event fundraising software.
  • Payment processing software.
  • Email or direct mail marketing tools.

Integrations can be more complex than you might think, so before you decide what you’ll need to add to make your CRM complete, make sure you have professionals on hand to conduct the integrations.

In addition to integrating existing software, you can also work with a nonprofit technology consultant to build out your CRM in ways that are totally unique to your organization.

Before you dive into the search process for your perfect consultant, though, take some time to assess your current fundraising and stewardship strategies to find out how Blackbaud CRM can enhance your efforts. What areas could be improved through existing software? Where do you need to take a more custom approach?

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… you know how you’ll include integrations and configurations in your software, and you’re ready to work with a nonprofit technology consultant to carry out the customizations.

Blackbaud CRM is an expensive product, so your organization will need to map out a budget that makes room for all the associated fees.

5. You have room in your budget for Blackbaud CRM.

With so much to consider, it’s no surprise that Blackbaud CRM implementation will cost a bit more than some other CRM choices.

While you’ll need to reach out to Blackbaud for an exact quote, what we can tell you is that you can’t expect to get such a full-service CRM solution for a minimal fee. Blackbaud CRM is a pricey solution built for organizations who need—and are prepared for—a long-term investment. 

Of course, you’ll need to consider your Blackbaud CRM price quote before deciding if you can move forward with purchasing the software. But if you’ve been paying attention so far in this post, you’ll already know that you should also consider such expenses as:

  • Integrations. Syncing your CRM up to other software? You’ll need to pay for any products you don’t already own, and you may also need to purchase connector applications or pay for a third-party developer to conduct the integration.
  • Training. Blackbaud typically only offers the lowest level of training with their product packages, so you’ll need to either opt in to their more exhaustive training programs, or work with a nonprofit consultant to develop a personalized training plan that fits your needs and budget.
  • Additional fees. If you’ve ever used a CRM, you’re probably aware that you should add padding to your software budget to account for payment processing fees, expansions, upgrades, or other “hidden” costs you might incur down the road.

While some costs (such as a nonprofit consultant) are vital to your success, other costs (such as paying for constituent profiles or user access) may not be as necessary. Make sure you’re only paying for what you need and that the benefits of the software will outweigh the costs over time.

If you ultimately find that Blackbaud CRM is too much for your team right now, it’s not too late to backtrack and find another more cost-effective option!

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… you’ve laid out enough room in your budget (with some give-or-take for unexpected costs) and feel confident selling the purchase to your stakeholders and board.


Blackbaud CRM is a big purchase, so don’t take the consideration process lightly! Make sure Blackbaud CRM fits into your strategy perfectly and that you’re all set with the tools you need to use it effectively.

Need to learn a little more about Blackbaud CRM (or CRMs in general) before making your move? Read these additional resources to get up to speed:

 

 

See how these Salesforce features can impact your nonprofit's fundraising, engagement, and outreach strategies.

Salesforce for Nonprofits: 5 Features You Need to Know

A popular solution for for-profit businesses, Salesforce has earned its place as one of the most comprehensive CRM software options on the market. With so many companies relying on it for sales, marketing, and more, you’re probably familiar with Salesforce to some extent—but did you know that your nonprofit can take advantage of the full range of Salesforce features too?

It’s true! Salesforce CRM can be a powerful tool in your constituent management and fundraising arsenal if you know how to maximize your use of this robust software.

Since nonprofits have such specific needs, you’ll have to know how to use Salesforce the right way to stay on top of your most important efforts, including:

  1. Constituent management.
  2. Event management.
  3. Fundraising campaign management.
  4. Marketing and communications.
  5. Reports and dashboards.

In this post, we’ll walk through how you can use built-in Salesforce features as well as powerful Salesforce apps and integrations to manage all of your most vital nonprofit initiatives and actually enhance your strategies through your CRM’s innovative functionality.

Ready to learn how Salesforce can push your nonprofit forward? Let’s get straight to it!

Nonprofits can use Salesforce features to manage their donors, volunteers, members, and other constituents.

1. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Constituent Management

Potentially the most important task for any nonprofit is staying on top of all the supporter information you have access to and then using that data to drive more effective fundraising and engagement strategies.

Without your constituents, your organization wouldn’t be able to move your mission forward through fundraising campaigns, volunteer work, or advocacy initiatives. That’s why it’s imperative that you know who your supporters are and how to properly connect with them!

As a CRM, Salesforce should be your first resource for managing constituent data. Let’s lay out a few of our favorite strategies for using Salesforce for better donor, volunteer, and other types of constituent management:

  • Consider Salesforce’s nonprofit products. Did you know Salesforce offers “re-imaginations” of their core products built expressly for nonprofits? With the Nonprofit Success Pack, you’ll gain access to all the features of standard Salesforce CRM pre-configured to better meet nonprofit donor management and fundraising needs.
  • Build out your supporter profiles using custom fields and relationships. Anyone can add custom fields, objects, relationships, and other elements to their CRM without being an IT expert. By creating unique data sets, you’ll see a more intentional view of your constituents, which can then inform all of your strategies.
  • Use Salesforce’s web-to-lead feature to capture information online. Salesforce’s web-to-lead feature automatically converts online forms into lead profiles in your CRM. That way, anyone who signs up for more information online (e.g., signing up for your mailing list or requesting a volunteer schedule) will instantly be logged in Salesforce.

Proper constituent management can also inform your fundraising strategies, specifically how you incorporate important elements such as corporate giving!

When you have complete, manageable data sets, you’ll be able to better target matching gift prospects and communicate opportunities for corporate philanthropy to the right supporters.

An integration with 360MatchPro can help large nonprofits use their Salesforce data to power more effective matching gift strategies. Take a look at how this powerful matching gifts software can put your constituent information to good use with these actionable matching gift reports:

Use 360 MatchPro to enhance the built-in Salesforce features and power your nonprofit's corporate giving strategies.

As you can see, 360MatchPro breaks down the constituent data you’re already storing in your CRM by matching gift eligibility and status.

The more you lean on Salesforce to manage your constituent data, the more time you’ll have to focus on other things—like actually using that data to drive your fundraising tactics!

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

Interested in learning more about how your CRM can (and should) help you improve donor management? Check out our thorough guide to nonprofit constituent relationship management software to learn everything you need to know.

Nonprofits can use built-in Salesforce features as well as integrated or native apps to manage large and small events.

2. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Event Management

For many nonprofits, fundraising events are the cornerstone of their fundraising efforts. Whether you’re planning a variety of small-scale events or one extensive annual fundraiser, you’ll need a way to manage your event logistics, guests, marketing, and more.

While you can look to a third-party solution to plan your event, having access to all of your event management features within your Salesforce system will provide a more holistic view of your efforts and allow you to streamline many of your event-related tasks.

While you can use some of Salesforce’s built-in features to plan your event, to truly maximize your event management experience, we recommend finding a native Salesforce app to extend your CRM’s functionality to include dedicated event tools.

