Anyone who has ever written a grant proposal at a 501c3 knows the value of gathering member and donor feedback is critical to success. As a foundation nonprofit, you are vying for government or larger private foundation money, and the competition is fierce. You need concise data that demonstrate customer satisfaction, along with demands for future service. Those surveys need to be both quantitatively valid and qualitatively valuable. You can get there from here through reliable survey management software. Here are a few ways many of the 501c3’s I have worked with gain insights through data:
Cold Calls or Hot Results?
Telephone surveys are one way to gather your data, but they are time consuming and demand the extra forbearance of your client. Survey scripting is a challenge, and the telephone medium restricts survey format somewhat. Going online following an e-mail solicitation campaign with a link to your survey is easier on your organization and returns a manageable product. You can monitor survey progress, abstract its results and synthesize everything for that grant proposal or re-funding cycle.
Residual Benefits of Data for Your Non Profit
The thing about surveys is the number of surprises that always crop up as you review them. For example, you might be surprised to learn that many public employment agencies do not view their primary mission as finding jobs for individuals. Their focus is on the big picture of job development or making the unemployed better equipped to find work.
So if you’re the customer and still don’t have the job, even though your résumé skills are improved, are you a satisfied client? Your expectations didn’t match the agency’s focus, so maybe they need to change their focus or change your expectations.
Unfortunately, bureaucratic inertia in the public sector is often impermeable to any kind of feedback except budget cuts. Your foundation, on the other hand, has to scramble for funding. You must totally keep your services aligned with customer and client expectations, and you must show how your primary mission aligns with the nebulous realm of client or customer satisfaction. You do that with well-designed and well-executed client and community surveys.
The Survey Says…What Do You Need to Know
Think about the top five (or more – but at least five) things your nonprofit needs to do well and write a survey questionnaire to measure them. The survey could be in any format or structure that meets your purpose – e.g. “Rate these statements on a scale of 1 to 5.” When you work out the details and the feedback measurement goals, you can pin the survey to your web site or have the survey hosted on another server. Then you sit back and hope for positive results all in your association or nonprofit database system.
Contact us for a free discussion on available solutions which may help you gather data on your constituents.
You might say that Software Selection Services for Nonprofit organizations is our specialty. In this article, we wanted to visit about software advisement services and how they can be used to reduce risk in your software procurement projects.
The Tipping Point In Software Choice
We have found few organizations (actually none in 20 years) who decide one day that they are going to drop kick their current AMS and obtain a new one. It truly is a progressive realization whereby their mood gradually changes from good to bad over the course of several years. There are obviously many things to consider. And, quite frankly the staff’s job is not centered around just finding a tool. Rather, they have to spend their time doing the task at hand during the process; taking care of their members.
Nonprofits (Associations, Human Services, Arts & Cultural Groups, Museums etc.) face strict rules and a strict budget. It can be difficult to accomplish everything within those confines. The right Software Solution will have your business running smoothly, but getting there can be a harder task than you are prepared to face alone. Choosing the right technology partner will keep you under budget and on the path to meeting your financial goals.
Experience in knowing Cost vs. benefits
The partner you choose should offer extensive insights into why it makes sense to invest in technology today. For Example, one key reason why executives are seeking new systems is because of the value of integrated software programs today.Having an integrated platform (web site and database) is one fundamental requirement for most software solutions. It is no longer something found on the wish list today of associations. An integrated website and member database is paramount! Streamlining processes and adding value, integrated software allows you to do more in less time with fewer resources. Cut back on waste. Get access to the reports that will have the most impact of your business decisions. It is much easier to meet your membership goals, non-dues revenue, fundraising goals and expand member services when all the information you need is easily accessible from one interface.
We Seek first to Understand Requirements and Processes
We listen before we prescribe. We seek to understand before we are understood. We take the time to dig into requirements but also bring great insights about the process, the vendors, the products, the people, and the art of securing software.
We do not sell software. If you need a software vendor who can sell you software, we will find you one. But, only an impartial software advisement firm can provide you with information on various software products and can provide you with insights on how to best procure a “Smart Fit“.
Contact us for further information on our software selection services and how we may be able to add valuable insight into your next software selection for your organization.
Many nonprofit associations rely heavily on local, story state and federal government representatives and their legislative activities to stay relevant. Whether nonprofits need funding, or a change in laws or regulations, the survival and viability of nonprofits is sustained by managing and influencing that governmental activity. In this article, we take a look at why grassroots software for success.
How Government Relations Software Can Boost Advocacy
As any executive director will tell you, managing legislative expectations can be a full-time job. The amount of data relevant to a nonprofit can be overwhelming and difficult to track and organize. Associations must have at their fingertips a wealth of information including names and contact information for important members of Congress, bills drafted pertinent to your mission, and email information for supporting constituents and contacts. As such, government relations software is a key ingredient to the success of your advocacy and government relations efforts.
Knowing and taking advantage of political relationships are often the key to impacting the political process. A grassroots software solution permits your supporters to systematically record and categorize relationships between themselves and legislators. You can quickly access people who have relationships, when action is needed, using these supporter relationships to get your message across to specific legislators.
With Government relationship software providers you have many options (with or without your Membership Software integration) to address this area of need for your organization.We can help your organization find the exact kind of intuitive interface your association requires to obtain the following 8 benefits:
The ability to maintain an up-to-date database of all members of Congress, their staff and state legislators and their staff.
The capability to provide zip to district matching data sets .
The control of linkage by geocoding the address to census block group
The ability to manage constituent contacts by matching address information with their appropriate legislators. Government relations software allows you to organize and email your contacts easily.
The ability to send professional email blasts with a selection of pre-designed templates. After you send an email, pull comprehensive reports on such things as bounces, click throughs, open rates, and unsubscribes.
The ability to track bills and votes that are important to your nonprofit.
The ability to organize meetings and events seamlessly with easy-to-use private and group calendar functionality. Create reports based on attendees, notes and other relevant event documents.
The ability to filter congressional and state legislative news pertinent to your association
Your end result is a more powerful database for your government team members that can be used for engaging supporters to contact legislators. Plus, the legislator relationship data enables you to be more strategic in locating people who can reach a specific legislator.
We believe that government relations software is not one size fits all. With this fact known, we take a consultative approach in our efforts to mutually explore with our clients the shared outcome of a solution that truly meets our customer’s needs.
For additional information on our approach to the software selection process for government relations needs of your organization please contact us. Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.