Luminate Online Marketing is a comprehensive online fundraising and marketing solution that can equip your nonprofit with the tools to better understand and engage supporters as well as enhance your online fundraising performance.
As you likely already know, Luminate can help organizations like yours do a lot. But when you know how to maximize your Luminate experience, you’ll be able to get even more out of this expansive platform—and you’ll have the fundraising results to show for it.
In this post, we’ll walk through 5 steps to get the most out of your Luminate Online platform:
- Start with a clear plan for using Luminate Online.
- Clean up and migrate your data effectively.
- Take advantage of Luminate add-ons.
- Customize your Luminate Online platform.
- Thoroughly train your staff on Luminate Online.
With our help, you’ll be a Luminate Online expert in no time!
1. Start with a clear plan for using Luminate Online.
Before you can get started with using Luminate, you need to know exactly what you want this software to do for your nonprofit.
Because Luminate is so multifaceted, your nonprofit must develop a plan for how the platform will support your goals specifically. This plan will not only give you a starting point for using Luminate, but it will also provide a clear direction for any customizations or integrations that you’ll require.
To devise your Luminate Online fundraising strategy, get together with your nonprofit team to answer the following questions:
- What are our fundraising goals? In addition to an overarching monetary goal, your organization should also set secondary fundraising goals for each quarter, specific campaigns, or fundraising events.
- What online fundraising tools will help us meet our goals? Do you need customizable online donation or event registration forms? What about more specific giving channels, such as eCommerce stores, peer-to-peer fundraising, or mobile giving? (Hint: you may need to integrate solutions to build your ideal platform.
- What aspects of our current strategy have worked in the past? Which need to be revisited? Generate reports on your most recent campaigns to analyze where you’ve fallen short and where you’ve exceeded expectations. Then, determine which Luminate Online features you’ll use to enhance (or refocus) your existing fundraising strategy.
If you have a general idea of your fundraising goals but aren’t sure where or how Luminate can fit in, consider seeking the help of a specialized nonprofit technology consultant.
A consulting firm with experience helping nonprofits utilize Blackbaud products (particularly Luminate) can provide the insight you need to map out a strategic plan for your new software.
Plus, your nonprofit tech consultant can help bring that plan to fruition by helping you customize, develop, and implement Luminate to meet your unique needs.
2. Clean up and migrate your data effectively.
Data is at the core of nonprofit organizations.
Think about it: without accurate, complete sets of data, it’s almost impossible to understand your supporters and design engagement and fundraising strategies that respond to their lifestyles, preferences, and goals as a part of your organization.
With that in mind, your organization should take the Luminate Online data migration process very seriously.
As you transfer constituent information from your existing fundraising software or CRM to Luminate Online, you’ll inevitably run the risk of losing or damaging data. To mitigate that risk, there are a few considerations to keep in mind prior to the data migration process:
- Work with a data migration specialist. Especially for larger organizations with massive stores of donor information, the data transfer process can be complex. By working with a nonprofit tech consultant who focuses on data migration, you’ll alleviate some of the stress associated with migrating data.
- Clean your database beforehand. Transferring messy data (such as outdated information, duplicate profiles, or lapsed donor data) will only set you up for more work going forward. You should go through your data with a fine-toothed comb before migrating any profiles to your new Luminate system.
- Establish data entry best practices. When multiple staff members are responsible for inputting data, there’s always a chance that their practices will differ, leading to a greater chance of inconsistencies and errors. Combat that by creating a well documented data entry standard and training staff on your current best practices.
When your data is neat and well organized, you’ll easily be able to use it to inform your fundraising strategies. And after all, what good is data that you can’t use?
3. Take advantage of Luminate add-ons.
Luminate Online is highly versatile on its own, but you still may find that you need more specialized online fundraising features than what the base product provides.
If that sounds like your nonprofit, you’re in luck! Luminate Online offers helpful add-ons to expand the core product and give organizations like yours exactly the tools they need for fundraising success.
If you’re a veteran Blackbaud user, you may already be familiar with these add-ons, but let’s recap what the tools can do:
- Luminate Advocacy was designed for nonprofits with grassroots fundraising initiatives in mind. With this add-on, you’ll have access to tools such as the letter-to-the-editor generator, integrated vote data, and personalized action centers for your supporters.