With the help of the right Salesforce event management application or integration, you can tackle all of the following vital event elements without ever leaving your CRM:

  • Event registration. Set up a fully customized event microsite with an intuitive registration process. Set up multiple ticket types, build out tracks with unique sessions, and even offer merchandise as an add-on to registration using an interactive eStore interface.
  • Total logistics management. Track speakers, sponsors, venue arrangements, and other necessities within your CRM. Since no two events are alike, make sure that your app can accommodate whatever you’re planning, from golf tournaments to mega-conferences to stakeholder meetings and more.
  • Guest experience. Empower guests to build and manage their own event agendas, share your event with friends via social media integrations, and complete pre- and post-event surveys to provide invaluable feedback to your event team.

With the power of Salesforce and the right event management app, you can centralize your event planning efforts and design a more productive (profitable!) event for your donors.

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

Find the right Salesforce partner for your next event by reading our reviews of the best event solutions on the AppExchange. Each of these tools can help your nonprofit’s next event thrive in a unique way, so all types of nonprofits can benefit from integrating these helpful solutions.

Nonprofits can use Salesforce features to track and process donations, manage matching gifts, and perform prospect research.

3. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Fundraising Campaign Management

It goes without saying that in order to keep your organization’s mission moving forward, you need to find creative ways to bring in money for your cause.

Those efforts typically combine a lot of different fundraising techniques and strategies, from hosting fundraising events to cultivating long-term major donor relationships to simply setting up an online donation form.

Thankfully, your Salesforce CRM can help you balance all of your fundraising efforts in a way that drives your campaigns forward (and hopefully, above and beyond expectations). 

By using Salesforce’s features and a few well-placed integrations, you can manage a multitude of fundraising tactics, such as:

  • Online fundraising. Being able to accept gifts on your website is essential! You can customize your web-to-lead capture so that online donation form data appropriately transfers to any field in your database, or work with an online giving tool that offers a custom Salesforce integration.
  • Matching gifts. A vital part of many nonprofits’ fundraising strategies, matching gifts can have a place in your Salesforce system, too! You can manually track employer information on your donor profiles, but for best results, you’ll likely need to implement a custom integration.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. By integrating a peer-to-peer fundraising platform with your CRM, you’ll be able to seamlessly transfer all of your fundraiser and donor information into Salesforce. Because peer-to-peer fundraising is so unique, it’s important to find an app that can map your data to Salesforce in a streamlined way.

You’ll be able to track all of these campaigns within Salesforce so that you have a real-time snapshot of who is donating, how you’re collecting donations, and how you’re measuring up to your short- and long-term fundraising goals.

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

Fundraising campaigns are the backbone of nonprofit organizations. Get started building out a Salesforce system that can cater to your fundraising campaign management needs (and other vital nonprofit efforts) by checking out these top nonprofit Salesforce apps.

Nonprofits can use Salesforce features to communicate with constituents.

4. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Marketing and Communications

Whether you’re getting the word out about fundraising projects or inspiring supporters to make a donation, your marketing and communications initiatives can have a huge impact on your overall fundraising and donor engagement strategies.

However, with so many channels through which you can communicate, it’s difficult to nail down how you’ll connect with your supporters and how you’ll track those efforts within your CRM. Luckily (you guessed it), Salesforce can help!

Within Salesforce, your nonprofit should be able to manage your marketing and communications in a comprehensive way, taking advantage of all the most relevant, engaging channels, such as:

  • Email marketing. Perhaps the most universal communication channel around, email can be your go-to for newsletters, donation solicitation, acknowledgements, event marketing, and virtually anything else. Design branded email templates and build out custom automations based on content or recipient list.
  • Social media. Whether your supporters are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or all of the above, your nonprofit’s web presence relies on active social media profiles. Store your constituents’ profile information within your CRM so that you can keep track of their interactions and manage your own posts effectively.
  • Direct mail. If you think direct mail is out-of-date, think again! Still a powerhouse marketing means for many organizations, direct mail appeals to individuals of all demographics. Streamline your snail mail efforts by creating unique direct mail workflows and tracking responses in Salesforce.

For an example of how to use your CRM for email marketing, take a look at this example email promoting matching gift opportunities:

Use Salesforce features to promote matching gifts through email marketing.

No matter what type of communication you choose to employ, Salesforce should make it easy to organize and segment your recipient list, design professional materials, and track responses and interactions intuitively.

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

To actually follow through with these efforts, you can take advantage of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which offers all-in-one marketing solutions, or look to third-party integrations or Salesforce apps. If you’re interested in exploring your options, take a look at our list of the top nonprofit marketing software.

Nonprofits can use Salesforce features to measure their success through reports and dashboards.

5. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Reports and Dashboards

With all of the data you’re compiling in Salesforce (not to mention any apps or integrations you’ve paired with your CRM), you’ll need a way to make all the information you’ve stored meaningful and useful.

Salesforce has a wide range of built-in reporting tools to help you make sense of your different data sets. With Salesforce, you’ll be able to pose questions in order to generate custom reports. Then, you can display those reports visually using dashboards.

What kind of questions might you ask in Salesforce? Here are just a few examples of how Salesforce reports can help you break down data:

  • Donor acquisition. Measure how many new donors you engaged during your last fundraising campaign or at your last event by running reports on new leads generated or contacts added during a set time frame; you can even automate these to run on a schedule that keeps you updated regularly with no extra effort on your end.
  • Fundraising progress. Discover how your organization is tracking against your goals by building a dashboard to show a real-time picture of the revenue you’ve earned toward your end goal. Don’t forget to display this dashboard on your Salesforce home page so it’s always at front of mind!
  • Survey responses. A great way to measure engagement, surveys can provide you with a large amount of data at once. After building a custom object for your survey in Salesforce and the mapping that data so it flows into your CRM in a meaningful way, you can then run reports and generate dashboards for all of the information you collect or break down the answers into smaller reports.

You might also view dashboards related to donors’ matching gift eligibility, as shown below using 360MatchPro’s CRM:

Use your Salesforce features to break down data in visual dashboards.

When you have a clear view of how your nonprofit is performing in all the most important areas, you’ll be able to move forward with a stronger vision than ever.

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

Salesforce’s analytics features can help you determine a more strategic plan forward in terms of fundraising, donor engagement, and other vital areas. For more help putting together your nonprofit strategy, check out this post!


Now that you know how useful Salesforce can be, it’s time to start making the most of this impressive CRM!

But before you dive into your Salesforce strategy, check out these additional resources too:

  • Top 10 Salesforce Apps for Nonprofits. Learn how to take your Salesforce system from adequate to out-of-this-world by implementing these amazing Salesforce apps, all designed for nonprofits!
  • Salesforce Event Management: The Ultimate Guide. If event management is your Salesforce goal, you’ll need to know the best ways to go about it. Fonteva’s got you covered with this thorough guide!
  • Top Nonprofit CRMs. If Salesforce isn’t quite your speed, you’ve got plenty of other nonprofit constituent relationship management software options. Check out our favorites!


Improve your fundraising plan with these 6 tips.

6 Simple Fundraising Plan Tips [With Free Templates!]

Your nonprofit’s fundraising plan is the backbone of your success as an organization.

Without a solid fundraising plan in place, there would be nothing to guide your fundraising efforts and no way to tell if your nonprofit is on track to meet your goals.

Before implementing any change in fundraising strategy, you need to have an official fundraising plan in place. To get you started, here are 6 simple tips to consider:

  1. Gain fundraising plan input from key stakeholders.
  2. Develop goals (and challenges)!
  3. Set a fundraising plan timeline.
  4. Determine your fundraising methods.
  5. Build corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.
  6. Tailor your case for support.

