What Are the Different Types of Donor Tools?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Donor tools allow organizations to cultivate and retain donors. These can range from donation buttons on websites that allow visitors to contribute, to software programs used by members of the donor relations department as a way to manage their donors. Organizations that use tools effectively can increase the number and size of donations while cultivating a lasting relationship with donors. Charities struggling with contributions can work with consultants on improving donor relations and better meeting goals.

People who contribute to charitable organizations do so for a number of reasons; often, they have a desire to see their donations at work and receive recognition for their contributions. Valuable donor tools can include newsletters and events to allow people see how their funds are used. A dance company, for example, could hold a special donor event where contributors get to preview a new performance piece. Regular newsletters can provide information about how funds support the aims of an organization, letting donors know their monies are used responsibly and effectively.

Recognition is also important, especially for big donors. Contributors often like to see their names in publications, including brochures, books, and programs published by the charity. At a facility, people can be recognized with plaques and other permanent installations that provide information about who contributed to the facility and who donates to the ongoing work of the organization. Personal thank you cards, including acknowledgments from charity recipients, can also be valuable donor tools.


In the office, people work with donor tools to help them organize their donors. Software programs create detailed listings for each donor with specific information the charity can use. In solicitation calls, for example, it’s important to pronounce names correctly and to be familiar with the donor’s history. Mailings can target donors from specific demographics to appeal to their interests, and the organization can also look for underrepresented groups. If the group is primarily supported by people from a specific demographic segment, the organization might want to expand outreach to other segments to attract more donors.

Software for charitable organizations can include donor tools like prompts automatically emailed to donors, the generation of phone lists for representatives to use in campaigns, and up to date listings of donors sorted by characteristics like location or size of contribution. These can be valuable for helping organizations understand who donates and why. Targeted campaigns can also increase success rate and reduce donor irritation. If someone recently contributed, for example, a phone call might be annoying, and a software program could flag that donor to alert the charity to the fact that no call is necessary.



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