It is Easy to See Why I’m Proud

SofterWare was founded on the principle of making technology easy to use. Thirty-some years later, that principle remains a driving priority. But as my partner, Nathan, has said many times, “Making things easy … is hard.”

That’s why I’m really proud of several of our recent enhancements to DonorPerfect. I believe they each make our product easier-to-use, while also solving challenges that clients have told us they face. If you haven’t tried these improvements yet, I encourage you to. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback by commenting on this post or via Suggest & Vote (login required).

1) Mobile Swipe – Like Square, you can now attach a simple card reader to your iPhone or iPad (the Android version will be released soon) and process credit cards at events or in your office. But unlike Square or other stand-alone mobile tools, every payment can automatically post as a gift transaction in DonorPerfect. Another bonus is that transactions are processed through the same merchant account DonorPerfect uses for online and recurring transactions, so there is only one account to manage. How easy is that?

2) EFT improvements – More and more nonprofits are discovering that monthly giving programs are one of the best ways to improve donor retention and increase the lifetime value (“LTV”) of a donor. We saw that many clients were struggling with increasing levels of failed transactions, in part because of more replacement cards being issued due to well publicized credit card breaches. New features in our EFT module make it much easier to identify cards that can’t be processed successfully, and provide several convenient ways to communicate with donors to get updated card data. The initial results are very promising, with failed recurring transactions reduced by 60%!

3) DP Dashboard – They say first impressions matter, especially when it comes to software. Our User Experience team designed a great new entry screen for DonorPerfect, that provides one-click access to our new Graphical Dashboards and most common tasks:

If it seems like we’re suddenly releasing all these great features at once, I can assure you that they are the result of lots of hard work over many months. In short — great enhancements come from great people. That certainly includes our talented development team, customer service departments and product management. But it also includes our many clients who provide ideas and feedback through our Suggest & Vote, Client Advisory Board and the focus groups we hold at our annual DP Users’ Conference. Thank you, and keep up the good work, because we’re looking forward to lots of other great ideas that will make DonorPerfect even better and easier to use!

by Doug Schoenberg

Aug 26 15

The Complete Monthly Giving Starter Kit Checklist

monthlygiving By Erica Waasdorp, DP Connect

If you’re like other nonprofits, six out of ten donors who gave to your organization last year won’t give this year. A monthly giving program is a proven effective solution for retaining donors. Here’s a checklist of steps for you to follow (explained in greater detail in the Monthly Giving Starter Kit) to help you start and maintain a successful monthly giving program.

  • Discover how much monthly revenue you can expect by starting a monthly giving program with our free calculator.
  • Convince your board and boss to set up a monthly giving program.
  • Commit (this one’s easy to check off the list!)
  • Assign someone in your organization to manage the program
  • Develop your monthly giving program name
  • Set up credit card and ACH processing options  (DonorPerfect clients have a complete payment processing integration to make this process seamless and reduce your work. Learn more.)
  • Determine how much you’ll ask each donor segment for their first monthly commitment.
  • Add a recurring (monthly) option to your website donation form
  • Create a recurring only donation form for specific solicitations
  • Create recognition materials
  • Create monthly giving information page on your website (optional)
  • Join your own program!
  • Start asking
  • Process your monthly donations using EZ-EFT (see our Knowledgebase for instructions)
  • Watch your monthly donor program grow

As we see time and time again, the key with monthly donations (just like  your other  fundraising efforts) is to start asking. So, use this checklist to set up your new program. Then, start asking and watch your monthly donors grow. You’ll find a step by step description of each step, including helpful tips, more detailed analysis and explanations, examples, and templates in the DonorPerfect Monthly Giving Starter Kit.  It was designed to help you think through the entire process, then  jumpstart your program. Get it now – it’s free!

And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact DonorPerfect or Erica Waasdorp, DPConnect partner.

by sgoldenberg

Aug 21 15

How Long Should Your Email Be?

In general, we found that less images and lines of text is more. Emails with about 20 lines of text and three or fewer images receive the highest click-through rate.

Now, we’re going to explore if there are any takeaways to help you send more effective email campaigns.

As a quick refresher —  this data was compiled from the analysis of over 2.1 million Constant Contact customer emails. To ensure that the data was accurate, we only analyzed campaigns sent to more than 100 subscribers.

After segmenting the data into specific industries, it appears that nonprofits generally have greater leeway in the number of images and lines of text they can put into an email when it comes to how it will impact click-through rates.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

1. Nonprofit associations don’t see as dramatic a drop in click-through rates as other industries when emails exceed 20 lines of text. 

Nonprofit data image 1

Nonprofit associations saw the highest click-through rates for emails with 25 lines of text. These click-through rates decreased gradually for emails that exceed 30 lines of text.

As is the case with many nonprofits, subscribers to association email lists are usually members of that association, meaning they have an inherent interest in what is being sent to them. They are therefore more willing to read slightly longer emails while continuing to engage with the content.