Bonus! Once your fundraising plan is in place, you should periodically assess your strategy. Check out Double the Donation’s ultimate fundraising strategy assessment to stay ahead of the curve!

Ready to get started on your fundraising plan? Let us break these tips down into a bit more detail.

You can improve your fundraising plan by gaining input from key stakeholders.

1. Gain fundraising plan input from key stakeholders.

Stakeholders are an important part of your nonprofit’s team. Not only do they help fund your organization’s philanthropy, but they typically have final say over big-picture fundraising decisions.

Since a fundraising plan outlines a nonprofit’s key activities, it is important to get support from these board members and other key stakeholders.

There are a couple of ways you can gain input from your stakeholders:

  • Experiential input. You can ask stakeholders directly about what fundraising strategies have worked well for your nonprofit in the past. Inquire about past fundraising activities, strengths and weaknesses. Take their feedback into consideration and be sure to demonstrate to them how you address their input.
  • Consultant interviews. You might find it helpful to bring in a fundraising consultant. They can conduct stakeholder interviews to determine what is most important to your board and how to get everyone on the same page when designing your fundraising plan.

Remember: Your nonprofit’s board members are just as passionate about your organization’s mission as you are. Do not think of their approval as a bureaucratic hurdle to overcome, but rather an important step towards improving your fundraising plan.

You can improve your fundraising plan by developing goals and challenges.

2. Develop goals (and challenges)!

When designing your fundraising plan, your final product should reflect your nonprofit’s primary goals above all else.

It is easy to fall into the trap of vaguely fundraising without an endpoint in sight, but to stay on track your nonprofit needs to actively work toward a defined set of central goals.

Before designing your fundraising plan, your nonprofit needs to sit down and agree upon what goals to prioritize across all levels of your organization. Your goals should be:

  • Specific, actionable, and measurable. Do not just decide to increase fundraising revenue, or plan to retain more donors. Set numeric benchmarks and timelines, and decide how you will tackle these goals.
  • Evaluated against metrics. You cannot accurately assess your progress towards achieving a goal without having metrics in place to track your success. Diligently monitor consistent metrics so you can see how well you are improving and when you need to make changes to your fundraising plan.

(Bonus tip! Be sure to collect valuable data when carrying out your fundraising plan to help evaluate these metrics and shape your future fundraising plans. Check out Fundly’s guide to nonprofit CRMs for an idea of how your nonprofit can maximize the power of your donor database to improve your fundraising strategy.)

Additionally, one way to help your nonprofit stay on track is to identify upfront what potential challenges or obstacles you will face in the process of achieving your goals.

Some obstacles you might encounter could be:

  • Seasonal fundraising dry spells
  • Low donor retention
  • Failure to obtain major gifts
  • Poor fundraising event attendance
  • Inadequate online engagement

For example, an animal shelter that wants to increase donor retention by X% over the summer months might identify the challenge of supporters being less engaged during this season since they may be traveling or caring for children on summer vacation. To reach their goal, they’ll need to recognize this challenge and develop strategies to overcome it.

Remember: Use your nonprofit’s history to guide you in identifying roadblocks and deciding on goals. Every nonprofit has its unique strengths and weaknesses and when designing a fundraising plan, it is important to know going in what is reasonable to expect from your organization.

You can improve your fundraising plan by setting a fundraising plan timeline.

3. Set a fundraising plan timeline.

Staying on top of your goals also means staying on top of your fundraising plan’s timeline.

Fundraising plans typically plot out a 3-5 year timeline for your nonprofit, with the first year being very detailed and the following years becoming less defined.

Your fundraising plan’s timeline should be developed into an annual fundraising calendar that details the year’s worth of activities for your organization.

Set a fundraising plan timeline.

When developing your timeline, keep a few things in mind:

  • Milestones. Structure your timeline around a set of core milestones. These will both guide your progress and help you regularly assess your fundraising strategy.
  • Accountability. Your timeline (and subsequently, your fundraising calendar) should clearly identify what departments are responsible for individual fundraising activities. This will help keep the different arms of your nonprofit on track and help your departments prioritize tasks throughout the year.
  • Accessibility. Your timeline and calendar should be easily accessible to all members of your team, regardless of their department or role. Every team member should be aware of what other departments are up to; this way, they will have a better sense of the big picture of your organization and how your core fundraising goals are being achieved.

Not sure where to start when designing your fundraising plan timeline? Consider enlisting the help of a fundraising consulting firm. If you need a recommendation, DonorSearch has got you covered with their list of the top 11 fundraising consulting firms in the field!

Remember: During the design process, your fundraising timeline should be as specific as possible and you should hold yourself to the timeline as much as you can. However, if you find you are not progressing as quickly as you had planned, identify the roadblock and always give yourself room to edit the timeline if necessary.

You can improve your fundraising plan by determining your fundraising methods.

4. Determine your fundraising methods.

A common thread among these tips has been specificity and when plotting out your fundraising plan, it is doubly important to specifically determine your fundraising methods.

It is not sufficient to simply say you will raise $XXX by such-and-such date. You need to plan out how you will raise that money and from whom you will solicit donations.

Fundraising is not a one size fits all process, and you should curate your fundraising methods with your prospects in mind. For example, consider these fundraising methods and how they serve prospects:

  • Online donation pages. If your donors cannot all come to you, meet them where they are. Online donation is simply convenient; for nonprofits interested in prospects in varying geographical locations, utilizing optimized online donation tools is a must.
  • P2P fundraising. For nonprofits seeking to grow their network of donors, P2P fundraising is a great way to engage constituents online and leverage the power of their social network to help your organization reach a broader audience.
  • Text-to-Give. Mobile giving is a fundraising style that has been growing in popularity over the last several years. Like online donation pages, text-to-give fundraising makes it convenient for donors to give. Additionally, because donors are not tied to a desktop, they may consider donating more frequently.

Remember: You should consult your nonprofit’s existing data when determining which prospects to pursue and which fundraising methods best serve your prospect pool. Consider past data and metrics when determining fundraising methods, as well as what has worked for other nonprofits of a similar donor makeup and mission as yours.

You can improve your fundraising plan by building corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.

5. Build corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.

Corporate partnerships can be important sources of revenue and support for nonprofits.

When designing your fundraising plan, develop a strategy that will help you achieve corporate partnership so that you do not bypass such a valuable asset.

If you already are partnered with a corporation, consider these ways to leverage that relationship during the fundraising plan design process:

  • Event sponsorship. Your corporate partner could agree to sponsor a fundraising event for your nonprofit. With their name and notoriety attached, prospects may be more inclined to participate in your fundraiser.
  • Challenge grants. Your corporate partner might be amenable to offering your nonprofit a challenge grant. With a challenge grant, your organization and your partner agree upon a specific fundraising goal. If the goal is met, they might match the amount of funding raised or commit to donating an agreed-upon sum.
  • Matching gifts. One of the simplest ways to incorporate corporate philanthropy into your fundraising strategy is to seek out a matching gift tool. In a matching gifts program, a corporation agrees to match the donations of their employees either to a certain percentage of the donation or to a consistent maximum value. With a tool like this one offered by Double the Donation, donors can quickly determine whether their donation might be matched by their employer.

