The end of year is upon us and Giving Tuesday is weeks away, appeals are getting sent, and special events are wrapping up. With all of these pushes, reporting becomes critical in measuring the success of your fundraising efforts.

I also know from personal experience that reporting is not usually top of mind when you are in the EOY fundraising flurry. There are letters to write, lists to pull, Giving Tuesday graphics to design… Reports are for later, right?! (Spoiler: they are not.)

For EOY reporting most people are looking for two things—measuring results and monitoring progress.

You want to know the final results like response rate, revenue, number of new donors, but you also need to know things like if people are finishing filling out donation forms or clicking on emails and if you might need to pivot if something is not working like intended.

This year, set yourself up for success and add reporting to that to-do list NOW and not later by asking yourself these two questions before you even get that end of year ask in inboxes.

  1. How do I know if what we are doing is successful or not?
  2. Are we set up to measure that thing?

Knowing your goals is important, but knowing if you met those goals is even more critical. Make sure you are keeping record of data that is tracking your progress. For example, if you sent out a test version of your EOY appeal, is the gifts processing team making note which version when they are entering the donation information into your database? Same for A/B testing for an email?

If you don’t make this plan ahead of time, this data will get lost. So take a few minutes today and think through these two questions and save yourself some reporting headaches later.

One last bit of advice, these two questions should be on your EOY planning each year. This is not a set it and forget it kind of thing. Every year your reporting should be more comprehensive than the year before. Your goals can change too. Make it an annual process to review your reporting and what information you would like to know going forward.

And if after you ask yourself these two questions you find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed with all that duplicate data or feeling a little lost navigating your CRM, I recommend checking out our EOY Reporting Tune-up package. Right now we are offering this service for only $2,499 (regularly $2,999) so it’s a perfect time to let Tackle take the reins and get your EOY reporting in top shape so you start the new year off right!

We are excited about our new partnership with Qgiv! From donation forms to event registration to auctions and more, Qgiv provides diverse software offerings for your everyday fundraising needs as well as add-on features that integrate seamlessly for a big event like a gala or golf tournament.

Jack Nelson, Director of Business Development
Qgiv

This diverse feature offering and scalable pricing truly sets Qgiv apart. We know our nonprofit clients of any size can benefit from this digital fundraising platform.

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Jack Nelson, Qgiv’s Director of Business Development, and the Qgiv team about the benefits of using Qgiv for a large event. Since I know most nonprofits host large events, I thought I would share these excellent tips and insights with you to help you plan your next successful fundraising event in this Q&A below.


Shannon: How easy is it for Qgiv customers to add a feature when gearing up for a big event like a gala or golf tournament?

Jack: Our intuitive and award-winning platform makes it extremely easy for our customers to add or remove fundraising tools whenever they’d like. For example, a client can enable our Peer-to-Peer plan for just 1 month, so they can set up their peer-to-peer fundraising event registration and offer fundraising pages for individuals or teams. This goes for all our event solutions including traditional events, peer-to-peer and auctions. Within each tool, it’s easy to enable helpful features like early bird discounts and promo codes to encourage registration.

S: What features do you see consistently used for large events? What are some underused features you think nonprofits would really benefit from using for events like galas that have lots of moving parts?

J: Every event is different, so we offer a range of options for our customers so they can choose what is best for them. One popular option is the use of event packages, which are used to define special pricing and follow-up questions specific to each package. For example, you can set up special pricing for a table of 10 and ask additional information specific to that table, such as dinner choice. Some of the most successful events we see have a defined cutoff time for registration, thus showing urgency to their constituents that time is of the essence. Donors typically respond very favorably.

A feature that could really benefit complex events is our Fundraising Hub, which is basically an aggregator for fundraising events and activities. In other words, you can brand one primary event page, add a thermometer with a link to register for a peer-to-peer event, link to view and bid on auction items, and of course links to make an online donation. This Fundraising Hub page can display the total amount raised along with recent activity for the entire campaign.

We also love seeing our clients use the text fundraising feature included within our peer-to-peer platform. Donors can initiate a gift by texting a keyword which will then be credited to either the event, a participant’s personal page, or a team page all based on the keyword.

Last but not least, we always like to stress the importance of communication. The Qgiv platform includes an array of options to communicate with participants and donors. You can schedule communication including push notifications, emails, and/or SMS outbound messaging.

S: How does data collected from big events sync into integrations like Salesforce or Neon One? What about conversion rates from the event being tracked through Google Analytics?

