Virtuous CRM Software For Nonprofits Review

Virtuous CRM Software Review for nonprofits

Isn’t it time to drop kick your outdated donor management software system for something virtuous!?  If so, the team at Virtuous CRM For Nonprofits believes that they have the best All-in-One donor & fundraising CRM for your nonprofit.

Virtuous CRM Software Review

In our ongoing “Search of a Nonprofit CRM Software Series”, we have prepared a quick look at Virtuous CRM, a nonprofit Constituent Relationship Management Software. This tool helps charities create personal relationships, reduce costs and maximize impact. For those interested in learning more about Virtuous CRM, we are available to share with you are thoughts about the donor fundraising software and how it fits in the donor database software market today.

In addition, we have curated, interviewed, and prepared more detailed information for executives employed in the not for profit industry to set up a time to discuss as well. Our agnostic insights and software reports are designed for those who would like fair and objective insights into the capabilities of this CRM software for nonprofit program.

Introduction to Virtuous CRM Software:

The needs of the modern nonprofit have changed just as much as the software industry in the last two decades. Unfortunately, charities are often asked to to accept an archaic donor management systems or traditional CRMs built for sales instead of generosity.

With so many donor database software programs in the market today, it is often hard to discern the best fit. The good news is that nonprofits don’t have too. Virtuous is the nonprofit CRM helping charities raise more money, inspire more action and do more good. With Virtuous, they aim to help accelerate a charity by helping them see donors as relationships instead of transactions.

When asked about the name, here is the response from David Cady, CRM Evangelist, at Virtuous:

“We believe that fundraising and the nature of what we support is a high-calling and endeavor to admire. With our name we wanted to bring a human and compassionate element to donor management software”.

From all accounts, Virtuous provides an elegant and easy-to-use donor software designed to serve your entire staff – but feature-rich enough to meet even complex fundraising needs.

An example of going beyond the options in the market, Virtuous CRM contains marketing automation features. These features are designed specifically to help nonprofit staff reduce costs while increasing generosity using best practice templates and the ability measure & optimize. Simply put, unlike many other donor databases which have email marketing, Virtuous goes beyond just email to provide full moves management-style email automation PLUS the ability to automate tasks, tags and other data.

Virtuous CRM Marketing Automation Examples

Another advanced aspect of this tool is the blending of Social and financial data inside the analytics. Users can see how they’re connected to givers geographically or by social network. Using this data, the Virtuous CRM dashboard will suggest next steps with each giver based on financial data and relational data. So, Virtuous Software will suggest when to ask for a gift, and what amount, but it could also suggest you invite someone to a fundraiser or informational meeting. Cool stuff!

Purpose Statement from Virtuous CRM: 

Virtuous is set out to fundamentally change how nonprofits interact with their donors. Their software can enable you to tell your story at scale. You are able to make personal connections with your next 10,000 donors in the same way you did for your first 10. Virtuous does this by taking givers financial data, social data, and giving patterns to intelligently recommend the next best ask for each giver. This allows you to intelligently manage your interactions so your fundraising effort creates the most value for the organization. Virtuous creates an accountable and sustainable environment that fosters human connections and a relationship first organization.

“Their relational tools allow you to understand your donors and where you have common interests, based on publicly available information as well as the information gathered over the relationship as it’s been built,” said Tj Abood of Access Ventures, and investor in Virtuous Software.

Key Functional Areas of Virtuous CRM: 

All the functional areas of Virtuous CRM are developed with the following benefits in mind: save staff time and grow giving, allowing your organization to get to know your donors, tracking engagement, and getting the data your executives need to make decisions better.

The three main functional areas of the CRM system are:

  1. Donor Management for Elegant and easy-to-use donor software designed to serve your entire staff – but feature-rich enough to meet your complex fundraising needs.
  2. Marketing Automation / Moves Management: Marketing automation platform designed specifically to help nonprofit staff reduce costs while increasing generosity.
  3. Online Giving: Virtuous includes several options for a fully-integrated, digital giving experience. From complex giving requirements such as in-kind donations and stock gifts, to simple forms to accept credit cards at an industry low cost.

Key Features of Virtuous Fundraising Software: 

  • Suggested gift asks – and suggested ‘relational’ asks – help prompt you to make the right ask as the right time
  • Full Marketing automation to personalize donor communications and outreach based on unique donor profiles
  • Social media scraping with social profiles embedded
  • Donor scoring based on relational and giving capacity
  • Impact updates for projects – Track funding goals/impact, and even expenses, for projects you fund
  • Identify givers by their passions, persona, group affiliations or communication preferences

Where does Virtuous CRM Fit?

The company is targeting nonprofits between with $500,000 to $1 million in revenue. In other words, the “SMB” of nonprofits.

