Looking for new ways to streamline workflows and have a greater impact? Who isn’t? Sometimes the path to this end is in how you use the tools at your disposal. System integrations can be an answer you may not have considered. Keep reading for ten creative integration concepts that can save you time and bring in more donations.
What’s an integration?
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, integration in this context is the process of connecting disparate systems in a way that facilitates the flow of information to the right places. Sometimes this can be connecting your eCRM with your database of record, a much more complex integration. Other times it can be the addition of an external tool that supplements your eCRM improving user experience.
The experience from your donors’ perspective should be seamless – they won’t even notice – it will just be easy to complete your forms. But on the back-end you’ve added tools that make your work easier and more robust.
Data in one place
Communication between your eCRM and your CRM or database of record can offer many advantages. This is the marriage of offline and legacy donor data in your database of record (CRM) with your rapidly changing and growing online (eCRM) community. When you sync the two you offer all development teams – online and offline – more opportunities. What if a new online donor gives $10,000? You’d want your major gifts team to know right away, right? Perhaps someone who has been giving monthly for the last 10 years is the perfect legacy donor and needs cultivation.
An integration between systems is achievable with our open API. Engaging Networks has deep integration options with Raiser’s Edge (and NXT), Salesforce and ROI Solutions to name a few. Visit our integrations page to learn more.
Don’t say goodbye to online events – we’re used to them now! Offering your supporters the option of online OR in-person events will only boost participation. Not everyone can make it to live events. We added an integration with Zoom to our suite of integrations to make it easy for nonprofits to sync webinars in Zoom with Engaging Networks Events. In addition, we’ve added several new features to our Events module like recurring events.
How can you use the Zoom integration?
- Monthly board meetings
- Quarterly facility tours
- Live streaming of your gala event
- Special messages from the CEO
- One on ones with the staff
- Anything, be creative! You can ask for a registration fee, or offer them for free and make an ask during the event.
Find out how you can integrate Engaging Networks with Zoom.
Get the leads you need
We’ve all heard of the leaky bucket, right? While you’re working hard to stop the leaks and retain donors, you also need to be working to continuously refill the bucket and replace the donors who have left (or leaked out). Two great ways to do this are with Facebook Lead Generation tools and Care2. Both are paid opportunities but can bring in good leads and potential donors.
Facebook Lead Generation Forms
This is an option within Facebook to create an ad type that allows the user to participate or take action right in Facebook. If you don’t have an integration, your new supporter data sits in Facebook until you download a file and upload it to your eCRM. Who has time for that? Well, who has time for that if you can do it automatically in real time?
When you sync Facebook Lead Gen Forms to Engaging Networks, you can add new supporters to Marketing automations, send an acknowledgement or even an ask. Removing delay from that first moment of participation to the first moment of engagement on your part shows you are excited to have them on board and appreciative of their support.
Care2 Lead Generation
Care2 has long been a go-to for lead generation. You can easily create an action in Care2 and new supporters interested in your cause can take action on the platform. Like Facebook, if you don’t set up an integration or sync, the leads will sit there until you download them and then upload them to your eCRM. With integration, you can easily add them to marketing automation workflows or simply send an email acknowledgment within 24 hours of their action. This prevents the sad but very possible scenario of them forgetting they took action. Let’s be honest, that’s happened to all of us at least once. Did I do that?
Make it easy to donate
Have you ever been to the store with someone and at checkout they just ‘booped’ the machine with their watch? Or maybe you’re the watch (or phone) booper. Digital wallets are becoming a part of everyday interactions and should be considered as a way to make giving easy for donors. Depending on your eCRM and the payment gateway you choose, this can be an easy addition and can boost giving. Use it for easy registrations at live events or just for donors on the go using mobile devices.
Free money makes everyone happy
Double the Donation is a platform that amplifies giving through corporate matching gifts programs. If you’re not aware of corporate matching gifts, this will be enlightening. Many companies, including Engaging Networks, will match an employee donation to a nonprofit organization. Sometimes the full amount, sometimes just a percentage. But, unless you have someone doing the legwork to get that donation, your donor has to file the paperwork themselves. Any idea how many people do that? No one knows…
Using the Double the Donation integration, your donor can select their company right in the donation form. When they complete the donation, the paperwork is automatically sent to the employer who will send you a check. Just like that. That $100 gift could suddenly be $200 with the addition of a simple integration.
Engaging Networks offers you tremendous flexibility in design. You can easily create templates that look just like your website for seamless user experience. But, for those that like to keep things all in one place – and have a WordPress site – you can use Gravity Forms. Accredited partner, Cornershop Creative, maintains a plugin that pushes data from Gravity Forms to Engaging Networks. You can sync any standard data field. In fact, we use the plugin on this site. Go ahead, try a form! The benefit of this integration is unity of analytics and experience. The user never leaves the site.
Business intelligence with the best
Want to move beyond the basic dashboard? Frakture works with nonprofit organizations to warehouse your data for deeper analytics and business intelligence – across channels. An advanced user can see supporter interactions across social media, offline and online. How can this transform your campaigns? By gaining deeper insight into how people are participating, you can spend more time pushing the right message to the right audience where they’re interacting.
Keep your email list squeaky clean
Email deliverability is a thing. Just one essential component to ensuring good email deliverability is good list hygiene. In this case, we’re talking about a nice clean email list free of typos, bad emails and worst of all spam traps. One clever way to do this on the front end is to integrate with a service like Neverbounce. For a rather small fee, and with some very light code, Neverbounce will authenticate each email entered on your forms. This ensures quality data at the source. Good data in = good data out.
Here’s an example from Rainforest Action Networks’ donation form. Try it yourself by entering a bad email address!
Looking for a partner to offer some tips or even get you started with Neverbounce? Watch this video with Accredited partner 4Site Interactive Studios.
Correct address data will ensure delivery
Address validation is important for data integrity. Why? A few reasons. From an advocacy perspective, if your supporters are taking action on an issue, you may need their correct address to send their message to the right local, state, or federal (or other) representative.
From a fundraising perspective, you need their correct address to mail them. “Mail? We do digital.” You may do digital but your offline fundraising team (also known as good old direct mail) needs a correct address to mail potential donors. Or simply to send a kind acknowledgement letter or thank you.
Finally, acquiring the right address shows you care about your data. Not everyone notices this when they are submitting their donation or taking action but if they mis-type their address and you offer a correction/validation – they’ll see their correct information on the thank you page. Thoroughness makes you look professional and makes the donor/supporter experience a positive one.
You can do address validation through Google but a new tool we’ve recently seen is SmartyStreets. Similar to the Neverbounce example, for a small fee and with a little code you get easy international address validation. Visit their website for more information but this video sums it up hilariously – don’t miss a chance with your donors!
Hopefully these integration tips offered some fresh ideas. To learn more about supported integrations with Engaging Networks, visit our integrations page. And, if you have ideas for an integration, reach out to us!