Why Should Fundraisers Outsource Their Donation Processing?


Not-for-profit organizations have two choices when they are deciding how they are going to process their donations. They can do it themselves and hire a staff committed solely to processing, or they can outsource the work to an organization like Cornerstone Group of Companies – a North America-wide provider of outsourced donation processing services.

If you are in the midst of deciding whether to outsource your donation processing or to change donation processing vendors, it’s important to understand the evolution of donor relationship management and why you need expert donation processing.

As Donation Processing Has Evolved

Initially, non-profits began outsourcing their donation processing so that they wouldn’t have to worry about being overstaffed in slow periods of time, staffing-up with temporary labor in heavy peak times, and so that they wouldn’t have to worry about buying the expensive equipment required for transaction processing. Out of necessity, outsourcing donation processing became a prerequisite to fundraise more easily. In addition to the cost-savings factor, fundraisers found donation processing partnerships to be an optimal way to leverage best of breed practices and valuable technologies.

Along with providing these services, Cornerstone’s Donation Processing & Fundraising Services team has continued to adapt to the changing needs of fundraisers.

Today there are two main components of donation processing. The first part is physical processing and the second part is housing the donor data that has been processed. Traditionally, we have approached these two parts as one combined function, but since fundraising has become more and more about understanding your donors and applying those insights to your remarketing plans, we shifted our capabilities to support our Clients’ new directions.

The New Donation Processing and Donor Data Management

Donation Processing is the physical act of caging, keying, data entry and acknowledgement printing. Donor Data Management is everything except for physically processing donations.

Cornerstone believes that the most seamless way to outsource donation processing is to ensure that your vendor is experienced in both donation processing and donor database management. We’re proficient at both processing donations and keeping those donors and donations in the database/CRM of your choice.

So how does this seamless system work? We make sure that after we have collected and processed your multi-channel donations, we move the resultant donor data into your CRM, perform data cleansing to ensure there are no duplicates and that your records are updated, then pull the data for re-solicitations. When it comes to Client service, we get very granular. For example a Client may call us to ask for individual receipts and to confirm the dollar amount of a donation!
We care that our Clients get full transparency about their donation processing. From the beginning we give them full reporting of all donation activity and work with them to set the right business rules to help them succeed.

From CRM to Data Insights

What happens if you are on a CRM like Raiser’s Edge but you can’t seem to get the segmentation you want? Cornerstone’s Database Marketing & Insights team can leverage the data housed in your Raiser’s Edge CRM and provide very sophisticated segmentation that you require to deliver targeted fundraising campaigns.

Online Donations and Event Management

Just like we are CRM agnostic, we are also always exploring new online donation systems. Cornerstone is familiar with a breadth of third-party digital tools and can create customized event management solutions for fundraisers. Your online donation processing should be just as effective as offline when it comes to data capture. Our event and peer-to-peer services can be well integrated into your CRM to provide you with the utmost in cross-channel fundraising and reporting.

In summary, there are a lot of donation processing and donor data management services out there for fundraisers and for good reason. Outsourcing these processes improves the way organizations connect with their donors helping them to raise more funds. A vendor, like Cornerstone, flexible enough to offer either one-stop-shop or a la carte services is the kind of vendor that we suggest you look into.
Whether you need to process offline donations, online donations, event pledge sheets or set-up your online event we’ve got it all covered for you. Contact us today, our buttoned down processes in donation processing and donor data management might be just the kind of fundraising support you’re looking for.

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