When asked where Virtuous fits, the response from David Cady was the following:

We work exclusively with nonprofits, and the best fit is organizations who have a variety of funding sources, but most importantly a diverse amount of individual givers.

Virtuous Fundraising Software Visual: 

Virtuous CRM for Nonprofit Review

Is Virtuous The Best CRM Software? 

We don’t espouse to the belief that there is “one best CRM” for everyone. But, Virtuous CRM may very well be your best fit.

However, to answer this question with certainty, we need to know more about what makes you unique. And, discuss other insights about this platform which we have curated, clients interviewed, and discuss more detailed information beyond just this summary.

Please know that our detailed analysis and expertise is available upon request. To be sure, our software analysis is not a “pretty brochure”, “marketing noise.” or a “sales pitch.”

Rather, we provide a free objective dialogue and insights designed to help nonprofit executives make a smarter software business decision.

If you are interested in some help with reviewing your options and comparisons, please check out our “vendor matching” services here.

Want More CRM Software Reviews?

Please stay tuned to our ongoing “Searching for A Smart CRM Software” where we will continue to provide further insights into membership database software options designed for our 501(c) 6 membership focused organizations.

For the most recent published reviews, please click below:

And, to obtain a sample list of the database software reviews we have, you may follow the link here 

If you work for an AMS or CRM database software system and you would like us to include your firm in our software review process, please contact us.

Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind. Happy Software Buying!

virtuous crm software review for nonprofits

 

The Best Fundraising Idea of 2016? Retain your donors!

Starting a Nonprofit? You need fundraising software which helps with retention.

What is the best fundraising idea of 2016? Focus on retention! Yep, in the nonprofit sector, donor retention is imperative to the success of current and future fundraising campaigns. In this article, I discuss how fundraising software can be used to enhance your retention prospects at your 501c3 nonprofit.

Review a Donor Database Which Helps Your Retention

Every development officer knows that new donor acquisition and raising money year after year is a costly endeavor. This is why effective donor retention strategies will help your organization boost donor loyalty and engagement, and help to reduce your nonprofit’s marketing expenses at the same time.

Donor retention strategies can be as simple as celebrating your donors’ generosity with frequent communications to foster more meaningful relationships with them, and sharing important instances which demonstrate exactly how their gifts are making a difference in your organization’s work. When donors feel truly valued by your organization, they’re more likely to continue to give to your cause and recruit new donors in the process. What can (should) a fundraising database be able to do to help?

Viewing Donor Trends in Fundraising Software Database 

1st, everyone in the organization must see how your campaigns are working from day to day and month to month. Fundraising Software solutions that compile a database of your donor trends will help you to realize the value of retention as it applies directly to your non-profit organization. Monitoring donor activity over time allows you to track the progress of your organization’s charitable earnings and see where and how your donor retention percentages might increase so you can get the most out of your fundraising campaigns.

For instance, if you can improve your donor retention by just 10%, original donors will remain loyal to your organization for an average of four years longer. This generous time frame allows for potentially larger gifts as well as granting you the opportunity to arrange legacy gifts from your most benevolent donors. While you may have seen a similar statistic with regards to the value of retaining customers in the for profit world, the stat holds up in the nonprofit world too.

Direct Marketing In The Donor Database

2nd, I believe it’s important to be able to communicate better in order to continually delight your donors. Today, you need to have an email marketing solution integrated or better yet one which is robust enough to handle the workload inside the donor database. This alone can help with retaining donors through direct email marketing. It has been proven that ongoing personalized correspondence increases the likelihood of their involvement in your capital campaigns. With higher donor retention, you can shift some of your focus to upgrading those existing donors, as they’re more likely to give greater gifts the longer they remain loyal to your organization.

Peer to Peer Donor Engagement 

3rd, knowing how your constituents are related to one another in terms of their relationships will enhance your capabilities to leverage that into other similar donors. I read a statistic which underscored this fact recently which basically outlined if just one out of every three retained donors manages to entice a new donor either through solicitation or referral, your organization’s donor pool will continue to grow exponentially with each passing year. And, in tandem with the donors that your organization approaches on its own it could be even more impactful. Again, not too far from the idea that testimonials help to bring in more business, donors recruited by existing donors are generally more likely to have a higher retention rate, further expanding the revenue generation for your non-profit organization.

