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From Managing Donations to Managing Stakeholders

From Managing Donations to Managing Stakeholders

Author: David Derrier, Regional Manager, Nexell GmbH

Some pessimistic studies say that small nonprofits will all disappear in the next 10 years, as they will no longer be able to face competition from international organizations. But is it only a matter of size? Is the NGO world at the beginning of a revolution?


The number of non-profit organizations worldwide is estimated to be around 10 million, and we can say that most of them can be reached via their websites. This means that, as an NPO, for every dollar you try to collect, you are now facing a global competition where donors have to choose between many players within a saturated “market”.  

Consequently, donors have to choose between local organizations and global organizations. Although causes can be very different from one organization to another (religious, education, water supply, etc.) it is very hard to say which one is better than the other, since the perception is very subjective and will depend on everyone’s life situation and sensitivity. A donation is about making choices, and choosing means eliminating.

Managing donors and donations is one aspect and probably the most critical, because every organization needs funds to survive and operate efficiently. But nowadays, donors are not the only ones that need to be taken care of, since organization’s ecosystems are increasingly bigger and interconnected and include Volunteers, Beneficiaries, Partners, Media, Staff members, etc. They all have a part to play and they all belong to your network that animates the life of your organization. Communicating with all these stakeholders is vital and requires time, resources, strategy, and targeted content. It is not only a matter of finding donors directly, but also taking care of those who can have an influence on their decision or an impact on your operations, be it at strategic or field level.


Stand out of the crowd, get a 360 view!




Map your ecosystem

Know your donors: profile, preferences and their expectations.

Your donors are all unique and they all have subjective expectations and goals. Why do they donate money to your organization instead of giving to another organization? What are they sensitive to? What do they expect in return? You also need to understand how they work and who they are in relationship with. In other words, who can influence their decision, and potentially the amount of money you receive (or not) from them. All these aspects will help you better target and communicate with your donors and potential donors, in order to send the right message at the right time and to the right people.

Have visibility on your forecasts

Once you have built your network and identified donation opportunities, you cannot simply wait in a passive way that the money comes to your bank account. It is vital to have visibility on what is coming next, and to understand where your efforts should be focussed. Managing the donations pipeline for the next 3 - 6 - 12 months will not only help you follow up on pledges, but it will also give you relevant information to adapt the strategy of your organization: can I fund more projects than expected? Do I need to hire staff members? Are we more successful with institutional, public or private donors? Centralizing and tracking grant-related data is not only about figures, but also about strategy and vision.

Monitor delivery

Donors do not give money “just for fun”, and we all know they have expectations, preferences and demands. Every single cent that is spent has to be used as wisely as possible and institutional donors are sometimes extremely strict in terms of reporting and funds tracking. I.e. some donors may want funds to be used for a specific project only, others do not want their grants to be used for administrative costs. Internally, you need to know anytime where the money goes, and donors can ask you for project information anytime. Donations are based on trust, and if you want to communicate with clarity and transparency, you need to have access to accurate, up-to-date and reliable data between donations and projects.

In terms of ongoing reporting, challenges are similar: what kind of reporting should be sent? How often? To whom? Last but not least: collect feedback from your donors, and don’t wait until it is too late to react and change the way you track and report on your operations.

Nonprofits are not only made of donors. The ecosystem of each nonprofit embraces so many types of stakeholders and activities that need to be tracked, managed, and taken care of.

Time for a new era

Running a non-profit organization is not only about collecting donations, but improving visibility on the whole process and operations. Solutions like’s CRM platform allow nonprofits to benefit from state-of-the-art technologies and solution to run their daily operations with a 360 view, including grants management, members management, volunteers management, program management, etc. licenses are offered at unbeatable conditions and their cloud platform can be implemented in collaboration with us at Nexell. Our Angels program is dedicated to local communities, charities and foundations, helping society and their members, private or professional, be the best they can be.

Our goal is to help enhance the ability of organizations to achieve their social mission through improved efficiencies, with our Business Solutions and associated Nexell Professional Services including implementations at special conditions.

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