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bloomerangDonor retention is required to run a successful fundraising campaign. Not only will it raise more money for a charity or nonprofit in the long run, it takes a lot of the leg work out of the equation, freeing up more time and energy to focus on other aspects of the organization than just raising funds. Founded in 2012, Bloomerang understands this concept and built a product that focuses on amping up donor retention, engaging donors, and allowing the nonprofit to  reach out to their backers.


In Use:
Although the main component of the software is to increase donor retention, there are numerous components to Bloomerang's software that when used together creates an operating system that is user-friendly and helps achieve the goals associated with fundraising. Chief Scientist at Bloomerang, Adrian Sargeant states, “If nonprofits are to succeed, they need to develop fundraising practices that reflect the genuine needs of donors, inspire commitment to the cause, and build loyalty over time.” If a nonprofit has the support of their donors, they will have a steady influx of donations for years to come. With this software, donors can give their donation to a specific fund or setup recurring donations so as not to forget. The organization will in turn save time and money on postage and reminders.

Many up and coming nonprofits don't understand the power that is associated with donor retention. They don't realize the money and time that is being saved by securing repeat donors. It all comes down to a simple math equation. If an organization has 1,000 donors donate $10 to its organization in the first year they will raise $10,000. If 400 of those donors donate $10 again in year two, that equals $4,000 plus all the new donations that the organization has been able to secure within the past year. If only 100 of those initial 1,000 donate in year two, that's only $1,000.  That's $3,000 that an organization could have made if it had engaged more donors.

Although Bloomerang primarily focuses on donor retention, there is so much more to the software that makes it easier as a nonprofit to reach it's goals and build a successful campaign. Among these factors include a dashboard which allows the nonprofit to view its donor retention plan as well as suggested improvements to get its retention rate higher. A company can can zero in on the engagement within their organization as well as use templates to design and send emails, acknowledges gifts and write letters to donors.  When used together these templates are supposed to improve revenue and rid a nonprofit of the clutter that is holding it back.

Bloomerang offers numerous pricing plans on their website depending on the needs of a nonprofit. Plans range from $99 a month to $499 a month and all come with unlimited users, free email support and the option to have personal support for an added fee.

Technology Employed:
Bloomerang's is 100% cloud based and works on Macs and Windows alike. Therefore, an organization can access its records from anywhere with an internet connection. Thus, it works when one is in a pinch or traveling for business, but want to be up-to-date on their organization's progress.

Ease of Use:
The software itself seems easy to use. Like any software there is a learning curve, but once a person become adapt to how the software works, he can flip through screens and focus on the aspects of the software that will benefit his company. The company offers charities and nonprofits a free demo to familiarize themselves with the software and the attributes it has to offer. They offer customer support and webinars to stay up to date with what the technology has to offer. Many customers praise Bloomerang's ease of use and user-friendly templates.

Recap:
As a charity or nonprofit there's nothing better than having loyal donors who give recurring gifts throughout the year. Not only is it a steady stream of donations, it gives the company a sense of accomplishment knowing that its organization is touching people around the world- so much that they make it a point to continuously donate to their organization. Donor retention has always been an aspect of fundraising, but the need has become more urgent as of late. Bloomerang's software makes it easy to track and engage donors with the hopes that they will repeatedly donate every year.

Advantages:
  • Numerous tools designed to help a nonprofit grow in a user-friendly way.
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Credit-card processing and refund availability
  • Customer support by phone and email
  • Concise pricing plans so an organization knows how much they are paying ahead of time

  • Disadvantages:
  • The price is a bit daunting if a nonprofit is newer. Thankfully the pricing is per month so if they don't like the software, they're only paying for it for the time they use it.
  • Email and email design capabilities are lacking. Many customers wish that Bloomerang would increase the email capabilities.
  • Although it has a mobile site, many users wish for an app they can easily access
  • It can get hard maneuvering through the website as there are many components and pages to it

  • My Opinion:
    I think donor retention is a challenge that every nonprofit faces in some way or another. It's also a factor of fundraising that is often times overlooked. Bloomerang has built a successful product that focuses on retention while offering other features to help maintain the organization's efficiency. It is a new software so there are going to be glitches and capabilities that are lacking. I think the negative aspects such as lack of email capabilities or minor glitches that are associated with Bloomerang's website are easy to fix. Overall it's worth trying for a few months. Because the payments are monthly instead of yearly, an organization can cancel at anytime and not lose a significant amount of money. Last modified on Wednesday, 18 February 2015
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    Danielle Loughnane

    Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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