FAQs: About our new Giving module
The long-awaited upgrade to our giving module is finally out, and we've brought in some major upgrades.
To help ease things for you, we've put together a list of questions we often hear about our giving module.
1. Moving from my current system is a hassle. How should I go about it?
We understand how complicated it gets to move a whole system that’s been in place for years. To lessen the burden somewhat, try the giving module in a phased manner. Try it for a small campaign, or maybe even set it up just to drive a few donations to fund your alumni website itself. We’ve seen a few of our partners try this out successfully!
Think of this as an additional channel for revenue, rather than a replacement. Also, we’ll be there to help you all along, so feel free to reach out.
2. I’m used to the existing process.I don’t have the time to learn something new. Why should I spend time on this?
Those of you already using Almabase will attest to how easy it is to use the tools we build if you spend 10 minutes to understand how it works. Akin to our other tools, we’ve built this to make it as easy as possible for you to manage your fundraising workflows.
As for shifting process - you don’t need to think about it until you’re comfortable with the new system. Try it out with something small, and see how it works for you.
3. There is nothing wrong with my current system. Why should I try this?
We’ve heard this before. Be assured that what we’re providing to you now is the experience of a far better system. We’ve done our research over the last few years, and guarantee a better user experience, faster donations, and an integrated reporting system.
Also, we’d not recommend a full switch of systems till you’ve run some tests on the test mode that we’ve set up for you and feel confident about the new system. For those of you who already use Almabase, this comes at no additional cost. So feel free to try it out for your next campaign, and let us know what you think.
4. We are happy with the funds we are raising. How do I benefit from this switch?
It’s wonderful to hear that you’re reaching your goals! The new giving module, however, goes beyond that to provide your donor with enriched user experience. It is our guarantee that this new giving module will make the giving experience for your donors, much more easier and faster than any system out there. What we’re focusing on is not just the amounts, but also on giving your constituents a pleasant, personal giving experience.
5. We’re under a contract with a different vendor. Why should I switch?
Think of this as an additional channel for revenue. You don’t necessarily have to make a switch if you’re already using Almabase. Since the giving module is a part of the standard plan, you can use it even if you're already using another vendor for giving. More importantly, the giving module automatically maps payments to your constituent records on Almabase. This makes it easier than ever to get a 360-view of each constituents engagement history across emails, events and donations, and pull reports that consider all this information.
6. What if it doesn’t sync with my current database?
We’ve built in powerful export-import capabilities to the new giving module. You’ll find it easier than ever to import gifts into your database using a mapping template and export file that we’ll provide. For those of you using Raiser’s Edge NXT, we’ll be building seamless sync with your database as soon as Blackbaud rolls out a few updates that let us do so.
7. Giving is for all constituents - not just alumni, so why should I include it on my ‘alumni website’?
Almabase has the capability to store all your records. Using our ‘enlist’ feature, you can hide records from the public alumni directory, but still have access to them and all their data on the back-end. You can even send email campaigns to them using the Almabase communication center. In addition every event they sign up for, and every gift they make through the Almabase events or giving module will be automatically mapped to their record.
8. We are a really small organization and this is not really relevant to us. Why should we do it?
We strongly believe that you’re never too small to start. Grassroots fundraising does wonders. If you already have a payment processor that you use (e.g. PayPal, Stripe, BBMS, Auth.net etc) then it takes you less than 5 minutes to set up a campaign. We’ve worked with alumni offices who ran a small campaign to fund the alumni website itself - you could try it too! If you need any help, let us know.
9. We’re already using a lot of tools, why should I add another one?
This is one of the key reasons why we built Almabase - to be an integrated all-in-one tool for engaging your constituents. The giving module is heavily integrated into the Almabase ecosystem. In addition to constituent data, event attendance, and email and online engagement data - you’ll also have online gift data now to give you a more complete snapshot of each constituent than ever before.
10. I’m not the key decision maker and would need to get others (finance, advancement, development, etc.) involved.
That is definitely understandable. We wouldn’t want you to miss out because of your tough schedule. If you see value in this and don’t have the time and energy to convince your colleagues, introduce us to them. We’ll be happy to work with them and set up a trial version that they can try out and then make an informed decision.
11. What if there are security issues?
As with every other feature on Almabase, we make sure that every piece of sensitive information is encrypted using the best security protocols. In addition, we do not store any credit card details on our system.
12. This looks good - but we’re not looking for this right now.
For those of you using Almabase, let us know whenever you’re considering this. As this is a fresh upgrade, we’re dedicating additional resources to work closely with you to help set this up. A few months down the line, might not be able to promise the same level of support to help you set up since this is built to be a self-served giving management tool.
14. What does this cost?
Nothing, if you are already using Almabase, it comes as a part of Almabase’s standard plans and is included from the basic tier itself.
15. What do I get out of moving to this?
Other than an enriched user experience for your donors, you’ll be able to measure how your alumni engagement efforts impact payments. You’ll also have fine-grain configurability and control over your giving channels - set up recurring gifts, configure giving forms, use company gift matching, and be able to sync all this with your external database.