TeamRaiser, Blackbaud’s peer-to-peer fundraising solution, is an expansive product that can revolutionize and enhance your nonprofit’s fundraising potential—if you know how to use it correctly!
To really make the most of TeamRaiser’s features (which include customizable donation pages, dynamic email management, gamification tools, and analytics, to name a few) you’ll need to configure the platform to meet your organization’s unique needs.
In this post, we’ll discuss how you can tailor your TeamRaiser experience to raise more money for your cause and engage your constituents and peer-to-peer fundraisers in a way that reflects your mission. Here’s the overview of what we’ll cover:
- Define your goals for TeamRaiser.
- Determine whether you need the full Luminate Online Marketing implementation.
- Train your staff in TeamRaiser.
- Clean your data.
- Hire a nonprofit technology consultant.
Before you dive into actually using this software, though, it’s important that you understand what Blackbaud’s suite of digital fundraising and marketing products can do. To help you with that, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to Luminate Online Marketing, Blackbaud’s comprehensive online nonprofit solution.
Once you’re all caught up, we can get to the tips!
1. Define Your Goals for TeamRaiser
Because TeamRaiser can do so much, nonprofits who jump into the platform headfirst might find themselves overwhelmed with the possibilities and unsure where to actually begin.
Before you can configure your software to meet your needs, you have to understand exactly what your needs are. That is, what do you hope to accomplish with TeamRaiser?
To answer that huge (often intimidating!) question, let’s break it down into a few smaller questions, such as:
- Where does peer-to-peer fit into the rest of your fundraising strategy? Will this be a singular, one-off campaign or a major part of your annual fund strategy?
- How much money do you plan to raise through your peer-to-peer campaign(s)?
- How many existing supporters do you need to mobilize to help you achieve that monetary goal? How many new donors do you want to attract?
- What kind of peer-to-peer event works best for your donor base? When and where will you host the event, and how do you plan to get the word out about it?
From there, you should have a stronger idea of your general peer-to-peer fundraising goals and will be at a good place to determine where TeamRaiser can fit in. Your team can then ask more specific questions about how you’ll use your peer-to-peer software to accomplish your goals.
For example, does your nonprofit plan to employ traditional peer-to-peer fundraising tactics or take a more custom, creative approach?
With TeamRaiser, you can adjust almost any aspect of your peer-to-peer campaign by redesigning the user experience for your donors and fundraisers.
See how the North Shore Animal League did just that by modifying their peer-to-peer fundraising experience to include special fundraising options for weddings, birthdays, and bar or bat mitzvahs.
Supporters of the North Shore Animal League can also create their own fundraisers with their school or civic group to honor a beloved animal in their own lives.
This Tip at a Glance: Don’t overwhelm your fundraising team by jumping into TeamRaiser without a well-thought-out plan and an achievable objective for your peer-to-peer fundraiser.
2. Determine If You Need the Full Luminate Online Marketing Implementation
If you’re already a TeamRaiser user, you may be familiar with another key product in Blackbaud’s catalog: Luminate Online.
Luminate Online is one of the most inclusive software packages on the market, with a host of built-in tools as well as add-ons to enhance the platform’s abilities. For any readers who aren’t familiar with the extent of Luminate’s toolkit, let’s recap what this product gives you access to with its baseline package:
- Comprehensive email management.
- Customizable online donation forms.
- Fundraising campaign management.
- Event and calendar management.
And much more!
Luminate Online also offers add-ons to take the product’s power to the next level, including TeamRaiser.
While adding TeamRaiser to the mix is a natural option for Luminate Online users looking to explore peer-to-peer fundraising, it’s also possible to use TeamRaiser without implementing the full Luminate Online software.
To determine which path is right for your organization, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do we have a way to manage online fundraising, communications, and marketing? Will we need one?
- Is our current online fundraising platform compatible with TeamRaiser?
- How will we migrate data between TeamRaiser and our additional software?
- Do we have a web developer or nonprofit consultant who can help us with these partial implementations? (Hint: you’ll need one!)