J: With our Data plan, nonprofits can save time and money by utilizing one of our many built-in integrations including Salesforce and Neon One. By doing so, the donor data collected within Qgiv will be synced automatically. Working with our Customer Experience team, all you have to do is define which integration you’d like to use, provide one-time credentials, define any custom mappings which may be applicable, and we take care of the rest. It’s truly just a matter of set it and forget it!

Our clients can take advantage of the tracking capabilities provided by Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Facebook Pixel. All they have to do is insert the required code in various areas of their events and forms. Our Customer Experience team is happy to assist them if they need a little extra help.

S: How can partners, like Tackle, help Qgiv customers prepare for a large event?

J: We see our partners assist our clients in many ways based on their specific skill set. We’re extremely excited about our partnership with Tackle, as they have tremendous experience helping nonprofit organizations maximize all their fundraising endeavors. We’re excited to see how Tackle will work alongside each client to help them with their setup, configuration, and any unique needs they have. In addition, partners like Tackle help clients formulate an overall plan including the details before, during, and after fundraising events and campaigns.


If you are planning for your next large event and think Qgiv would be a good fit, our team at Tackle would love to help you implement this diverse platform and get you set up for a successful fundraising event! Contact us today and let’s get started.

This sucks. You weren’t planning for a big CRM switch in 2021, time wise or budget wise. But, c’mon now, you KNOW you’ve been talking about leaving Luminate CRM for years now. The time has arrived and we want to help you make lemonade out of these lemons.

Blackbaud recently announced that Luminate CRM would no longer be supported in 2022. That doesn’t feel like a ton of time to make a CRM switch, but for small- or medium-sized organizations, we are confident that this is very doable in this time frame.

First off, this transition might actually be easier than you expect. For many organizations, transitioning from Luminate CRM to Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) would be a viable and likely option. There are many similarities to how NPSP operates and it could actually be a generally easy transition for your data and your team.

For smaller organizations, this could be a good opportunity to move to a completely new CRM and other digital systems that might better fit your needs. Especially, because we know most small nonprofits aren’t getting the most out of Luminate CRM anyway.

Now you might be wondering with Luminate CRM going away, will Luminate Online still be around? The short answer is yes, at least for now, it will still be around. However, that does not mean it is necessarily the best option for your organization.

If you are using Luminate Online for online fundraising, peer-to-peer, and/or email marketing (which most Luminate CRM clients probably are), you’re going to need to consider your plans with those tools as well. You will have a very different range of compatible systems and modules available to you regardless of what CRM you transition to. And while switching from Luminate Online isn’t as urgent, it is something to keep in mind as you are making the decision which CRM you want to move to. The best part is that those options are generally big improvements over the equivalent Luminate Online tools.

The good news is CRM and online fundraising platform conversions are waaaay easier now, pretty much across the board, than they were 10 years ago or whenever your organization most likely transitioned to Luminate CRM in the first place. This is even easier if your staff is small and motivated to end up with better systems and processes than Luminate CRM provided.

The bottom line is we want to acknowledge that yes, this is urgent and needs to be dealt with ASAP. But we also want you to know it is totally doable without needing to be hasty or panicked. With some willingness to be flexible and endure some likely pain in the short term, you’re going to end up far better off.

Our team at Tackle is extremely well-suited to help you navigate this change. We have helped many clients transition away from Luminate CRM and are confident we can help you smoothly make this transition to a new CRM.

So don’t let this Luminate CRM news sour your day. Let’s work together and get you set up for success with a new CRM that actually fits your needs and budget. Reach out today and let’s get started!

Our team at Tackle has worked with so many fundraising systems over the years, that it is rare we find one we get so excited about. Fundraise Up is has become this unicorn with our team.

Larry Cardarelli, Partnership Success Manager
Fundraise Up

Fundraise Up is always learning from user data on ways to improve the user experience, and they do this automatically. So not only are they getting people to complete the donation process, their system is constantly working to do things like optimizing donation amounts and upgrading donors to become monthly givers. There is also potentially a ton of actionable data that could be learned and utilized in a CRM.

Plus, their staff is awesome and attentive, and they truly care about nonprofits beyond just trying to make a bunch of money.

I recently had the privilege to connect with Larry Cardarelli, Fundraise Up’s new Partnership Success Manager. Larry comes from the content creation space working with agencies large and small, and we know he will be a great asset to Fundraise Up’s team. We were able to chat a bit about Fundraise Up and platform integrations and trends, and I am excited to share my interview below on this topic with Larry.


Shannon: You mentioned previously that a major initiative for Fundraise Up this year is to develop new integrations with other platforms. What trends contributed to making this a priority?

