Jan/Feb 2009

Think There’s Nothing New in Donor Management? Think Again.

by Tompkins Spann, Senior Market Strategist, Convio

Convio now offers a CRM solution with donor and relationship management features for nonprofits of any size. Common Ground™ v1.0 was introduced in September 2008 to help nonprofits manage all constituent relationships — from major donors and email subscribers, to the contacts and partners that help you run your organization. It reaches further than traditional donor databases, making it possible for you to pull together constituent information from multiple tools, across all of your organization’s departments.

This month, we’re announcing Common Ground v1.1. The new release adds to the existing set of donor management features to provide solutions for batch gift entry, bulk mail merge and donor profile reports for “on-the-go” printable snapshots. 

My favorite new feature, the batch gift entry tool, provides a customizable spreadsheet-like interface that allows you to define the batch size and amount, determine which columns to include or set as required; and then, quickly enter multiple gifts from new and existing constituents without touching your mouse. And, if you have several gifts with the same values (e.g. campaign, date received, donation type) you can assign default values to make the data entry even easier.

With these new features your development team can use Common Ground to:

  • Track all donations from single gifts, pledges, tributes, in-kind donations and more
  • Manage multi-stage major gift opportunities and keep track of all interactions, proposals and task assignments
  • Split gifts between two or more designations
  • Use batch-entry tools for adding multiple gifts
  • Merge document templates with donor information to create personalized letters
  • Capture all gift transactions whether online or offline in a single database

Hands-free integration with Convio online marketing tools
We’ve heard you say you want integration to be easy, so with Common Ground we’ve automated the data synchronization process and simplified the tasks, allowing your team to focus on using data effectively and less on keeping your systems in sync. Here’s how it works:

  • Since Convio Online Marketing and Common Ground are “open” — easily integrating with other products while operating “in the cloud” — meaning you access it via the Internet; there’s no hardware, middleware or file transfers to manage
  • On a daily basis, all new and existing contact records from Constituent360™ are synchronized automatically; additionally, with each sync the following data is added to Common Ground:
    • Any financial transactions, whether a pledge or recurring gift, tribute, Convio TeamRaiser™ donation, ticket purchases, eCommerce orders, or standard single gift
    • All major interactions like advocacy participations, TeamRaiser registrations, email campaigns and more

With the integration to Convio online marketing tools, you can not only keep your data automatically synchronized but also utilize the cumulative giving summaries (e.g. YTD donations, Lifetime gifts, Most recent gift, Largest gift, etc.) in both your online and offline campaigns without lifting a finger. Now you’ll always have an up-to-date, 360° view of a constituent’s support — no matter how or where your supporters donate.

Beyond DataSync, Common Ground redefines integration
Would you like to use offline audience segmentations in your online campaigns? With Common Ground, you can define the targets for your next campaign based on everything you have stored in the database. Then, you can map any segment to a group in Convio Online Marketing that will rebuild in real-time any time you use it. Use this for specific outreach or conditional content, as well as a safety net to avoid mistakes. For example, create an online group in Convio for “major donors” and map it to the appropriate classification in Common Ground, and then exclude this group from your standard newsletter or appeal campaigns.

Wait, there’s more…
While I’m obviously a big fan of what we’ve built into Common Ground, I also get very excited to see the list of valuable add-on products available through the AppExchange. Think of AppExchange as your iPhone AppStore or accessory closet for extra tools that plug directly into Common Ground. With more than 800 apps available, there’s a lot to choose from. For example, a company called CRMfusion™ has some of the most powerful data management products and offers special pricing and donations for nonprofits.

Their flagship product, DemandTools 2.0 will certainly impress the IT or data geeks. It’s a desktop application that communicates directly to your Common Ground database securely through the Internet and supports a wide range of data cleansing features that will save tons of time and effort. Got 10,000 dupes? No problem. DemandTools enables you to systematically merge dupes based on similar information. Need to upload thousands of new records? You got it. It’s free for qualifying nonprofits. Learn more here.

Come and meet us on Common Ground
Interested in learning more? Register for a tour of Common Ground or get a free trial by visiting www.convio.com/crm.

Think There’s Nothing New in Donor Management? Think Again. | Convio