- TeamRaiser is Blackbaud’s powerful peer-to-peer fundraising platform. With tools to help you plan your peer-to-peer event, communicate with supporters, and personalize your fundraising pages, TeamRaiser can connect with Luminate or be used on its own.
- Luminate Content Management System offers a fully integrated web design and content manager for nonprofits using Luminate. With Luminate CMS, you’ll be able to holistically manage your web presence alongside your other online fundraising efforts.
Because these add-ons were built to work seamlessly with the Luminate Online system, you won’t have to worry about cumbersome integrations or headache-inducing data migrations. The platforms will naturally sync up to your existing Luminate platform and extend its functionality without any extra work on your end.
Bonus: Like the rest of your Luminate system, you can customize your add-ons to develop a personalized fundraising experience. Learn how to get started with TeamRaiser configurations by reading this resource from DNL OmniMedia!
4. Customize your Luminate Online platform.
Established nonprofits need unique solutions to meet their digital fundraising and marketing needs. Enter Luminate Online!
One of the greatest perks of the Luminate platform is that it can be customized to meet your organization’s needs in a truly unique way. Essentially, there are two paths through which your nonprofit can adjust your software:
- Configurations, i.e., developing a custom solution by making adjustments in the backend of Luminate Online.
- Integrations, i.e., combining your Luminate Online system with other Blackbaud solutions or third-party platforms.
You’ll likely need to implement both types of customizations to develop the most well-rounded solution.
But before you get started shopping for new software to pair with Luminate or making changes in the software, you should make sure your nonprofit can answer these important questions about how you’ll handle the customization process:
- What configurations or integrations will you implement? Common integrations include nonprofit CRMs and dedicated fundraising software, but you’ll need to assess your own organization’s specific needs to determine what customizations are most important to achieving your fundraising goals.
- Who will take the lead on customizing Luminate? For both configurations and complex integrations, you’ll need the help of either a robust IT department or an experienced nonprofit tech consultant.
- Can your budget accommodate the customizations? Not only will you need to purchase any external software you want to integrate with Luminate, but you’ll need to ensure you can afford a web developer or technology consultant to help manage the process.
Once you’ve adapted your software accordingly, your nonprofit will be left with a totally one-of-a-kind software solution that was built to meet your needs and help you achieve greater success than ever before.
5. Thoroughly train your staff on Luminate Online.
Some lightweight online fundraising solutions are easy to find your way around with little-to-no guidance; generally speaking, Luminate is not that software.
While Luminate Online is certainly user-friendly, your organization will almost definitely need some assistance when you implement the platform and begin to use it for the first time.
Look at it this way—with software that can do so much, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing every member of your staff is well-versed in how to make the most of it?
Luckily, training doesn’t have to be a guessing game. There are a variety of resources at your nonprofit’s disposal to learn everything you need to know about using Luminate:
- Blackbaud training. Blackbaud offers specific training courses to help nonprofits of all skill levels understand and implement their products. By subscribing to Blackbaud Learn, your organization can gain access to on-demand training videos and online classes.
- Online community and support. For one-off questions or implementation help, you can crowdsource support through the Blackbaud community forums. Or, seek help from Blackbaud’s team of experts via their online support chat.
- Nonprofit tech consultants. If you’re in need of comprehensive training to get up and running on Luminate, your nonprofit would likely benefit from working with a nonprofit tech consultant who can train your staff on any and all areas of the Luminate system.
Without some form of training and expert counsel, your nonprofit won’t know the extent to which Luminate can impact your fundraising strategy—and you won’t be able to reap all the benefits!
Luminate Online is a powerful tool for your nonprofit (if you know how to get the most out of it).
With these tips, your team should be well-prepared to implement Luminate and propel your organization to total success. Now it’s time to start fundraising like never before!
Carl co-founded DNL OmniMedia in 2006 and has grown the team to accommodate clients with on-going web development projects. Together, DNL OmniMedia has worked with over 100 organizations to assist them with accomplishing their online goals. As Managing Director of DNL OmniMedia, Carl works with nonprofits and their technology to foster fundraising, create awareness, cure disease, and solve social issues.