Larry: Fundraise Up is hyper-focused on the online donation experience—we’re not trying to be a CRM. So to ensure that the greatest number of nonprofits can take advantage of the platform, we’re invested in rapidly deploying new native CRM integrations. Today, we have six such integrations, including API-based solutions for Salesforce and Raiser’s Edge NXT, and most recently, Neon CRM.

S: Are there any unique ways nonprofits are using integrations with Fundraise Up?

L: Yes. One of the key features of our integration suite is custom mapping rules. Mapping rules in Fundraise Up allow a nonprofit to route data to its CRM in an incredibly sophisticated and granular way. This means that tracking campaign, appeal, and fund properties is painless and straightforward, and we can even push UTM tags to the nonprofit’s CRM for enhanced marketing tracking. The practical outcome of our approach to data mapping is that our customers can engage in advanced fundraising. And they know that any data they collect in Fundraise Up (including data from custom properties) can be routed to their CRM.

I’ll also add that through our Zapier integration, the sky’s the limit in terms of what a nonprofit can do with its data. There are great stewardship tools like Thankview that can be connected to Fundraise Up for sending video messages in email, and of course, marketing staples like MailChimp for growing email lists.

S: In addition to integrations, what platform trends is your team seeing recently?

L: Recurring giving is a powerful component of any fundraising strategy, and we’ve seen a lot of demand in the nonprofit sector for better offerings from software vendors. Strategically, we built robust recurring giving functionality into the Fundraise Up platform on day one, and it’s helped nonprofits double their recurring donor acquisition rates and boost overall online donation revenue by 2x. So instead of going back to the drawing board like some vendors will have to do, we’re able to focus on conversion enhancements for our recurring donation features and iterate on components like our one-time to recurring donation upsell tools.

S: How is Fundraise Up solving issues that come up with compatibility integrating your product with other platforms? For example, when a platform like Salesforce makes a change to their API or data structure.

L: This is a really important question because, while native integrations help automate things, they don’t always meet the advanced needs of enterprise nonprofits. To make sure we can service even the most complex data structures, we’ve created a custom export tool that lets a nonprofit have complete control over the data that is pulled from Fundraise Up and how that data is formatted. This is super important because not all CRMs format data the same way, and it can be a frustrating to have to manipulate your data in Excel before uploading it to a CRM. Our custom export tool also features a scheduling feature which lets you export data on a recurring basis. That export can either be emailed to one or more users or uploaded to an FTP location. So with our custom export tool, it doesn’t matter if a platform’s API or data structure changes. A nonprofit can update their export from Fundraise Up to meet the requirements of their CRM.

S: How are partners, like Tackle, stepping in to fill the gap?

L: I mentioned earlier that we’re hyper focused on the online giving experience, but that doesn’t mean we’re not interested in ensuring that customers succeed in other areas. We partner with companies like Tackle to ensure that our customers are fully supported as they scale their fundraising efforts. Since Tackle is really an extension of a nonprofit’s team, they can be relied upon for Help Desk services, best practices-based CRM management and of course, seamless integration of Fundraise Up into the nonprofit’s fundraising tech stack.

If you might be scratching your head about recent emails from Salesforce about implementing a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) requirement for your organization, you are not alone.

The key challenges we see with product announcements from Salesforce like this one are that they:

  • focus on the needs of their medium- to large-scale B2B sales customers, not smallish nonprofits,
  • are written for the use of at least moderately experienced in-house Salesforce admins, who can easily identify which parts of the announcement (if any) are relevant for that particular organization.

Many nonprofits don’t fall into these categories. In fact, we have had a few Help Desk clients check in with our team about this email so we thought we would share some information about it so your team can be on top of this Salesforce update.

Our goal with this post is to help nonprofit organizations of various sizes to be able to navigate this change to their MFA with the least amount of headaches.

What is the new MFA requirement in Salesforce?

Beginning February 1, 2022, all Salesforce users will now be required to enable MFA for access to their Salesforce products.

Yep, you have almost an entire year to make sure this change happens.

However, even though this is still a ways out, we don’t want to underplay this update because this changes the way your users login to Salesforce. And you can’t just ignore it until the February 2022 deadline. But don’t panic, because that’s way more time than most nonprofits will need.

What is MFA?

Before we dive into the how, we thought we would actually address what multifactor authentication, or MFA, actually means for your Salesforce users. Read more

When your nonprofit started using email to reach your donors and other contacts, your team most likely signed up for one of the many basic email marketing tools out there like Constant Contact or Mailchimp (among many, many others). And while I am sure there have been a few hiccups along the way, this system has mostly served you well.

