By Gabriel Csanalosi
A critical part of any NGO Connect (NGOC) implementation is the integration with external systems. These systems are typically owned by different vendors your organization works with. Some examples of useful integrations include wealth screening, address verification, payroll deductions for donations, e-marketing, and peer-to-peer fundraising.
There are many potential integrations with third party apps in the Salesforce AppExchange. However, high volume data processing usually involves exporting, processing, and loading large sets of data outside of the Salesforce ecosystem. In fact, this is often a requirement for enterprise nonprofits.
Lockbox File Processing
The most common integration with NGOC is lockbox file processing. Lockbox processing describes when banking institutions process donations in high-volume batches. By integrating lockbox with NGOC, nonprofits can track the records of those donation transactions.
Getting this data from a bank is one step in a much larger donor management lifecycle.
Donor Management For Direct Mail
Before I go through this larger donor management lifecycle, please note I’ll be speaking to processes around direct mail marketing. While e-marketing is very popular, recent research by Proactive Marketing shows that physical mail receives higher visibility than emails.
For this reason and for simplicity’s sake, I’ll be referring to the donor management lifecycle for paper mail direct marketing.
The Donor Management Lifecycle
It Starts at the Donor Profile
The donor management lifecycle starts with a donor profile. To this end, NGOC has extensive out-of-the-box reports and summary data that allows development teams and Direct Marketing vendors to identify candidates for different types of solicitations. Giving history and interests supplied by donors help segment donors for different appeals/campaigns.
If your direct marketing vendor does not have direct access to NGOC, there are several options. It’s possible to create an outbound integration process that exports this profile data in order for vendors to perform direct segmentation. Alternatively, many of our enterprise customers choose to have roundCorner’s Managed Services team work with Marketing vendors to pull campaigns in roundData, roundCorner’s data warehousing solution.
Customers can have the Managed Services team perform all ongoing segmentation through the service bureau, or they can run the campaign queries that have been created for them directly from the roundData environment on an as-needed basis.
The Segmentation Process
The output from the segmentation process is a list of appeals, and the donors/prospects to solicit for each appeal. Certainly, this includes the actual mailings that are sent to donors as well. NGOC tracks every solicitation to a donor through an inbound file integration that records the Donor ID with the Appeal ID.
When a donation comes in from a donor, the solicitation record’s status is updated. To ensure this, each mailing includes a unique identifier for the donor or prospect and an appeal code. This appeal code ties the gift back to a campaign when it comes in through the lockbox vendor.
The lockbox vendors receive mail reply devices with payment information that they scan in batches. The bank processes these as payments and outputs a list of transactions into a file. Next, this file is placed into NGOC’s Batch Upload, where it is processed. As a result, donations are created in Salesforce and tied back to the Donor.
Prospect File data can also be loaded into the Batch Upload to create new Donor records in NGOC. When you segment donors for new solicitations, the cycle starts again.
Beyond Lockbox Processing
Lockbox processing is just one of many different donation streams that NGOC is capable of. In addition, you can create donation forms to process donations in real-time, or even sign donors up for sustaining gifts that NGOC processes inside Salesforce.
To learn more about how NGO Connect can streamline the donor management lifecycle for your nonprofit, contact us.
Gabriel Csanalosi is a Senior Consultant for NGO Connect by roundCorner. Executing key implementations, he helps nonprofits leverage the Salesforce platform to build and nurture life-long relationships with constituents.
Source: Niblock, Rosie. “Infographic: Direct Mail vs Email.” Proactive Marketing, 8 Feb. 2017, www.proactive.marketing/direct-mail-vs-email/