Need help deciding if you need the full Luminate experience or just TeamRaiser? Double the Donation’s buyer’s guide to Luminate Online can help you answer these questions and put you on track to discovering the scope of your nonprofit software needs.
This Tip at a Glance: To determine if you should invest in the full Luminate Online Marketing solution or partially implement TeamRaiser with your current platforms, make sure you’re aware of your fundraising needs and have a plan in place to integrate your systems.
3. Train Your Staff in TeamRaiser
With software that’s so powerful, it takes more than a quick flip-through of an instruction manual to truly understand TeamRaiser’s abilities.
Becoming a master of TeamRaiser takes time, and it’s not a feat your nonprofit should attempt on your own. That’s why we suggest investing some time and resources into training your staff on the TeamRaiser platform before you attempt to launch your peer-to-peer campaign.
When it comes to finding the right kind of training, there are two basic options your team can pick from: working with Blackbaud’s team of TeamRaiser trainers or seeking help from an outside consulting firm.
While both camps will have expert advice on using your TeamRaiser system, you’ll want to consider other elements before choosing how you’ll train your staff:
- Cost. Blackbaud training services typically have a fixed price as part of their fundraising solutions, so you may be able to find a wider range of price options by searching for outside help.
- Flexibility. Nonprofit consultants are likely to have greater flexibility when choosing their exact subject matter, teaching style, and communication method (i.e., in-person training sessions vs. video chat or over-the-phone support).
- Scope. If your needs don’t fit into Blackbaud’s listing of training courses, a consultant has the power to personalize their subject matter. Consultants can also organize your sessions around specific goals, rather than taking a regimented approach.
No matter which route you go, make sure you work with your training team to set attainable, time-specific goals for your staff.
If you don’t have clear objectives from the start, you may end up spending more time (and money) than necessary. The benefit of a consultant is that you can completely customize your training experience so that you’re spending time on the TeamRaiser functions that are most relevant to your fundraising plan.
This Tip at a Glance: Before you can launch your TeamRaiser peer-to-peer campaign, you'll need to ensure your staff is fully trained on using the software. You can work with Blackbaud's training epxerts or reach out to a nonprofit consultant who can design a personalized course to help you fit TeamRaiser into your existing strategy.
4. Clean Your Data
If you're switching over to TeamRaiser or Luminate Online from another platform, it's vital that you only transfer exactly what you need. That means cleaning up your database or fundraising software to make sure it's in pristine condition before you set up TeamRaiser.
Luckily, taking time to examine the state of your donor list is always a good practice, so you can consider this a golden opportunity to purge your system of outdated information and make room for new supporters and accurate data.
If you're not up-to-date on your spring cleaning, we understand that the process can be a little overwhelming (and what does "clean data" even mean, anyway?!), but don't worry. There are really only a few major elements you need to keep in mind when cleaning house:
- Lapsed donors. If it's been years since a supporter has made a gift, opened an email, or attended an event, it may be time to let go. You should purge your database of any constituents who have been inactive for over two years.
- Duplicate data. Having twin donor profiles can lead to misplaced information, doubled communications, and staff work overlap. Whatever platform you're using should have preventative measures in place to keep dupes at bay, but you should still check for any that fell through the cracks and consolidate duplicate profiles.
- Outdated contact information. If a donor changes their mailing address, phone number, or email, it's easy to inadvertently add a new field to their profile rather than replace the existing one. To make sure that hasn't happened, ask your supporters to update their contact information before migrating data to your new platform.
While it's possible to clean up your data on your own, there are strong advantages to seeking help from a nonprofit consultant when tackling this endeavor.
Especially if you're a large nonprofit with complex data sets and piles of donor information stored over many years, data cleanup can be a major undertaking.
A consultant can not only walk you through every step of the process, but they can also help you learn valuable practices that can make your data more manageable (meaning less cleanup later on!). The consulting team can also help you with the data transfer process to make sure no valuable intel gets lost in the shuffle.
