Tips to Increase Donations with Your CRM

Tips to Increase Donations with Your CRM

Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database isn’t only for keeping track of donor or member names and addresses. If utilized to its full capabilities, it can help increase your donations and engage your constituents in the best way possible.

From storing constituent information and giving to keeping track of event attendance and outreach, your CRM is a powerful tool to help you increase your giving and productivity.

Below are 5 hot tips on using your CRM to increase your donations.

Find New Grants

Nonprofits are always running reports on donors, but often overlook foundations and institutions. Pull a report from your CRM of all foundations and institutions who haven’t given in the last two to five years. Then use this list to do targeted outreach, updating them on your latest achievements, new campaigns, and information on programs they supported in the past, or new campaigns/initiatives your organization has launched that would be of interest to the foundation. Using your report of lapsed foundations to rebuild relationships may be all you need to receive funding from foundations who have stopped giving.

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Embrace CRM Alerts and Reminders

While many of us use our Outlook or Google calendars for everything, you may be overlooking your CRM. With it’s built in reminders and flags that can alert you to everything from calling a donor who said to check back in six months, and when their birthday is to the deadline for that grant you’ve had your eye on. Think of your CRM as your personal assistant, rather than just a database. Don’t worry calendar addicts, most CRM software will even create calendar alerts for you so you can have the added bonus of having reminders where you need them most-on your calendar, email alerts and/or within your CRM system.

Integrate and Automate

Engaging with your community is the best way to increase donations. Why not use your CRM to do this with less effort from your staff?

Many fundraising apps, email programs, and even accounting systems can be integrated into your CRM. Once you’ve integrated your email marketing campaigns or online fundraising program you can manage it from one central location within your CRM.

Use your CRM to send automatic follow up emails to new members and donors or to leads on possible donors.  Segment your marketing lists into categories to send more targeted outreach campaigns with your CRM, as well as track how many opened/clicked or responded to the emails. You can even engage with your constituents on the channels they prefer through automated social media posts.  integration allows for each touch to be tracked and cuts down on duplicate emails or marketing.

If you go one step further by integrating your accounting system you can instantly see when donations come in, how much and from what platform- for instance from an email or social media campaign vs a direct mail appeal.  If you’ve set up a reminder to alert you when the donation posts, it will enable you to follow up quickly with a thank you call, building a better relationship with your constituents. All this integration gives you a 360-degree view of each donor or member relationship.

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Become Data Monsters

Data can be intimidating. Chances are you are only using a small amount of the metrics your CRM is capable of tracking. But every additional piece of data you gain is valuable insight into how to raise more funding and engage your constituents.

Besides reports on donor giving potential and demographics, you can get metrics on everything from volunteers- who are potential donors- to event attendance and email campaign open rates.   Do a deep dive into your CRM analytics capabilities to learn what reports and information you can take advantage of that you aren’t already utilizing. If you aren’t sure if your CRM can provide the information you want, talk with your CRM company to learn how to get the data you want.

Accept More Donation Types

In this digital age, most nonprofits are set up to receive online donations, but did you know your CRM can help you receive additional forms of payment from more sources?

Long gone are the days of PayPal and paper checks being the only way people donate. Users except a website to be secure and to accept a multitude of payments. From mobile apps like Venmo,  text-to-give tools, eChecks and ACH debits, to Amazon Alexa donations, corporate matching gifts, and stock gifts as well as planned gifts allows your organization to meet donors on the medium they feel comfortable giving on. The more seamless and easy you make the donation process, the more donations you’ll receive.


You may not be able to implement all of these suggestions, depending on your CRM capabilities, and organization resources and budget. Reach out to your CRM software host, and talk with your IT department about what’s possible right now, and how to utilize your CRM more in the future. Every CRM software has different capabilities and strengths. Learn as much as you can about your CRM so you can use it to make your team more effective, simplify your donation campaign process and see a more holistic view of your constituents.


In closing, if you use your CRM to manage alerts and reminders, integrate and automate, and use the data generated to improve, your organization can maximize your support and ensure your organization continued success.


Other articles you may be interested in:

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Cheryl B.

Cheryl is a marketing, communications, and fundraising/development consultant for nonprofit and corporate clients.

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Kristy Bauman

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