The goal of this article is to point child sponsorship programs in the right direction when considering how they can use software to manage their organization's child sponsorship data. Beneficiary and donor data management is important, so leveraging features that will work for your organization is a serious consideration.
Build Genuine Relationships with your Nonprofit's Community
Not only are they amongst the most important considerations people make when giving money to someone else, but when it comes to the nonprofit sector, relationships have large impacts on the recurring nature of giving in this day and age. People give, and continue to give, to organizations that they trust.
One of the best ways to truly create relationships is to be a part of a community that does not need your direct involvement to function. If the nonprofit’s communication plan only involves the donor having a relationship with the organization, the nonprofit is missing out on a whole component of the community that it operates: the beneficiaries.
With Clarity, individual and private social networks can be created to allow admin moderated relationships to be built directly between the donor and the beneficiary. These networks for community management can be thought of as a charity membership software that provides user connections (with permissions) to all three personas involved in a nonprofit community. They can be configured to meet the needs and rules associated with a specific organization's child sponsorship program. Clarity is robust enough to provide unique and personalized environments for any type of nonprofit community.
Allowing these direct relationships between sponsors and their sponsored students further opens the door to relationships that don’t directly involve the organization's personnel and resources. Relationships that have multiple threads are always stronger, so opening this third type of correspondence could continue to cement the donors trust and involvement into your organization's vision.
A comprehensive charity database software is not new - Salesforce has been providing donor management tools for free for years. There are many other donor relationship management software's that have mastered the art of organization/donor relationships, as well. Where these lack functionality is on the deliverable side... after donors money has been secured for the year.
Maintaining a variety of updates across your nonprofit’s community, and ensuring that donors have seen these updates, can become a lot of work very quickly. Clarity can work with a variety of data feeds to ensure that all donors can conveniently track the updates related to the organization (independent of the social they may have been published to), and the updates pertaining to their sponsored students (letters, receipts, etc.). All of this is centralized so that the donor doesn’t need to leave the charity membership software to see all the ways the organization they support is using their donation, and keeping them informed.
Donor tracking is different for every donor. Some donors are after frequent updates related to their money, the organization, and the students they support; whereas others don’t mind if they never hear a thing about the use of their funds. Clarity provides donors with updated information tailored to their level of engagement, which can be configured to match the individual needs of the donor. Organizations can then leverage these donor engagement goals to gain insights into how to provide the best donor experience for each individual donor in their community.
Beneficiary Data Management
Beneficiary data has been largely misused within most nonprofit organizations. Waivers and forms are utilized to gather as much permission as possible prior to publicly releasing information related to beneficiaries, but oftentimes this information is shared with very little approval from beneficiaries. Clarity centralizes this data and allows organizations to provide beneficiary access to the data that has been shared about them via profiles within the community’s social network.
As sponsored children grow into adulthood - if an organization has been using Clarity to manage all of the correspondence - the organization would be able to hand the information collected throughout the years of sponsorship back to the beneficiaries by giving them private access to their own profile. From this profile, beneficiaries can update, add, or delete the information that has been shared with their sponsor, if they so choose to. Additionally, if they so desire, the beneficiary would be able to own the relationship moving forward and maintain their own updates (beyond their school years) to keep the connection active. Many sponsorships don’t end once the child is educated - some continue to communicate for years to come. Giving the beneficiary control over their own personal information is not only important, but it allows them to be informed on what the sponsor knows about their life. This could lead to new stories, expanding on what has been shared, to foster more genuine relationships between the donor and the beneficiary.
Approved Content Workflows
Organizations are in control of how their community management software is configured. Being that many sponsorship programs deal with children, the content being shared needs to be moderated and deemed appropriate. Clarity allows for just that. Donors can submit content that they would like to have shared with their sponsored students (maybe an update about the donors life, for example), and sponsorship coordinators can “approve” the content, prior to ever making it accessible within the platform (to either be printed or shared with the student via digital means). This increases the level of security related to information being shared and ensures that no information that could be deemed as inappropriate will ever make it into the student’s view.