Take a look at DTD’s matching gift tool in action! The donor simply types the name of their company into the tool, and then DTD searches their database to see if they are matching gift-eligible.

Partnering with a corporation for a matching gifts program is an effective way to boost fundraising efforts.

Remember: Every nonprofit has unique needs and that extends to any relationship you have with corporate sponsors. You do not have to go after a partnership with a multi-million dollar company if that does not suit the scope of your organization. Partnering with small local businesses can get the job done, especially for regionally-focused nonprofits.

You can improve your fundraising plan by tailoring your case for support.

6. Tailor your case for support.

Your case for support underpins the success of your nonprofit, but it is often taken for granted when designing fundraising strategy.

Organizations and hospitals often create cases for support when they launch a capital campaign. These documents outline every detail of the campaign from how the funds will be used to the ways supporters can contribute.

Moreover, the case for support acts as an effective promotional tool to help educate potential donors on the importance of your cause. The content in your case for support can easily be posted on your website or published in a brochure.

While they’re common practice for capital campaigns, organizations should create a case for support as a part of any fundraising strategy.

Donors will not give to your organization unless you have a compelling case for support, so you need to take the time to thoughtfully develop your case.

Your case for support should answer these important questions:

  • What is our mission?
  • Why should donors give to this cause?
  • Why should they give to our organization in particular?
  • How much should donors give?
  • What specifically will our nonprofit do to achieve our mission?

At all levels of engagement, your nonprofit should actively communicate with donors the ways that your fundraising strategy addresses your case for support. The more compelling your case, the more likely it is that donors will give to your organization.

Remember: Your case for support should govern your fundraising strategy. Just as you should choose fundraising methods that target your prospects, you should similarly design your fundraising plan with your case for support as a foundation.


Your fundraising plan is the single most important tool in your arsenal when enacting a new fundraising strategy. Get closer to achieving your nonprofit’s fundraising goals by designing a detailed fundraising plan today!

Additional Resources

  • Conduct a Fundraising Feasibility Study: 6 Steps to Success. Capital campaigns can help your nonprofit reach larger goals as part of an effective fundraising plan. But first, you need to conduct a capital campaign feasibility study before your campaign can begin. With our step-by-step guide, your feasibility study is sure to give you the information you need to succeed!
  • Top 5 GoFundMe Alternatives. After developing a fundraising plan, your nonprofit may decide to pursue crowdfunding as a way to meet your fundraising goals. You might initially consider GoFundMe as a crowdfunding host, but don’t make your choice so quickly. There are many other crowdfunding sites just like GoFundMe (but better)! Check out our guide for some awesome alternatives.
  • 14 Charity Auction Tools. Similarly, your nonprofit might choose to hold a charity auction as a fundraising event. Not only are auctions great ways to raise funding, but they’re also useful events to strengthen your donor relations. Be sure to consult our guide to the 14 best charity auction tools that are perfect for nonprofits of any size!
The Eventbrite Salesforce integration is more complicated than you might think, so make sure you're prepared by reading our thorough review.

Eventbrite Salesforce Integration: Our Actionable Review

Eventbrite is a popular web-based event management app designed to simplify ticketing and registration for any type of event. Individuals, organizations, businesses, and virtually anyone else can use the platform—even Salesforce users!

If your organization uses Salesforce to manage constituent data, you’ll need to integrate Eventbrite with your Salesforce CRM in order to see all of your important information in the same place.

While an Eventbrite Salesforce integration is a viable option to manage events in Salesforce, you should be aware that the data migration and platform implementation processes aren’t always as seamless as you might think.

Before you opt for Eventbrite as your event planning tool of choice, let us walk you through our key takeaways from the Eventbrite Salesforce integration:

  1. You have options for how you implement the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.
  2. Customization can complicate the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.
  3. You’ll want a data manager to oversee the Eventbrite Salesforce integration process.
  4. The Eventbrite Salesforce integration might be costly (and time-consuming).

When you know what the Eventbrite Salesforce integration really entails, you’ll be able to decide if it’s the best path for your organization to take!

Not confident Eventbrite is the right event management software for you? Take a look at this list of excellent Eventbrite alternatives instead!

Your organization will need to determine how you want to conduct the Eventbrite Salesforce integration, either with a third-party connector app or by using the Eventbrite API.

1. You have options for how you implement the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.

Before we can dive into our thoughts on the Eventbrite Salesforce integration itself, let’s discuss how exactly you can get these two platforms to work together in order to plan your event.

Because Eventbrite was not designed for Salesforce, you’ll need to manually integrate the two systems so that you can store your event details within your Salesforce CRM.

Essentially, to integrate Eventbrite and Salesforce, your organization will need to take one of the following routes:

  • Utilizing a third-party connector app.
  • Creating a custom integration using the Eventbrite API.

Let’s run through an overview of the potential pros and cons to each path.

Eventbrite Salesforce Connector Apps

A third-party connector application essentially does the hard work for you by transferring data from Eventbrite to Salesforce.

You can find these platforms on the Salesforce AppExchange, or you can do some independent research to find the best connector tool for your specific integration needs.

It goes without saying that the major advantage to using a third-party integration platform is that they take away the need for any knowledge of coding or API. Instead, you can implement scheduled imports following preset parameters or create your own configurations using a user-friendly field-mapping alternative.

However, if you choose to go with a dedicated connector app, keep in mind that there’s always a risk when you automate any data transfer. You’ll need to pay careful attention that the data is migrating in the way you want it to, and that you’re not losing any data along the way.

Custom Integrations

If you’re especially Salesforce-savvy, you can forgo the middleman completely and perform the integration yourself.

The benefit to working directly with the Eventbrite API is that you’ll have full control over every aspect of the integration. 

Of course, in order to confidently (and successfully) pull the correct event data and send it to the right location in Salesforce, your organization will need to have a fairly robust IT department on hand to facilitate the integration.

If not, you can opt to work with a nonprofit technology consulting firm who knows their way around the Salesforce interface and can make the necessary configurations to get your team synced up to Eventbrite.

Key Takeaway: Before you can integrate Eventbrite with your Salesforce CRM, you’ll need to decide if you’ll use a third-party connector app or manage the data transfer yourself (and you’ll need to understand the challenges for each route).

The more customized your Salesforce CRM is, the more configuration you'll have to do during the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.

2. Customization can complicate the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.

No two Salesforce systems are alike, and most likely, your organization has already gone to some length to configure a CRM solution that uniquely fits your needs.

So, how does Eventbrite fit into the mix when you already have a complex CRM system? From our experience with the Eventbrite Salesforce integration, there are 3 considerations to keep in mind:

  • Connector apps may limit your Salesforce functionality. If you’re using preset formulas to dictate how to transfer your data, keep in mind that these will only work effectively if your existing CRM uses the same fields. If you’ve got highly customized fields and data relationships, the connector apps will need to be customized too, which may take some time (and trial and error).
  • You may sacrifice some custom data during the import process. Depending on how you’ve integrated Salesforce and Eventbrite, not all data may make it from point A to point B. For example, if you ask questions on your registration form that aren’t tied to a specific Salesforce field, those answers may get lost during import, leaving you with holes in your data set and more manual data entry to do on the backend.
  • You may need additional tools to manage every aspect of the event. Since Eventbrite’s functionality is relatively limited, you may find yourself integrating other apps (such as accounting tools, speaker/vendor management tools, etc) as well. Beware—the more integrations you have, the more data you’ll have in transit at any given moment, meaning you’re more likely to lose or damage information along the way.

