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Articles > How to: achieve your goals > How to… save costs through a single system

How to… save costs through a single system

Is your fundraising, alumni or community outreach split across multiple, siloed systems? You're not alone, but you should consider switching to an all-in-one system that can do it all. Here's why.

It’s simple: a team that is set up to work in a smart, efficient way has more time to build relationships with alumni or donors, create effective campaigns, and test and measure results. A team that is sinking all of its time into keeping multiple systems up-to-date and connected is probably spending more time on admin than working towards your organisation’s vision, and this way of working invites much more room for human error. 

When you’re dealing with managing your community’s data, you can’t be too careful, and a key piece of best practice here is how you’re storing your data and how you move it around. Even uploading a list of contacts that attended a prior event into your email system has risks attached to it, and could be avoided by adopting a single system that can do it all. 

Systems are one of the biggest investments you will make as a development office, and it’s a decision that comes with responsibility. You will probably be required to share a recommendation with your stakeholders for the system you want to adopt, and justify the expense in relation to the benefit, explaining how it will support your core purpose. Now imagine having to do that for several siloed systems, year after year! 

Implementing new systems often means having to splash out on various start-up costs - which can be expensive and well-hidden during the sales pitch - as well as the time and resource required to train your team to use the tools to their full capacity. It’s a big set of investments, and crucially your new systems will need to integrate with the ones you already have in place, potentially resulting in outsourced tech support costs that require coding resource. 

Logically and practically, an all-in-one system that connects data, comms and community is a better solution for you, your team and your contacts. 

A single solution

One way to save time on research, implementation and training, and therefore to ultimately save costs is to choose a single system that integrates your community platform, communications and database. One system that allows you to capture event registrations, manage your email segments, add new records with ease and run fundraising campaigns, as well as much more. 

I wouldn't be able to do my job without ToucanTech - I use the system to send newsletters, track all activities with alumni, capture data through forms, publish news, photos and competitions. I've seen the software evolve over time and love that ToucanTech listens to feedback and provides fantastic webinars, support and ideas sharing amongst their customers. It's a fantastic communications and database tool for any higher education institute. 

Lynn Moseley, Development & Old Silhillians’ Assistant, Solihull School

How can I prove my ROI?

Saving costs doesn’t just come through combining your license fee and your set up costs between your previous systems. You’ll also find that you can maximise on your donation success by clearly tracking where your donors are coming from, and giving them more of the same content. Having all your donor records in one place, linked to their online profile on your community website and showing how they are engaging through email opens, event registration and donor lifetime gives you a much better chance of converting a potential donor. 

Using a single system allows you to use a donor pipeline, so that you can accurately measure your progress towards fundraising goals. It’s an easy way to demonstrate to stakeholders where your efforts are spent, and strategize for future campaigns. Using a data-led approach to fundraising means you can streamline efforts by cutting the cost of events or activities that don’t help to move donors further down your pipeline. 

A single source of truth

Dealing with prospective or existing donors’ records is time-consuming when constantly switching between different data sets, and the costs of losing a major donor through incorrect matching between records is huge, not only from a financial view but also a reputational one. Using a single system allows you to confidently account for a single source of truth - one place where all of the information for this donor, member or client is held, and one which accurately reflects how that contact has engaged with you over time is invaluable. 

Time is money

One of the greatest benefits of a single system is the amount of time saved, which ultimately leads to costs saved. Don’t waste time by only having one person responsible for looking after your database. From the get-go, you can focus on getting your team up and running on one system, with unlimited users and training from our experts for every member of your team, plus constant support in case you run into any issues. 

Why now is the right time for a single system

Many schools, charities and companies have been greatly affected by the sudden market downturn, and are looking for ways to save costs to ensure the long-term survival of their organisations. Using a single system can allow you to stretch your limited resources further, and save costs over time through better donor retention, time saved and a more accurate view of your database. Combining your systems can give you an edge to push your fundraising campaigns further, which has never been more important. Find out more about why a single system can prove a worthy investment to make by talking to a member of the ToucanTech team. 

For more guidance on how to achieve your fundraising, alumni or community management goals, read on here

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