Approvals can also work for sponsorship programs in the reverse direction. It is not uncommon for a student to lose a sponsorship. Things can get confusing when a sponsorship changes, so maintaining accurate beneficiary database records is very important to organizations as the donor will expect to see updates directly from their sponsored student. From time to time, however, there may be a mishap - let’s say a letter was addressed to the student's old sponsor, instead of their new one, for example. If this were to happen, organizational admin approvals could be used to ensure that the letter does not make it to the donor, who may read it and question the integrity of the story the organization tells related to the direct nature of the sponsorship program.
Think of approvals as a safety net when facilitating updated content to either the sponsor or the sponsored student.
Segment your Nonprofit's Audiences
It is not uncommon for groups of individuals to pool their money together and sponsor a single child. Not everyone can afford to sponsor a student themselves, so this is a great option for people that still would like to give in this way.
Clarity allows for posts and updates to be configured specifically for different individuals when donations related to the sponsorship are coming from different sources. This allows organizations to maintain direct communication between the donors and beneficiaries, while still managing the donor data independently of the audience grouping that they are in. Personalization is important, especially when it comes to building relationships. Allowing many-to-one relationships that are still personal from the donor perspective can really improve the retainment of individual donors within shared sponsorships. If one person stops, the sponsorship may not need to end for all donors, and new profiles will not need to be created. Simply update the many-to-one relationship and fill the gaps with new donor campaigns.
Strategic Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations
Internal communities need internal ways to make organizational updates and provide new information related to the charities activities. Clarity has a function called “pages” that allow organizations to campaign from directly within their community management software. Clarity thinks about increasing donor spend in two ways… one is through external connection and referrals, and the other is through increasing the funds provided by the community that has already bought into the organization's mission.
Introducing pages into the admin functions related to community management allow organizations to build no-code web pages that can be used to get your updates to their supporters quickly. Internal notices, newsletters, new donation campaigns, etc., can all be set up and moderated from within your organization. The messaging related to a fundraising campaign, or an activity update, is approached differently when dealing with existing donors. This is why we built pages, a place where you can communicate directly with your core supporters.
Templates, on the other hand, were built for engaging with the external universe of individuals looking to learn more about your organization. Organizations can create profiles for their priority students who are in need of sponsorship. These profiles are built in Clarity and attached to a template for an external campaign. The template, which could be further designed with custom CSS (if desired), can be hosted on a subdomain of your website to show the list of all the students that are still seeking sponsorship. With a few clicks, a browsing sponsor could share a link to a student needing sponsorship on their social, increasing the ease of referrals for your internal community. Alternatively, if the browsing person was a prospective sponsor, within a few clicks they could have a new sponsor child in which they can see the entire history of that student's profile within seconds. The rest will be history as the educational journey of the student begins.
Improved Donor Engagement Strategies
It’s no secret that the more you know about your donors interactions, the more you can understand how to engage with them. Clarity has a variety of data insights that can help sponsorship programs understand how their sponsors are engaging within the internal community.
Think of a future where you don’t need to keep track of who has how many updates, or who didn’t get a report card uploaded, etc. Automatic tracking of engagement materials can be leveraged to decrease the amount of time it takes to operate an update initiative. Further, organizations can leverage insights to better predict donor churn. Engaged donors won’t stop donating, but how do you know that the letters you sent via mail were actually opened and received by the donor, or that the email you sent was actually engaged with and not just opened to remove the annoying notification from the sponsors mail app. Well, with Clarity, insights into who has accessed the platform, for how long, and for what purpose can be leveraged to get ahead of donor churn and ensure that your sponsors are engaging with the content your organization is working so hard on!
Update on the go!
If you work with a nonprofit organization that offers a child sponsorship program, you know the amount of work associated with updates - it is definitely not a small undertaking.
Clarity has built a responsive platform that works seamlessly with mobile devices. This means what you think it means. Sponsorship coordinators can update their sponsors with content related to their student from anywhere with a data connection. No more having to travel an hour into town, to sit at a café with the internet and pour through hundreds of files. Updates can be done on the fly, directly from where you have captured the moment that you’d like to share with the student’s sponsor.
Taking this one step further, sponsors and beneficiaries can also access their profiles from their mobile devices, making the information shared between them much more accessible.
There’s a use case for you that will work on Clarity
Whether you are looking to start a completely new child sponsorship program, or replace existing tools with more modern and accessible software, a trial account can be a good way to try out different ideas without having to fully commit to them.
To find out how you can trial Clarity with your child sponsorship program, drop us a line at [email protected].