But now your organization is growing and your donor base is getting bigger (yay!) and you find yourself in a technology dilemma — is it time to upgrade my email marketing tool?

There are many benefits to using basic email marketing tools like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor. Things like easy set up and access, design templates, and general ease of list management.

There is also generally less of a learning curve to use these products so more people are able to manage it on their own without the help of a specialist.

Marketing automation platforms like Salesforce Pardot, ClickDimensions or Active Campaign are typically the next step up from these basic tools. These platforms come with direct connections with your CRM which allows for flexible, powerful, and fully-automated lists and processes.

Another key feature of these platforms is data. Marketing and fundraising data can be analyzed together in the same system. This means fundraising staff have more insight into what their donors have received and opened, and gives them tools how to move forward with their campaigns.

So when should you upgrade your marketing platform?

The biggest indicator that you need to upgrade is when your email marketing strategy and analysis needs become more nuanced and sophisticated than the platform (and your staff!) can handle. Do you need more automation? What about list size? How well is your email tool working with your CRM?

Moving to one of these marketing automation platforms is a substantial undertaking for both the organization and the implementer, so of course this change doesn’t come lightly. There are list rules and other automations to configure. There are also templates to design and set. However once all this is complete, the data and lists can manage themselves—even with highly complex, multi-branch timed or action-dependent email flows.

There is also a cost involved in this upgrade. For many organizations, this is definitely a huge factor to consider and can be a decision breaker. However, many times the benefits of upgrading can actually provide a decent return on investment by growing your online donations and outreach efforts.

If you are still on the fence about whether or not your nonprofit is ready to make this big switch, our team at Tackle would be happy to share our insights. We have worked with a lot of marketing automation systems, especially using these specifically for nonprofits, and would be more than willing to help guide you to this next phase.

Tackle is excited to present our newest service offering, Help Desk!

In a nutshell, Help Desk is perfect for those small or inconsistent CRM and online fundraising projects that pop up from time to time. For a small monthly administrative fee, you’ll gain access to our team of technology experts and only pay for the time we actively spend helping you.

We wanted to provide a service that truly helps nonprofit teams overcome technical roadblocks so they can focus on what is really important—growing your organization.

Our team has been working hard at launching this new program and we know many nonprofits will benefit from this on-call format, especially as we navigate this “new normal” we have found ourselves in.

What sparked the Help Desk idea?

We encounter a lot of organizations that often need occasional technical help, but cannot commit to a large support retainer. Often these nonprofits are on the smaller scale or have some sort of in-house technical support already.

On our side, it is challenging to write proposals for projects that only require a handful of hours. But our team has a passion to help nonprofits, no matter their project size, so we decided it was time to brainstorm a new way to serve these organizations. And thus, Help Desk was born.

With Help Desk, we set up an umbrella agreement that allows us to promptly answer questions and easily scope out work for approval via email. That allows our team to focus less on selling you something and more on helping you quickly. It truly is a win-win for both of us.

What are the top benefits of Help Desk?

Tech Team Access – You have a full CRM and fundraising technology team ready to help you on demand when you need it.

No Retainer Fees – There are no large retainer fees you have to commit to. You will be set up with a small monthly administrative fee to have access to our Help Desk platform and then you will just be billed for the work we do.

Ongoing Relationship – Over time we become very familiar with your systems and needs, so when a major project like a migration comes up, we can often skip a lot of discovery steps. This saves you time and money.

What kind of organizations are the best fit for Help Desk?

We specifically designed this for nonprofits with platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, online marketing software, and/or digital fundraising systems. We serve both smaller organizations without full time technology staff, and larger organizations with technology staff who are too busy to provide front-line user support or need occasional help with larger projects.

Universally, you want to get the most out of your technology and we want to help you achieve that.

What are examples of situations that Help Desk addresses?

Every organization has a unique set of technical or strategic circumstances and struggles. Our team can address them all, from day-to-day issues to long-term technology tactics.

Here are just a few scenarios our team is equipped to handle.

  • Major Platform Change – Our CRM or Online Fundraising platform has an upcoming change (upgrade, release, feature retirement, security warning, etc.). Will our organization be impacted? Or maybe it already happened a while ago, and you’ve been ignoring it. And it DEFINITELY impacted you. How difficult will it be to fix it now?
  • Data Detective WorkHow the heck did THIS person’s information get changed in this way?
  • Input on Technology Strategy – We’re about to launch a new campaign that uses our platforms in a somewhat different way. And we’re also interested in exploring some things in the future in a kinda-related somewhat different way. Is there anything else we should be thinking about here?

