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Why Nonprofits Shouldn’t Let Data Concerns Restrict Fundraising Creativity

By April 24, 2019

Byline author: Chad Catacchio, Rallybound

Many nonprofits rely on either a single or a couple of annual fundraising streams – whether it’s a gala, a 5K walk, or just donation buttons on their main website. Even if these fundraising activities are going strong and are sufficient to fund your mission, adding new revenue streams can help your nonprofit to diversify your supporter base. In some cases, your nonprofit may have no choice but to try new types of fundraising, as your main events may have plateaued or could even be declining year-over-year.

You may wonder…can you expand your fundraising options or not, if you’re not sure whether fundraising data will correctly sync back to Nonprofit Cloud? Fear not: we have some advice for you. There are many different strategies for both fundraisers and donors with more online options to raise funds, including: standard donation pages and buttons, peer-to-peer fundraising including with teams, crowdfunding, endurance, so-called DIY fundraising, ticketing pages, and even memorial and tribute pages.

Different types of peer to peer fundraising that nonprofits can run campaigns around.

All of these types of activities can be seamlessly synced to Salesforce to update a single master record for an individual supporter, and you or your Salesforce administrator should understand that this activity will not complicate your record keeping and reporting.

To online fundraisers and donors, you may start with taking offline supporters in Salesforce and marketing to them through Pardot or using native marketing functionalities in Nonprofit Cloud. Once a supporter moves to being an online participant and creates an account and/or makes a donation in Rallybound (in any type of fundraising campaign) that record is seamlessly updated in Salesforce using standard objects.

Let’s skip ahead now and assume that this supporter, we’ll call her Jane Doe, registered and fundraised for a 5K run, raising $3,000 for that event. Previous to her participation in the run, Jane had been a long-time donor (by mailing in a physical check) to your organization. She is obviously a dedicated supporter of your nonprofit, and a great candidate to target to donate more online.

An example of a peer to peer fundraising page for nonprofits.

This is the point where some nonprofit Salesforce administrators might raise a flag with the fundraising staff, worrying that adding in an additional online stream of data – e.g. other online campaigns that the supporter is involved in – could cause duplicates or other data complications. This CAN be the case with some fundraising platforms, and often is the case if your nonprofit uses multiple solutions to drive their various fundraising initiatives.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. If you take some time to think it through, you can do almost any type of online fundraising while sending clean and organized data through standard objects back to Salesforce, without creating duplicates.  

One approach is to use  Rallybound’s Salesforce integration; we recommend a campaign hierarchy method, where campaigns, teams, and personal fundraisers can be tracked in a nested hierarchy in Salesforce. Groups of campaigns (often an event series or similar) will represent the top of the hierarchy, individual campaigns sit below that, campaigns teams will be nested on the next level, and personal fundraisers will be within the teams.

There are multiple benefits to this method:

  • All opportunities (donations) will be attributed to the relevant campaign(s), team, or fundraiser campaign in Salesforce.
  • All members associated with campaigns will be listed on those campaigns as Campaign Members. This includes the fundraiser themselves, team captains, and donors to the campaigns. In this way, you can track donors directly to a fundraising page or team.
  • Both opportunities and members will bubble up through the campaign hierarchy, so they can be reported on at any level.

Rallybound integrates with native Salesforce objects and fields available in the Nonprofit Success Pack. Rallybound pushes to standard objects as well as the NPSP recurring donation object and to standard and custom fields, allowing nonprofits to personalize the integration. Nonprofits can also choose to export custom registration fields and forms that are set up within Rallybound.

When you’re working to improve your fundraising, don’t worry about data integrity. Pick technology that makes it easy for you to raise funds where and how you want to.

For more resources on nonprofit fundraising, check out this recurring giving research report.


The Nonprofit Recurring Giving Benchmark Study

About the Author

Chad Catacchio works with Salesforce and other partners at Rallybound, a modern fundraising platform that is built for nonprofits of all sizes, and that integrates seamlessly with Salesforce. He often writes about how to optimize peer-to-peer fundraising in conjunction with Salesforce on the Rallybound blog.


Rallybound is an official AppExchange Partner. Find their app, Rallybound Fundraising, on the AppExchange.