While Eventbrite is a solid web platform for lightweight event planning, you should understand that the Salesforce integration will not suddenly turn this tool into an end-to-end event management solution. In fact, the more you try to build Eventbrite out into comprehensive, customized software, the more complicated your event management process will be. 

Key Takeaway: The Eventbrite Salesforce integration offers some customization options, but Salesforce users who need a highly robust event management solution should likely find software that’s more inherently built to support complex needs.

A data manager will need to oversee the Eventbrite Salesforce integration to keep your team on track and ensure no data gets damaged during migration.

3. You’ll want a data manager to oversee the Eventbrite Salesforce integration process.

As with any integration or data migration, your nonprofit should expect to spend some time getting to know the new system and ensuring that all aspects are working properly before rolling the product out to your whole team.

With the Eventbrite Salesforce integration specifically, we found that the best way to streamline your integration efforts is to appoint a data manager to oversee the entire process.

This member of your team will be responsible for:

  • Working with your nonprofit technology consultant or IT team to determine the best path to integration.
  • Communicating with your board to establish a feasible budget for the integration.
  • Developing a timeline for the integration.
  • Overseeing a clean-up of your database prior to integration.
  • Documenting best practices for data entry moving forward and communicating those policies to the team.
  • Testing your new processes prior to full implementation.
  • Establishing a plan for training the team on using the integration.

Depending on your resources and the extent of your integration, you may need to appoint a small committee or task force rather than an individual. That way, no one person is burdened with the entire project.

In order to effectively incorporate Eventbrite into your event management strategy, you might need to utilize other tools to get all the functions you need. If you do appoint a small committee to handle data migration, it’s important that they’re aware of any other Salesforce apps that you’re using.

For instance, if you’re hosting a silent auction during your event, you’ll need an additional Salesforce app to manage bidding and checking guests in and out. It’s important that your team knows what data needs to be migrated from which tools so that your Eventbrite data is as comprehensive and effective as possible.

Key Takeaway: Because the Eventbrite Salesforce integration can be complicated, your organization should consider appointing a team leader to guide the rest of your staff through the integration process.

You'll need to make room in your organization's budget and schedule for the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.

4. The Eventbrite Salesforce integration might be costly (and time-consuming).

Any new software is going to cost your team some time and energy—and money, of course! But let’s be honest: your organization spends a lot of time laying out a workable budget and hiring the right staff to keep your operations efficient and productive.

That being the case, one of your chief concerns going into any software purchase or integration process is going to be the amount of precious time and hard-earned funds you’ll be spending to obtain and implement your new product(s).

When it comes to the Eventbrite Salesforce integration, costs (of both time and money) will vary depending on a number of factors, but here are some considerations to keep in mind as you’re budgeting:

  • Using a custom API may require significant time and money. If you have your own IT department to handle the project, you’ll cut back on expenses, since an outside developer or consultant won’t come free. That said, a consultant can help you save on time, since they’re proficient in the systems and can walk you through the process with your timeline in mind.
  • Connector tools are an additional cost to consider. On top of Eventbrite’s fees, you’ll also have to pay for any connector apps you use. As third-party platforms, these tools have their own sets of fees that you may incur upfront or over time.
  • You may need third-party counsel or training. If your integration is especially customized or extensive, you may need a professional’s help to oversee the implementation and train you on how to get the most from your newly improved CRM. Eventbrite’s training options are limited, so you’ll most likely need to pay for a third-party consultant.

If you don’t think you have time to create and implement a custom Eventbrite solution, the alternative would be to search for a native Salesforce event management application (i.e., one that doesn’t require integration).

Native Salesforce apps are built in Salesforce, so you don’t have to consider any extra time or money spent on data migration and integration. All of your data is automatically synced in your CRM, and all you have to do is click “install.”

Native event management apps can still be customized, but since they’re designed for Salesforce, the process is much more intuitive and streamlined than any integration. You can learn more about the benefits of native Salesforce applications by reading this helpful post from Fonteva!

Key Takeaway: Any integration will cost time and money, and the Eventbrite Salesforce integration is no exception. If you want to avoid spending all of your resources fretting over integrations, turn to a native Salesforce event management app instead!


With these 4 takeaways in mind, your team should have a much clearer picture of what the Eventbrite Salesforce integration looks like. Now all you have to do is decide if it’s the best route for your organization!

For more insight into Salesforce event management, check out these additional resources:

  • Our Favorite Eventbrite Competitors. If Eventbrite isn’t for you, never fear. There are plenty of amazing Eventbrite alternatives that can help you stay on top of your events and engage your constituents better than ever.
  • 3 Reasons Eventbrite Isn’t the Best Salesforce App. Want to learn more about the limitations of Eventbrite? Read Fonteva’s in-depth examination of the drawbacks to using Eventbrite on Salesforce.
  • Top 10 Cvent Competitors. Also a popular event management tool for Salesforce users, Cvent is a widely used app—but it may not be the best one for you! See the top Cvent competitors to find out if there’s a better event management app for your organization.
  • 10 Best Salesforce Apps for Nonprofits. If you’re looking for more apps that integrate with Salesforce, check our in-depth list. We cover apps for event management, peer-to-peer fundraising, charity auctions, and much more!

Improve your fundraising strategy with Double the Donation's Fundraising Strategy Ultimate Assessment.

The Fundraising Strategy Ultimate Assessment (Free & Easy!)

No two nonprofits are the same. All organizations have their own unique aspirations, limitations, and culture that shape the way you serve your community.

One thing all nonprofits do share? Every nonprofit could benefit from assessing (or reassessing) their fundraising strategy.

No matter how well you feel your organization is doing, it’s always worth it to take a step back and see if there’s anything your nonprofit could be doing better.

Similarly, if your nonprofit is running into roadblocks but you can’t quite identify where the trouble stems from, a comprehensive fundraising strategy assessment might help reveal your organization’s blindspots.

(Looking for some professional guidance to help your nonprofit meet its goals? Be sure to consult our list of the top ten nonprofit consulting firms to get your organization on track!)

Luckily, assessing your fundraising strategy has never been easier. In this article, we’ll cover all the areas of fundraising assessment, including:

  1. Fundraising Strategy Planning
  2. Fundraising Strategy for Communications
  3. Fundraising Strategy for Events
  4. Fundraising Strategy Evaluation

Ready to revamp your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy? Let’s explore each category in more detail. 


Assess your fundraising strategy by examining your fundraising planning process.

1. Fundraising Strategy Planning

At the heart of your organization, you need to have an intimate understanding of your nonprofit’s direction before you’re ever able to strategize the fundraising process. Before focusing on specific arms of your fundraising efforts, you need to look at the big picture of your nonprofit.

To get a better idea of the scope of your organization’s fundraising needs, here are a few important questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have clear, realistic goals?

    Your organization should know what it wants and be able to clearly articulate what you’re trying to accomplish as a nonprofit. You’ll likely have a variety of interrelated aspirations, and by identifying them you’ll better be able to strategize fundraising. For example, you may be interested in developing goals related to:

    • Fundraising.
    • Donor acquisition.
    • Donor retention.

