Six Essential Features of a Fundraising Platform
Virtually all schools depend on fundraising to support their budgets. School fundraisers provide much-needed funds to support students’ education and extracurriculars, not to mention opportunities for fun and community bonding.
But school fundraising also requires a lot of work, traditionally involving hundreds of volunteer hours to create and manage successful campaigns. That’s why PTAs/PTOs turn to school fundraising platforms to help make fundraising more efficient and effective.
What is a fundraising platform?
Fundraising platforms help organizations plan and manage fundraising campaigns. While there are several different kinds of fundraising platforms designed to meet widely varying needs, the best fundraising platforms help streamline the following processes:
- Campaign creation – for example, setting up a campaign page or donation portal
- Campaign management – managing the stages of the campaign once it’s set in motion
- Goal and progress tracking – reporting on how close you are to reaching your donation goals
- Donor management – for example, facilitating online donations, automating communication and acknowledgments, fostering donor engagement, etc.
- Event planning – for example, automated task reminders
Some fundraising platforms are designed for specific types of fundraisers, e.g., crowdfunding or silent auctions, and may be intended for use only for planning, donation tracking, or during the event itself. Others are more comprehensive, allowing you to customize a campaign tailored to your specific goals and plan, track, and analyze results from start to finish. That’s why it’s crucial to identify your fundraising goals, including the types of fundraisers you’re interested in running, before making a purchase.
No matter what type of fundraisers you pursue, any good fundraising platform should be highly functional, efficient, and user-friendly. Keep reading to learn how to choose a school fundraising platform that checks these boxes.
What to look for in a school fundraising platform
1. Comprehensive support
A 2015 survey by Software Advice revealed that the top feature buyers looked for in a fundraising platform was more functionality. One of the most important factors in the functionality of your fundraising software is the level of support available.
At the very least, a fundraising platform must have a comprehensive tech support team available to resolve any issues with the functioning of the software from the administrative or donor side. Communication with the support team should be quick and easy so that issues are resolved in a timely fashion.
Booster goes above and beyond by offering not just platform support, but also remote consulting with a personal fundraising expert to make sure your fundraising campaign is tailored to your school, classroom, or event needs.
2. Visibility and reporting
Another crucial aspect of a fundraising platform is the level of administrative visibility it provides. Administrators should have a crystal clear view of donors and donations, campaign tasks, and more. Make sure any fundraising platform you’re considering features user-friendly dashboards and easy-to-pull reports so that you can stay plugged into your campaign’s progress and ensure donations are properly recorded and acknowledged.
Boosterthon’s fundraising platform allows you to easily pull donation reports by donor type, manage incentive and reward delivery, manage campaign tasks, enter the check or cash donations, and more all in one virtual place.
3. Goal and progress tracking
It’s important that your fundraising platform track the progress of your fundraising campaign. Not only does this keep the fundraiser on track, but it also allows for an element of gamification that can boost donor engagement. Boosterthon’s platform enables fun contests to help participants get excited to give back.
4. Virtual fundraising capabilities
The last school year was tough for fundraising, with some of the most popular fundraising events, such as restaurant nights and auctions becoming impossible due to health concerns. Luckily, schools were able to adapt through virtual fundraising. This year made it more important than ever for fundraising platforms to feature virtual fundraising capabilities.
Boosterthon’s platform is highly customizable, enabling the management of both on-campus and virtual events. Even our popular Dance Fit program can be run totally virtually to keep participants safe while still having fun and making money for your school or class.
5. Communication capabilities
School fundraisers can only succeed when people know about them. When looking for a fundraising platform, make sure that it enables easy, efficient communication not only among administrators and organizers, but also with donors, participants, and the public. Look for integrations with email platforms, popular social media outlets, text, and more.
With Booster, participants can instantly share updates through Facebook, email, and text message with the click of a button.
6. Donor management
No matter how hard your team works, it’s the donors who make or break your fundraiser. Fundraising platforms should feature functional donor management systems that allow organizers to not only accurately track donations and donor types but also to communicate with and thank donors. If your fundraiser includes gift matching, you’ll also want to make sure your fundraising platform includes gift matching or integrates with your chosen gift matching system.
Booster makes sure parents and donors feel great about supporting your campaigns through thoughtful language that reflects the times. It also features a built-in gift matching service through our partnership with Double the Donation, allowing you to make even more money for your campaign without adding to your workload or requiring separate software.
An all-in-one fundraising platform
At Booster, our goal is to save you volunteer hours, not add more. That’s why our comprehensive fundraising platform is designed to walk you through every stage of the fundraising process, from planning to execution, with a big dash of fun along the way.
With a user-friendly platform and personalized support from an enthusiastic and caring team, our on-campus or fully virtual programs make it easier than ever to raise money for your students. Learn more about Boosterthon’s fundraising platform today.