This Tip at a Glance: Before you tackle your peer-to-peer fundraiser, make sure your data set is squeaky clean and free of outdated or incorrect informtation. Consider bringing on a consulatant to help with this process so you can ensure a completely error- (and headache-) free clean-up and migration process.
5. Hire a Nonprofit Technology Consultant
We've already mentioned some of the benefits of working with a nonprofit technology consultant throughout your organization's implementation and initial use of TeamRaiser. However, this point is so vital, it deserves repetition!
Look at it this way: fundraising is at the heart of what your nonprofit does, so it's crucial to have a keen understanding of how to optimize your fundraising practices for best results. TeamRaiser can help with that, but if you don't know how to get the most from your TeamRaiser platform, you'll significantly limit your potential for fundraising success.
A consultant is the expert you want in the room to make sure that your nonprofit is getting as much out of TeamRaiser (and the rest of your fundraising software) as possible.
These consultants are dedicated to your team's success in terms of fundraising, donor engagement, and any other metric you might use—it's their full-time job, after all! That being the case, they'll work with you to get a full picture of what your goals are, what your donor base looks like, and what areas you need the most guidance. Then, the consultants will outline a map to success within a set time frame.
Depending on your needs, the consultants may provide support in any (or all) of the following areas:
- Online fundraising consultation.
- TeamRaiser implementation (with or without Luminate Online).
- Custom fundraising solutions.
- TeamRaiser training.
- Data cleaning and migration.
- General counsel and support.
While those are the major areas that a consultant can provide assistance, remember that their services are totally personalized and always dependent upon your nonprofit's unique needs.
The North Shore Animal league worked with a team of DNL OmniMedia consultants to design a custom fundraising solution that could benefit their donors. With our help, the NSAL was able to implement a one-of-a-kind peer-to-peer fundraising option and provide their supporters with a unique participant center, multiple donation types, leaderboards showcasing top fundraisers, and more.
Take a look at their memorial and tribute peer-to-peer fundraising option:
Consultants can help guide your nonprofit at almost any stage, but make sure that you're prepared for the consultant's help before bringing them on.
Ahead of hiring a technology consulting team, make sure your entire organization (including your board and other key stakeholders) is clear on how much of a time and financial investment you're willing to make for a consultant. While they can save you both time and funds later on, you'll still have to justify the up-front investment.
Additionally, do an overall assessment of your organization's standing before reaching out to a consultant. While the consulting team can work with you to develop specific goals, you will need to have a general understand of where you want to go, as well as where you are right now, before they can provide support. If your staff isn't all on the same page, a consultant won't be able to help much; for that reason, get clear on a shared vision of success before bringing on outside help.
This Tip at a Glance: A nonprofit technology consultant can help your organization define your fundraising goals and work with TeamRaiser to achieve them in the most effective way. Make sure that your team is ready for a consultant, and then start your search for the right one!
TeamRaiser is a powerhouse of a peer-to-peer platform, so it's important that you understand how to work with the software to accomplish your nonprofit's specific fundraising goals.
With some deliberate preparation and some help from expert nonprofit technology consultants, you'll be ready to configure your Blackbaud system for surefire success.
And for even more information on Luminate Online, check out these additional resources:
- Luminate Online: A Nonprofit's Guide. Read our ultimate guide to Luminate Online Marketing to gain insight into every aspect of Luminate Online, including a walkthrough of the buying process, top benefits, key best practices and more!
- Is Luminate CRM Right for Your Nonprofit? Luminate CRM provides Salesforce users with a comprehensive donor management and engagement tool, all within their existing Salesforce interface. Plus, Luminate CRM can integrate with Luminate Online for even more fundraising power! See if this software is right for you by reading our helpful post.
- Luminate for Blackbaud: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy. Thinking about investing in Luminate Online? Discover if this powerhouse tool is a perfect fit for your nonprofit by reading Double the Donation's thorough evaluation of Luminate Online Marketing.