Keep in mind that many people won’t read your entire message and will likely skim your content after opening. If you have an important message you need to get across to members, make sure it’s located in a prominent position within your email.

2. Membership organizations have an even broader range, with high-performing click-through rates beginning at 15 lines of text and lasting through 30 lines of text.

Nonprofit data image 2

It’s important here to define the difference between a membership organization and an association. Associations, such as trade or business associations, tend to be professional and career-oriented in nature. Membership organizations, meanwhile, are often those groups we join to pursue and enjoy personal hobbies and interests.

Seeing that our inboxes remain very personal to us, subscribers to membership organization emails appear to show a high degree of interest in the content sent to them.

Association email newsletter -- H E Butt Family Foundation

3. Religious organizations enjoy slightly higher click-through rates, with less fluctuation based on the number of images.

Religious organization data

Religious organizations have slightly higher click-through rates based on the number of images, and there’s even less fluctuation based on the number of images. Again, we see a correlation here. Email subscribers of  local religious organization have a vested interest and are a little more impervious to the click-through trends that impact for-profit companies.

This doesn’t mean every email you send out will be jam-packed with images, but it does highlight the value of using images in your emails to better connect with your supporters.

St rose of lima email

It’s important to pay attention to what’s working best for your email marketing. Every nonprofit is different and what’s most important is that your emails resonate with the people you’re trying to reach.

Interested in more data-focused insights? We’ll be releasing some other cool findings for other aspects of your email marketing campaigns in the near future. Stay tuned!

Jason-Fidler_avatar-96x96This article was written by Jason Fidler, a Communications Specialist at Constant Contact, a DonorPerfect partner.

by sgoldenberg

Aug 14 15

7 Types of Donor Data Needed for Wealth Screening

Interested finding more wealth data about your current donors but don’t know what to ask for? Researching donor wealth indicators can be overwhelming, especially if your organization hasn’t even performed a wealth screening before.

By supplementing your current donor profiles with wealth data, your nonprofit may identify new major giving prospects and get to know your donors better than ever before. The infographic below, originally published by DonorSearch, highlights the seven types of wealth data that your organization should try to include in your next wealth screening. Wealth screening should be one of many tools in your organization’s arsenal to learn more about your current and prospective donors.

We hope you find the information in the infographic below to be very helpful! Learn more about DonorSearch in DPConnect.


by sgoldenberg

Aug 6 15

Announcing Social Media Integration and Pending WebLink Downloads Alert


Are you looking for a better way to know what’s important to your donors? If so, our Social Media Integration tool is just what you need! Learning and mastering the art of social media communication can dramatically improve your nonprofit’s reach and effectiveness. With this new release, DonorPerfect is delivering a new tool to help you pursue a more informed fundraising approach.

Find Your Donors on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

How can you see what your donors are saying if you don’t have their information? This integration will allow you to easily search by the donor’s email address for their Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts and store them in DonorPerfect!


Twitter IntegrationTwitterBird


Now you can see what a donor has recently said on Twitter before you make a call or write that email. As long as you have a Twitter account, your donor’s Twitter feed will display in DonorPerfect. In addition, you will be able to perform any of the following Twitter functions from their record:

  • Tweet, Retweet, or reply to Tweets.
  • Send direct messages.
  • See and store (in DonorPerfect) the number of followers your donor has.
  • Update the donor’s profile picture from Twitter.
  • And more!

This integration will allow you to be even more strategic as you search for the right supporters to help further your mission. For instance, you can now search DonorPerfect for the top Twitter influencers by their number of followers. Then, you can contact those donors and ask them to share your content (e.g., upcoming event, success story, donation form, etc.) with their followers. As you partner with these donors, you’ll be able to reach more people and accelerate your growth as an organization.


Getting Started

  1. Create a Twitter account for yourself or your entire organization.
  2. Begin using this feature on the Main screen of a donor’s record and start engaging with your donors! (The Social Media Integration is included with all Essentials and Premier packages.)

Would you like to see other social media integrations or improvements? Tell us in Suggest and Vote.


Where’s the Facebook Integration?

QuestionMarkYou might have seen a preview of our Facebook integration at a previous DonorPerfect Community Networking Conference. This feature was designed to see your donor’s timeline for networking as well as view their circle of friends in DonorPerfect as if you were in Facebook (among other great features). Since we designed the integration, Facebook changed their rules for app developers (such as DonorPerfect) and these features are no longer available. If you would like to have fundraising insights from Facebook in programs like DonorPerfect, please tell Facebook your ideas directly.

For more about Social Media, check out our Knowledgbase article.

New Alert to Download WebLink Transactions


The Alerts feature in DonorPerfect helps you keep track of the day-to-day tasks necessary to run your organization. We’ve added a new Alerts option to inform you of pending WebLink transactions. Now, you can be notified of pending donations or submissions that are ready to be downloaded from the WebLink RAC (Review and Acceptance Center). Simply click the Alerts menu icon to begin.

For more about Alerts, check out our Knowledgbase article.

Josh Hurst
by Josh Hurst

Aug 6 15