    Once you’ve determined your goals, share them with the rest of your team so that everyone is on the same path to realizing your objectives.

  • What is your budget?

    You should not only be familiar with how much you’ve allocated to spend on your organization in total, but also know how much you’ve set aside for individual projects. Keep your budget as detailed and forward-thinking as possible. Your budget should account for:

    • Fixed operational costs (rent, taxes, payroll).
    • One-time expenses.
    • Projected revenue.

    Your budget should also take into account unexpected circumstances so that you’re prepared for everything.

  • Do you have a gift range chart?

    A gift range chart is a diagram that breaks down amount of funding you’ll need to collect to reach a goal. The chart can illustrate:

    • The number of donors you need to reach your fundraising goal.
    • The number of individual gifts needed to reach that level.
    • A suggestion of how fundraising should be distributed among major gifts and smaller donations.

    Gift chart are often used for larger fundraising campaigns like capital campaigns, but they can be used for virtually any campaign.

  • Do you have a case for support?

    Your case for support is the elevator pitch of your organization. Why should donors care about your cause? What makes your nonprofit special? Your case should communicate:

    • A brief history of your organization.
    • Your nonprofit’s mission statement.
    • Specific, actionable goals you look to achieve.
    • A clear path toward achieving those goals.
    • A call to action for donors and stakeholders.

    If you’re not sure where to get started with your case statement, you can always hire a fundraising consultant. This professional will help evaluate your goals and determine the best way to translate them into a case for support.

  • Have you delegated responsibilities to a capable team?

    Successful nonprofits always delegate responsibility among capable team members. Identify areas where duties need to be more evenly shared, or where individual staff members need to pick up the slack. Some ways you can support task delegation include:

    • Creating subcommittees within departments.
    • Sharing your fundraising calendar across your team.
    • Using a calendar matrix to indicate task responsibility.

    Be clear when delegating tasks so that there is less confusion between team members.

  • Have you identified fundraising channels?

    Fundraising channels determine the audience you reach when making the case for support from potential donors. Depending on trends in your constituency, you might rely on:

    • Direct mail.
    • Phone calls.
    • Events.
    • Donation pages.
    • Social media.

    Using multiple online and traditional communication methods will ensure that you’re reaching all of your supporters.

  • Have you outlined fundraising sources?

    To fundraise efficiently, you should know exactly where you’ll be focusing your fundraising efforts. You can use prospect research and wealth screening tools to determine good candidates for giving. Some fundraising sources to consider might include:

    • Major donors.
    • Corporations.
    • Foundations.
    • Grants.

    Additionally, consult your nonprofit CRM to segment your various supporters so that your outreach is effective.

  • Have you developed a calendar of fundraising events?

    To best keep track of your fundraising efforts, you need to develop a detailed calendar of fundraising activities. On this document, you should track:

    • Deadlines.
    • Allocation of resources.
    • Desired results of fundraising activities.
    • Improvements from year to year, etc.

    With an organized calendar of events, you’ll have a better idea of when to start promoting events or follow-up with donors after a campaign ends.

  • Do you have the necessary software to support your fundraising plan?

    Nowadays, fundraising software is the workhorse that nonprofits rely on to help carry out the basic functions of their day-to-day operations. Is the software you’re using helping you achieve your goals? Your nonprofit might benefit from:

    • Constituent relationship management (CRM) software.
    • Online giving software.
    • Wealth screening software.
    • Fundraising event software.

    Bonus! Take a look at our rundown of expert fundraising software resources to see what solution might be right for your nonprofit.

  • Does your board support your fundraising strategy?

    Determine if your board supports your fundraising strategy. With a supportive board, you’ll be better equipped to achieve your goals. If your board doesn’t support the way your fundraising strategy, your assessment is the time to ask why.

Takeaway: Doing a big-picture assessment of your fundraising strategy is a great way to get an idea of where to focus any further investigations.



Assess your fundraising strategy by examining your communications process.

2. Fundraising Strategy for Communications.

Now that you’ve looked at your overall fundraising strategy, it’s time to turn the spotlight on individual arms of your fundraising efforts. In particular, the way your nonprofit approaches communications can influence the success or failure of your fundraising strategy on the whole.

You can identify areas where your nonprofit’s communications techniques need improvement by asking:

  • Have you determined viable communications channels?

    What communications channels result in successful donations? Are there lines of communication you rely on that don’t seem to connect with donors? Some ways to determine channel viability consist of:

    • Using A/B testing to evaluate channels.
    • Collecting communications preferences from donors.
    • Collecting data on which channels lead to the most donations.

    Moreover, don’t just stick to one communication method. Diversify your channels so that you can connect with as many supporters as possible.

  • Have you developed a marketing plan?

    Your marketing plan is a key tool in your arsenal that will help you successfully fundraise. If you haven’t developed a marketing plan, take the time to create one that is tailored to the fundraising needs of your organization. Your marketing plan should:

    • Target key donor segments, such as major donors, volunteers, recurring givers, etc.
    • Address donors at every stage of the donor life cycle.
    • Not only focus on fundraising, but also donor growth, retention, etc.

    Refer to your overarching goals when creating a communications plan because it will help you determine the types of content that you’ll send to donors.

  • Is your online content optimized?

    Make sure that your content is as user-friendly as possible. Most donors will interact with your nonprofit online, so it’s important to make the process seamless. Focus your efforts on:

    When your content is accessible on multiple devices, it’s not only more user-friendly but also available to a larger group of users.

  • Have you provided clear calls to action (CTAs) for donors?

    Your online content should prominently feature CTAs to direct your visitors to donate. These streamline the visitor-to-donor pipeline by making it easier for individuals to complete a donation, as well as encourage donors to give specific amounts. A strong CTA:

    • Uses action words.
    • Is concise.
    • Stresses urgency.

    Your CTAs should be specific and clearly stat what action you want supporters to take.

Takeaway: When it comes to your fundraising strategy, your communications assessment should focus on what your nonprofit is doing to ease engagement between donors and your organization.

Assess your fundraising strategy by examining your fundraising strategy for events.

3. Fundraising Strategy for Events.

As with communications, your fundraising strategy is intrinsically tied to your approach to hosting events. Events help anchor your fundraising efforts as well as unite your donors as a community.

To guide an evaluation of your event fundraising strategy, you should ask yourself:

  • Do you have clear goals for each event related to your overall fundraising strategy?

    Are you giving enough attention to the specific goals you’re trying to accomplish by holding your event? Depending on the type of event you’re holding, your goals may vary. For example:

    • Stewardship events will focus on donor retention and engagement with fundraising being a long-term goal.
    • Fundraising events might have a specific fundraising goal they aim to meet, focusing efforts on immediate accomplishment.

    Bonus! Improve your fundraising efforts even further by checking out our list of 113+ Amazing Fundraising Ideas.

  • Do you have a budget for each event?

    Be sure to set individual budgets for each event you hold. Know up front what each event will cost and plan accordingly. You don’t want to be caught with any surprises! Leave room in your budget for:

    • Event-specific marketing.
    • Venue costs, catering, clean-up.
    • An emergency fund.

    Your strategy should also take into account ways you can raise money for events in case you go over your budget. By raising event donations from corporations, restaurants, and individuals, you’ll be able to stay within budget (or even save money!).