A considerable amount of the data cited here I must say can be attributed to reading and following a lot insights from Jay Love, Founder of Bloomerang. More recently, he recently participated in the 2016 Nonprofit Leaders Network Telesummit, a series of interviews with top fundraising experts conducted by Kirsten Bullock, CFRE, MBA. In his session, Jay explored the current state of donor retention and examined how and why nonprofit leaders should transform their organization’s culture into one of donor-centricity, rather than acquisition. Here is a quote from Jay when asked about what is donor retention and why is this a key leadership issue:

Donor retention is really the foundation for the funding of most nonprofits’ missions because those individuals, some of the research that’s been done, we know that in 2015, 88% of the dollars for the average nonprofit came from 12% of the donors. Most of the time, those are not first-time donors. So, those are donors that have been retained going into more than one year for that.

So, the donor retention is basically how many donors or what percentage of your donors are you able to keep from one year to the next? So, it’s a pretty simple mathematical formula, sort of like a fraction. If, for instance, you had 1,000 donors in 2014 and you were able to retain 550 of those in 2015, then you would have 550 over 1,000 or a 55% donor retention rate, which by the way, compared to the national average, would be considered to be quite stellar.

So, if you are starting a nonprofit or simply need a fundraising idea to help improve your development efforts, find a database which will help with retention.

Just to be clear, we do not sell or support any donor database solutions, but we believe that a fundraising database is absolutely vital to the continued success of your organization, and we can help find the right one for you. I believe you have to appreciate what they can do in order to help those find what they are looking for in a solution.

For more information about the various donor software solutions on the market today, contact us today. Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

Free Fundraising Software Review Guide

Maximize Fall and Year-End Fundraising by Using the Right Donor Management Software

Fundraising Software from SmartThoughts

Donor Management Technologies and Strategy

It is no secret that many nonprofits and foundations rely on year-end donations for a large percentage of their annual giving. It’s clear for many you need to be sure that your donor management software is up to the task. In this article, we wanted to take a look at these proven strategies you may need along with the right technology to start thinking about now to be ready for the months ahead.

We know that it is still summer, but it is also the perfect time to plan your year-end campaign. If you put things off until December, it is going to be too late. According to Charity Navigator, most charities receive about 40% of their annual contributions in the last few weeks of the year. By getting an early start you can extend the giving season and celebrate a better new year.

Sending Out your fall and year-end appeals: 

Many organizations get their best results by sending out three or more appeals timed around late summer, Thanksgiving and the middle of December. Use a combination of email and mail efforts. Segment your high dollar and major donors for more personalized communications with your donor management tools found in many integrated fundraising software tools like The Databank. 

Data Enhancements and Data Intelligence: 

Before you send anything out, this is the time to take a look at your donor database records. A trusted data quality expert like Updentity can help your nonprofit reach-out to constituents and donors in a more effective manner by appending quality data profile records before you spend a dime on postage. Using state of the art technology, Updentity is able to analyze your database and donor history. With this analysis, your organization could obtain a prediction including which of your donors are most likely to donate.

Google Ad Grants: 

Google Ad Grants is the nonprofit edition of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Google Ad Grants empowers nonprofit organizations, through $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords™ advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com. You have time now to take advantage of this awesome offer. Use the advertising to drive memberships, newsletter subscriptions, social media engagement, volunteers and sponsors. Ads can increase revenue through new donors, advertising opportunities, event attendance, traffic to your online store, and more.

Making solicitation and Thank You calls: Social Signals from Nimble CRM from SmartThoughts

Taking the time to call your donors (see great blog article from Pursuant) increases giving dramatically. Round up as many people as you can including your staff, board members and volunteers to staff the phones. Ask people to follow-up with their personal prospects. Give them briefings when they are calling people they do not know and update your files with the data you collect. Know as much as you can about your constituents before you make that call. Monitoring what your contacts say on social channels is every bit as important as reading their emails. Today, we are fortunate to have CRM tools like Nimble CRM which can add considerable value to your existing donor management software tool to provide social insights (if feature not in current Donor Database). Further, you may consider getting financial profiles for your donors and prospects before you call via a service from WealthEngine.  This type of data (Social and Financial) via various tools is an awesome combination for many development officers!

Video Email for Enhancing the Ask:

This year, maybe it’s time to do something different to increase annual giving via a new technology. We have been using an awesome new video email tool internally, and it’s great for nonprofits too. With Video Emails, you may send holiday & special occasion greetings, send targeted messages to specific groups, share updates on missions, projects, & goals. It’s very impactful and could greatly increase the power of your message.

Implementing your digital strategy: 

Online gifts can come from any source, and they have been representing a larger share of year-end giving each year. Harness the power of your website via donor database tools like StayClassy and social media. Create a splash page on your website asking for contributions the last 48 hours of the year. Use social media updates on an ongoing basis to reinforce your campaign.

These are a few of my thoughts on ways to plan now for the end of the year in the heat of the summer. What ideas do you have?

As always, Contact us for expert advice on the exact nonprofit software automation you may need for your year-end giving campaigns. Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.