We know one of these questions has come up for you in the past. Folks at all levels of an organization have all kinds of good ideas about how to make their jobs easier and better. But without the kind of broad nonprofit tech experience Tackle brings, it can be challenging to know where to begin.

With Help Desk, you can turn to us to help you navigate any technology issues, big or small. We have experience working with all sizes of nonprofits and can help you navigate best practices and talk about red flags we might see down the road.

What does the small monthly fee cover and how many billable hours do you typically spend per client?

The monthly administrative fee covers your team setup in our online help desk system. This includes progress monitoring 24/7 and access to our team.

Help Desk’s pay-as-you-go billing provides you with flexibility to adjust your spending. Every client has different and various technology needs. We will work with you to set up boundaries for pre-approved hours per month, and will communicate with you when you are nearing that boundary. For work that will take longer than those pre-approved hours, we will work with you on getting approval to move forward so you don’t have any surprises. You also have the ability to limit how many people on your team have access to Help Desk so you have control over what is a priority for that month.

How do you sign up?

Great question! We’d love to set up a time to chat with you and take the next steps to getting your team signed up for Help Desk. Simply contact us through the website or send a note to Ryan directly.

Learn more about Help Desk here.

When deciding on a technology consultant firm for your nonprofit, there are many things to consider. One of them is whether or not the consultant firm is focused on one particular system, like Salesforce, or one that has knowledge working with multiple systems.

Being an expert in one system means the consultant has spent an extraordinary amount of time learning about all the technical features of the system and how business processes can be set up. This can be extremely beneficial if your organization needs help with that particular system, especially for a short term issue.

However, there are setbacks to this specific system expertise. This can mean the consultant has fewer tools in their toolbox for fixing problems, as the consultant most often sees problems and solutions within that one system’s lens.

At Tackle we take pride in being efficient in multiple digital systems. So why is this important?

Most organizations use multiple systems and will likely change to new systems in the future. When a consultant has experience with multiple systems, they can very effectively create solutions using the best tool available.

Similarly, you can create solutions tailored by system depending on who in an organization uses which system. That can be invaluable for minimizing learning curves.

Read more

Tackle is excited to announce the launch of our new podcast!

In our podcast series we plan to explore all things nonprofits and technology, two topics we are very passionate about. We hope to bring insights from our years of experience from technology consulting and our backgrounds in working for nonprofits. From our favorite software recommendations to tips for working remotely, we would love to have you tune in.

For our first podcast, our team discusses working from home. This is a hot topic right now since many people have found themselves in this position the past few months, whether planned or not.

Our team at Tackle has always been remote, in fact we have employees from the east coast to the west coast and in between. And many of us have worked remotely in past positions as well. So we have a lot to say about that work from home life.

We talk about what our office space looks like, how to stay productive and how the current COVID-19 pandemic has made an impact in our work from home status.

Read more

With news of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading into even more communities, talk of the need to work from home is high on everyone’s minds.

While some offices are easily set up with the flexibility to work from home, there are many organizations that are not. Can your organization continue with “business as usual” if everyone is working from home?

In cases where closing an office altogether isn’t possible or practical, maybe consider reducing the in-office headcount. This could mean maintaining the minimal amount of in-house staff while allowing others to work from home. Or rotating work from home days or staggered 4-day work weeks. There are definitely options for reducing social contact.

Now for any organization facing the possibility of transitioning your employees to remote work, there are many things your organization should be doing NOW to prepare.

Start with a clear communication plan with your employees about what your plan is if they are not able to come into the office, and check out our guidelines below on where to get started.

Hardware & Software

What is your organization’s existing policy for staff working from home and/or using personal equipment? Start there. And note that you might have to make some updates or temporary exemptions for this situatiton.

If possible, try to avoid having your staff attempt to work using their personal equipment. Besides being a data and security risk, this is also likely to lead to support challenges for your IT team.

This means you will need to figure out how to provide the necessary hardware and needed software for your employees, especially if you do not have enough laptops for every employee. Now is the time to look into purchasing some more laptops. Or, at the very least, figure out how to help your employee set up their office desktop computer at their house. Although if that is the case, please keep in mind that not everyone is tech savvy so you will need to have a technical person on staff prepared to help with this—before the need to work from home is necessary.

It is also important to make sure the software your employees use are up-to-date and ready to go. Is Microsoft Office loaded on their laptop? What about any design programs? Email accounts?

Read more