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5 Ways to Choose the Best Fundraising Software

The following article is from DoJiggy.com, a company offering easy and affordable online fundraising software for non-profits and community organizations.

Today, fundraising software is a critical element for any fundraising event.

It houses all your data, processes your donations, runs your fundraising website, and more besides.

Many fundraising professionals know that data is the true key to the success of any non-profit or charity event.

With good data, you can...

  • follow up with donors and volunteers
  • track your goals
  • see who your most active participants are

..and much more.

But data is only going to be as good as the software you use to collect it. So choosing the right software is important to your success.

How to choose fundraising software

How can you choose the best fundraising software to fit your needs? 

1. Features

The first step to choosing the right software for your event is to understand what you really need your software to do. Each event can be different, and come with a different set of needs.

A golf fundraiser, for example, might need different features than a charity walk-a-thon (golfer registration and team pairing vs. walk-a-thon participants setting up personal pledge pages).

Make a list of features and capabilities that you really need, then select software that includes those features.

 

2. Usability

The next step to selecting software is to consider who will be using it.

If you‘re the only one, then this is a simple process – just select a software that’s easy for you to use. If there are going to be multiple users, then it’s important to consider ease-of-use.

Is the software easy to pick up and understand, or is it a steeper learning curve that may require training?

Demos and trials of various software platforms can help in this regard.

Get your primary users to try out the software you’re considering and listen to their feedback. This could save you a great deal of time and resources in the long run. (For this reason you may want to look for a company that provides a free trial).

3. Reporting Tools

Data is crucial to understanding the success of your fundraising event, and seeing where you can improve.

However, this data is only valuable if you can pull it out of your software in a way that’s useful.

Consider the progress tracking and reporting tools that the software comes with.

Will these reports give you the data you need, or can you build custom reports to get exactly what you want?

These tools can help you learn from each event and help you measure its success.  

4. Security

Security is another important consideration.

In most fundraising events, your software will be doing more than advertising your event or tracking data. It will be processing credit cards and other payments from donors. Therefore, making sure your software selection is fully secure is another critical piece of the puzzle.

Check security ratings, read reviews, and ensure that it can truly handle various merchant services – securely.

 

5. Cost

Cost is another important consideration.

You want to minimize your overall costs as much as possible, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality to do so. The cheapest software may not have the features or security you need.

Instead, try to find the best value that you can. Consider what the software brings to the table, and then compare the costs accordingly.

Watch for hidden fees. Is technical support and training included? Are there payment plans, or recurring fees? Is the pricing easy to understand?

Be sure to look at transaction fees, as many services stating free websites often take a percentage of the donations you earn.

These are all important questions to ask to ensure that you can truly weigh the actual cost of your software platform. 

 

In Summary...

These considerations can help you to choose the software that’s right for you and your event. Walkathons, golf events, charity auctions, even general online donation drives – these all have different needs.

At Dojiggy, we weighed these considerations when we developed our fundraising software solutions. We understand the features needed across many different events, that reporting, usability, and security are all important. We also made our software affordable so you can minimize costs, while maximizing donations.

Check out our online fundraising software and how we can help you raise the most money possible at your next fundraising event! 


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