Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 48 seconds

DonorCommunity is billed as "the first comprehensive, powerful, affordable and easy to use online fundraising and advocacy solution designed expressly for small to mid-sized NPOs." Its fully integrated suite of cloud computing applications enables clients to communicate and interact with stakeholders utilizing the customer relationship management, online marketing, and social networking technologies that have become commonplace in the for-profit world.

The suite includes:

  • DC-Constituent Relationship Manager: For planning, tracking and managing all interactions with your stakeholders, whenever and wherever they occur.

  • DC-Website Manager: A content management system that enables you to update your Website with copy-and-paste convenience.

  • DC-Online Marketing Manager: For keeping stakeholders informed about your latest news, fundraising programs, and advocacy campaigns.

  • DC-Online Auction Manager: For raising funds via eBay-style auctions 24x7, year-round.

  • DC-Social Networking Manager: For promoting community collaboration via wikis, forums, blogs, and social networking sites like Facebook.

  • DC-Online Donations Manager: For accepting funds through one-click donation pages.

  • DC-Event Manager: For creating event pages with automated registration, payment, ticketing, acknowledgments, and reporting.

  • DC-Personal Fundraising Manager: For empowering supporters to reach out through their personal and social networks to raise funds on your behalf.

In Use

DonorCommunity strives to deliver only the key capabilities that small to mid-sized nonprofits use every day. This is intended to allow for a focus on ease-of-use and to avoid the feature bloat and complexity found with some other systems, which are often designed for the very largest nonprofits.

Once it's up and running, all clients need to access their DonorCommunity applications and data is a browser and Internet connection. The product makes extensive use of menus and online prompts to encourage even the most non-technical user to quickly master applications and become productive. For example, users can update their Websites simply by copying and pasting text.

Technology Employed

DonorCommunity is a cloud computing software platform that utilizes the Software as a Service business model. The underlying portal technology is based on open standards and utilizes a secure, centralized database. This enables nonprofits to track every type of interaction with their stakeholders in one place, so they can gain essential insights about their preferences, giving histories, and relationships with each other and the community at large.

Ease of Use, Configuration, and Deployment

The company commits to having every client's customized portal up and running within ten business days. They also take full responsibility for moving Website content to the product's content management servers, providing them free hosting and the capability to manage content with the Website Manager application. If the client would like a new website design, they'll need to designate someone to meet with DonorCommunity and approve the designs. If they engage the company to migrate their data, they'll need to assign someone who understands their data model and collaborate with the data mapping analysts from planning through bulk-loading.

Recap

DonorCommunity is offered on a very affordable annual subscription basis that eliminates the need for clients to buy, install, manage, and support software. All clients receive unlimited access to their applications, unlimited users, and unlimited training and support, as well as free website hosting. There is a one-time implementation fee to set up the customized portal each client uses to access their applications and data and to manage their websites.

Clients have the option to process payments through DonorCommunity's platform (with a 2% transaction fee) or have a new Website designed ($4,000 fee). They also offer optional services for data migration and graphics design. According to the company, many clients report that they recover their entire DonorCommunity investment in five weeks or less.

The following numbers were shared to illustrate the potential benefits that prospective clients can expect:

1

The average number of weeks after implementation before clients begin to recover their DonorCommunity investment.

5

The average number of weeks it takes to earn back their entire annual subscription fee.

786

The number of new donors The Police Athletic League attracted during the first seven weeks of using Constituent Relationship Manager to capture information and cultivate donors.

204%

The year-over-year increase in online ticket sales The Arc of Greater Prince William County realized within 6 days of promoting their golf fundraiser with Event Manager.

$48,986

The funds raised by the Boys & Girls club of New Hampshire in just three weeks through a personal fundraising campaign that was entirely planned and spearheaded by the organization's supporters.

Advantages / Disadvantages

Advantages:

  • By capturing all information in a common repository, DonorCommunity enables nonprofits to build detailed profiles of their stakeholders and then design highly personalized fundraising and advocacy campaigns.

  • Cloud computing eliminates the need for nonprofits to buy, install, or manage software or to assign personnel to perform these tasks.

  • DonorCommunity applications and data are available 24/7/365 wherever there's an Internet connection. Workers are not tethered to their desks. There's less risk of data or productivity loss due to an office fire, power failure, or natural emergency.

  • Since they are fully integrated, all DonorCommunity applications share the same user-friendly look and feel. This reduces training time and enhances worker productivity.

  • DonorCommunity's centralized database ensures that all stakeholder information is consistent and readily available for every type of fundraising and advocacy campaign. It also ensures that the results of these campaigns need only be captured once, since the updates will immediately become available to every application in the DonorCommunity suite.

Disadvantages:

  • Stakeholder information distributed across multiple databases cannot easily be compiled into a comprehensive profile that encompasses all of the interactions with the nonprofit. This impairs the NPO's ability to build meaningful profiles of their supporters in order to make personalized offers that reflect their history and preferences.

  • When NPOs use standalone systems, they are more likely to alienate supporters through repetitive contacts because there is no single record that captures all of these contacts in one place.

  • The learning curve is increased when users have to master the look-and-feel of standalone applications. Each application must be mastered separately and re-learned each time one of the applications is updated.

  • Standalone applications employ database designs that reflect their limited functionality only. An email application will only collect information that is relevant to email campaigns. A donor tracking system will only track giving activity. These applications are simply not designed to capture broader sets of information; for example, that a particular donor is also a program volunteer. Only an integrated suite of application with a centralized database that spans all functional silos can reveal this kind of essential information.

My Opinion

The DonorCommunity product seems to have a lot going for it. It focuses clearly on the major goals of most nonprofit organizations and utilizes the technologies that are most current and relevant, such as cloud computing, mobile applications, etc. The company itself has also been really responsive, providing information in a timely manner and being really upfront about what the product can and cannot do, as well as offering transparency on the pricing. For a nonprofit looking to do fundraising and advocacy, DonorCommunity is worth taking a look at to see if it meets your needs.

 


Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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