    To help stay on track of your budget and manage other fundraising event details, your organization should use an event management tool. Luckily, we have a list of top providers to jump-start your search.

  • Do you have a marketing plan?

    You should draft a marketing plan specifically designed to promote your events. Your events will need special attention, so don’t just rely on general marketing efforts to get the word out. You can promote your events by using:

    • Social media.
    • Event micro-sites.
    • E-mail campaigns.

    Use the communication methods that your donors are actively using.

  • Do you have a follow-up and retention plan?

    Events can help grow your organization, but only if you follow up with your constituents after-the-fact. Keep track of the donors you engage with, and use the event as an opportunity to collect their contact information if you don’t have it already.

    You can increase retention by sending these donors thank-you letters following events, using the attendance list of an event targeted donor outreach, and requesting attendee feedback to shape how you plan future events.

  • Do you have a clear base of staff and volunteers who can run the event?

    Your volunteers and staff will be the ones who make your event a success. Be sure you know who you can count on, and keep track of them as well as you do your donors. A great way to mobilize volunteers and staff is to break them into subcommittees. At an auction, for example, one might need:

    • A procurement committee to handle the items on auction.
    • A marketing committee to promote the event.
    • A stewardship committee to follow up with donors after the event.

    Committees have clearly defined goals so that no task goes to the wayside.

  • Do you have corporate partnerships to support your event?

    Corporate partners can help bring your event to the next level, and they’re also a great source of fundraising revenue. Seek out corporate partners who:

    • Have a history of philanthropy.
    • Have ties to your community.
    • Will match fundraising.

    There are plenty of corporations that are willing to provide donations to organizations; just look at this list of companies that accept donation requests.

Takeaway: Other arms of your organization, such as marketing and fundraising, all intersect when it comes to your organization’s events, so it’s important to take the time to assess how well the moving parts work together.


Assess your fundraising strategy by reviewing how you evaluate your nonprofit's fundraising efforts.

4. Fundraising Strategy Evaluation.

Evaluation should be a core part of any nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. Without assessing how well your fundraising strategy is performing, you won’t know where to make improvements.

(With the help of nonprofit event fundraising software, your organization can collect and analyze important data to see where these improvements should be made.)

To assess how well you’re evaluating your fundraising strategy, you should ask yourself:

  • Do you have metrics to determine the success of your fundraising strategy?

    Have you been collecting performance data, and has the data been collected consistently? Tracking performance metrics will help you understand trends in your nonprofit. Some areas to track include: cost per dollar raised (CPDR), return on investment (ROI), and conversion rate. 

  • Do you have a team member in charge of revising the fundraising strategy?

    Your nonprofit should have a dedicated staff member in charge of revising fundraising strategy so they can stay focused on the big picture of your fundraising efforts. The responsability might fall on your:

    With a designated person revising your fundraising strategy, you’ll have someone that can make changes when your goals evolve.

  • Have you established milestones for your strategy?

    To see how your organization is progressing, you should establish milestones for your nonprofit to evaluate itself. They might relate to:

    • Donor growth/retention.
    • Webpage views/CTA clicks.
    • Major giving.

    These milestone will make it easier to measure the success of your goals.

  • Have you designated times in your calendar to check in with your fundraising strategy’s performance against key metrics?

    You should periodically review your fundraising performance strategy. This way, if a strategy isn’t working, you can fix what’s broken. Consider reviewing strategy:

    • Annually.
    • During campaigns.
    • Following fundraising events.

    Use your fundraising software to analyze data to gain a better picture of how your fundraising efforts are progressing and make changes accordingly.

  • Do you have a process in place for updating the fundraising strategy?

    Making regular adjustments to your fundraising strategy is an integral part of keeping your fundraising process optimized. Be sure it’s easy to correct course and that you can make changes as you go along. You might regularly consider adjusting your fundraising strategy by making evaluations after:

    • Your fundraising plan reaches certain milestones.
    • Key fundraising events.
    • The end of each quarter.

    Bonus! One surefire way to evaluate your fundraising strategy effectively? Enlist the support of a nonprofit consulting firm.

Takeaway: If evaluation isn’t a part of your strategy, your fundraising efforts are likely not as effective as they could be. Keep comprehensive, consistent data, and use that to inform how you move forward.


Now that you’ve assessed your fundraising strategy, your nonprofit is ready to get started on your next successful campaign. Use what you’ve learned to guide your strategy moving forward, and be sure to periodically assess your strategy to stay on track. Good luck!

Want to learn more about improving your fundraising strategy? Check out these additional resources to improve your nonprofit’s approach.

These Eventbrite competitors can help you plan your next event on a platform that's similar to Eventbrite but even better.

The Top 8 Eventbrite Competitors (Reviewed and Tested!)

Let’s set the stage: your organization needs to plan a killer event that will engage your constituents and enhance your fundraising power (without causing too many headaches for your event planning team). You search for an event management solution to help you streamline the planning process, but software like Eventbrite doesn’t have the tools or capabilities to meet all of your unique needs.

If this situation sounds familiar, don’t fret! To help you find an event management solution that can meet all of your needs, we’ve taken the liberty of reviewing the top Eventbrite competitors on the market.

In this post, we’ll highlight 8 solutions that are like Eventbrite, but even better:

  1. Fonteva Events
  2. Eventbee
  3. Giveffect
  4. Gather
  5. ZapEvent
  6. Fundly CRM
  7. Doubleknot
  8. Picatic

Each of these Eventbrite alternatives offers a unique take on event management, so every organization can find a solution that’s perfectly suited for their needs.

Fonteva Events is a top Eventbrite competitor for organizations with unique event management needs.

1. Our Top Eventbrite Competitor: Fonteva Events

Product Overview

Fonteva Events is an all-in-one event management solution designed for Salesforce users.

With Fonteva, you’ll have access to virtually unlimited tools to plan, execute, and follow up on your event. Their all-encompassing features include:

  • Total logistics management, including event setup, speakers, vendors, and sponsors.
  • Attendee management tools such as a guest agenda builder.
  • Intuitive registration and ticketing options.
  • An event microsite generator.

Hesitant about using such a comprehensive platform? Trust us: Fonteva’s software could not be more user-friendly. Your staff will have no problem implementing the solution and actually capitalizing on all of its features.

Comparison to Eventbrite

Eventbrite was designed as an online solution, so Salesforce users who want to create Eventbrite events will need to integrate the platform with their Salesforce system.

Fonteva, on the other hand, was built explicitly for Salesforce users. Fonteva Events is a native Salesforce application, meaning there’s absolutely no integration required to sync up the two platforms; Fonteva and Salesforce work hand-in-hand!

If your organization already uses Salesforce, you can still use an external platform like Eventbrite, but you’ll be spending significant time and money to force the two solutions to work together. Why not spend that time planning your event instead?

Fonteva Events is the best Salesforce app for event management.


Eventbee is an Eventbrite competitor with a similar look and feel to Eventbrite.

2. Eventbrite Competitor: Eventbee

Product Overview

Eventbee is an online event management software available for any type of event, from small-scale parties to business events, festivals, or conferences.

Eventbee offers a number of features that are similar to Eventbrite, such as:

  • Online ticketing and customizable registration forms.
  • Flexible payment processing options.
  • Branded event pages on Eventbee’s website.
  • Check-in via Eventbee mobile app.

