Raise your hand if you could use a few more hours in the day? Yep, we all could! Fundraising is a busy job that has you wearing all the hats and then some. Between donor meetings, direct mail campaigns, thank you letters, grant applications, staff meetings, and more, you may wonder how you’ll ever get through that never-ending to do list. While we can’t magically give you an extra hour or two in the day, there are tech-forward ways to get back some of your time with the right tools.
There are tons of tech tools out there designed to save you time and resources. Which ones are right for fundraisers? We created a shortlist any busy nonprofit fundraiser will want to check out.
Let's start with the best and one of your biggest potential timesavers: the right donor CRM. If you’re still keeping track of donor data in a spreadsheet, chances are you’re wasting a lot of time and potentially losing out on a lot of donations. Funraise makes all your donor management dreams come true with easy ways to communicate with your donors, handle social fundraising, and share reports. With the right donor CRM, you’ll have all the necessary integrations you could ever dream up and you’ll spend less time managing the tool itself.
Online Scheduling Tool
How much time do you spend each week trying to schedule meetings with people by email? Yeah, it’s a lot of time. Reduce the back-and-forth by setting up an online calendar that allows people to book a time that works for you and them. Popular online scheduling tools include Calendly and Acuity—most have a limited free version that you can try out, or you can upgrade to a paid account for a small monthly fee.
Technically, Doodle is an online scheduling tool, but it’s really designed for group scheduling. No more endless email chains trying to find the right date and time for a fundraising committee meeting, a staff retreat, or even a planning day. Put together a Doodle with various time options and let folks vote on their availability. Done and done!
If your organization uses Google Apps for email, you’ll want to try out Inbox Pause. Inbox Pause is a magical tool that allows you to hit the pause button on receiving emails. That means you can work with less email distractions or if you need to be in your inbox looking things up, you don’t have to worry about responding to new emails right away. Talk about some inbox sanity!
Social Media Scheduler
If your fundraising job overlaps with communications, the last thing you want to be doing is hopping on social randomly throughout the day to post updates. Streamline your social content by using a social media scheduler like Hootsuite, Buffer, CoSchedule or RecurPost. Some of these tools will even allow you to build out a library of content that you can automatically repost from time to time. With a social media scheduler, you can set a time once a week (or even once a month) to batch your content and schedule it in the tool. How cool is that?!
The Pomodoro Method is a productivity technique that has you work in blocks of 25 minutes followed by a short break. The idea behind it is that we can easily focus for short periods of time and by taking a quick break, we can refresh our attention and energy. If you want to try out the Pomodoro Method, there are lots of online timers like TomatoTimer that will automatically time you for 25 minutes.
If you need to whip up some on-brand designs for your next fundraising event or donor communications piece, Canva can save the day! They have thousands of pre-made templates that you can use as a starting point for your design. You can also upload all of your brand identity elements to quickly and easily customize designs for your nonprofit. Plus Canva for Work is free for nonprofits!
Getting back time in your work day for your biggest and most important projects is a major win in our book. We hope you’ll check out one or two of the tools on this list that you aren’t already using to reclaim your time to focus on the parts of your work that you heart the most!