Plus, Eventbee offers event management options specific to businesses or nonprofits, so any type of event planning team can access the most useful tools.

Comparison to Eventbrite

Eventbee stands out from the crowd thanks to their flat fee pricing, making them a cost-effective alternative to Eventbrite.

They offer four distinct fee structures ranging from $1 to $3 per ticket sold. You can even use their handy cost calculating widget on their website to find out exactly how much you’ll save when you switch from Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, or Ticketleap!


Giveffect is a comprehensive Eventbrite competitor that offers event management features alongside other nonprofit tools.

3. Eventbrite Competitor: Giveffect

Product Overview

Perfect for nonprofits, Giveffect offers an end-to-end fundraising solution with powerful event management features to drive your efforts further without the hassle.

Giveffect’s event fundraising tools include:

  • Custom ticket sales and RSVP event pages.
  • Multiple event style settings for walk-run-rides, conferences, training courses, and more.
  • Flexible event registration options.
  • Real-time event reporting tools.

You can limit your manual data entry (and paperwork!) by using Giveffect’s automation tools. From the second a supporter purchases their event ticket, their data will be transferred instantly into your database. You can even automate other tasks, such as confirmations, thank-you notes, and event check-ins.

Comparison to Eventbrite

Eventbrite was built to be broad enough to accommodate any kind of event, while Giveffect intentionally targets nonprofits.

You can use Giveffect to do much more than just sell tickets for your fundraising event; you can use their versatile fundraising tools to completely power your upcoming event. With Giveffect, you can engage constituents, steward donors, and of course, raise money for your cause!


Gather is an Eventbrite competitor for venues, restaurants, and professional event planning companies.

4. Eventbrite Competitor: Gather

Product Overview

A comprehensive event management solution, Gather can provide a robust look at all the elements that make up your event.

Designed for venues, hospitality groups, and event planning organizations, Gather includes features such as:

  • Workflow and team management tools.
  • Events calendar with past, present, and future viewing options.
  • Custom reports and data tracking.
  • Responsive web app for planning events on the go.

Gather also offers a number of useful guides and other resources to those who subscribe to their event management newsletters!

Comparison to Eventbrite

Because Gather is designed for event planning professionals, it provides a much more inclusive look at event management than Eventbrite does.

While still easy to use, Gather is a better choice for organizations and businesses who know their way around event planning software. If you’re new to event management or have only sporadic event planning needs, you might be better off choosing a more lightweight Eventbrite alternative.


ZapEvent is a lightweight event ticketing platform and top Eventbrite competitor.

5. Eventbrite Competitor: ZapEvent

Product Overview

ZapEvent is a web-based event registration platform designed to make selling tickets simple and secure for organizations of all sizes.

With an extremely user-friendly interface, ZapEvent provides all of the following essential tools:

  • Custom event pages.
  • Social media integration.
  • Flexible ticket and payment options.
  • Preset registration and financial reports.

Not only does ZapEvent make setting up your event easy; they make pricing easy too! ZapEvent’s flexible pricing model allows organizations to choose how they’ll handle processing fees, and they provide a price calculator to make mapping out a ticket strategy that much easier.

Comparison to Eventbrite

What sets ZapEvent apart from other event apps (including Eventbrite)? Their customers would agree that ZapEvent’s exceptional customer service seals the deal on the event management experience.

ZapEvent provides a wealth of videos and other online resources to help both novice and veteran event planning teams get the job done most effectively. On top of that, their team of event specialists are available to help you personalize your event and optimize your strategy.


Fundly CRM is a top Eventbrite competitor for nonprofits who need both donor management and event planning tools.

6. Eventbrite Competitor: Fundly CRM

Product Overview

For small to midsize nonprofits who want to manage constituent data and event logistics in the same system, Fundly CRM can provide all of the tools you need to do both (and a lot more).

In this robust constituent relationship management software, you’ll have access to built-in event management tools including:

  • Customizable registration forms.
  • Event project management tools.
  • Sponsorship management.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising tools.

Unlike some nonprofit CRMs, all of Fundly CRM’s event management tools are included with their base package, so you don’t have to break the bank to afford these fantastic features!

Comparison to Eventbrite

Fundly CRM isn’t just an event management platform; it’s an all-in-one nonprofit constituent relationship management software.

If your organization already uses a nonprofit CRM to manage supporter data, you’ll have to integrate outside event management software to use both platforms simultaneously. Because integrations can be costly (and often ineffective), it might make more sense for your organization to upgrade to a CRM that can handle all of your fundraising needs, including event planning!


Doubleknot is an Eventbrite competitor that's perfect for museums and science centers.

7. Eventbrite Competitor: Doubleknot

Product Overview

Designed for specific types of nonprofits including zoos, museums, and retreat centers, Doubleknot offers intuitive event registration and program management tools to make event planning easier.

Doubleknot’s software comes with rich features to help you manage all types of events and programs. With Doubleknot, you can:

  • Configure a custom event with ease.
  • Build registration forms that capture all the guest data you need.
  • Manage capacities and waitlists per session or event.
  • Create unique event categories based on your organization’s common needs.

You’ll also have access to all of Doubleknot’s impressive integrated nonprofit features, such as communications and marketing, reporting and analytics, and payment processing. Everything you need will be visible in one simple solution!

Comparison to Eventbrite

Eventbrite doesn’t provide half of the program management tools you’ll gain with Doubleknot.

Because Doubleknot was created with unique organizations in mind, this software allows you to design events and programs that are truly complex. Whether you’re planning a straightforward fundraising gala or an ongoing class with multiple track options, Doubleknot can adapt to your needs—not the other way around!


Picatic is a top Eventbrite competitor for organizations or individuals.

8. Eventbrite Competitor: Picatic

Product Overview

A web-based event management and ticketing software, Picatic can be a useful tool for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, or other organizations. Much like Eventbrite, nearly anyone can use this simple tool!

With Picatic, you’ll be able to manage your event using the following tools:

  • Ticket management with options for discounts and promotional codes.
  • Custom guest survey builder.
  • Email marketing tools.
  • Personalized event site generator.

Picatic also offers a Pro option for organizations with more advanced event management needs. If you opt in to Picatic Pro, you’ll have access to all the essential features as well as more in-depth analytics, greater customization options for your event site, and more.

Comparison to Eventbrite

Similar to Eventbrite’s extensions, Picatic offers a variety of integration options to provide the most holistic event management experience possible. From Mailchimp to Google Analytics, Picatic is able to work with the other solutions you’re using (after you integrate them, of course).

Even better, Picatic offers embeddable widgets to allow you to sell tickets and promote your event outside the Picatic website!


Now that you know your options, it’s time to start planning your event!

Check out these additional resources for more event management help:

  • Top Cvent Competitors. Didn’t find the event management solution you were looking for in this post? Check out our breakdown of the top Cvent competitors to continue expanding your knowledge of the best event management products around.
  • Salesforce Event Management Guide. If you’re planning an event using your Salesforce CRM, look no further! Fonteva has the ultimate guide for using Salesforce to plan lucrative, effective events your constituents will love.
  • Our Favorite Event Fundraising Solutions. Discover even more nonprofit event management solutions! We’ll walk you through the top fundraising software to meet any need your organization has.