TechTalk: The Benefits of Automation


As new technologies are developed each day, there continues to be significant benefits people and organizations receive as a result. I believe automation is one of the key benefits, and by automation, I mean – technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimum human assistance.

And while many of us enjoy automation from technology in our personal lives (online banking, home grocery and meal delivery, Amazon Alexa, etc…) I don’t believe it’s being embraced at nearly the same rate in the nonprofit space. So, let’s look over a few key benefits and examples, that can make our work lives easier and more impactful.

Decrease Costs

I’ve worked for nonprofits before, so I’m comfortable saying we all run lean operations. And with good reason — donors don’t want to support organizations where less than 80 cents on the dollar goes towards the programs they care about. Because of these lean operations, resources and intelligence can be scarce. If that’s a reality for you, consider the pros and cons of purchasing a technology solution vs. hiring more staff the next time you plan your budget.

We’ve all seen staff who have the monotonous responsibility of gift processing and the tedious tasks of allocation and acknowledgement it entails. There are a number of greats tools out there to help you process, acknowledge and track donor giving. And that could free up staff to focus on more important tasks, while also saving you from hiring additional people.

Remove the Mundane from Job Reqs

In addition to having a product or solution help decrease costs, it can also allow your people to focus on the creative or big picture stuff tech can’t handle as well. Think of how you analyze and report your fundraising performance. In my experience, that required someone to run a report, pass that along to another person who then analyzed and likely created new reports from the initial data, to then finally create charts and graphs to be presented to senior leaders.

Over the past several years there have been many great advances in CRM capabilities — with dashboard functionality added to them, or even stand-alone tools to help you visualize your performance. This allows your people to focus on analysis rather than the manual time-consuming report creation and visualization building.

Tools Aren’t Biased

Tools and technology can’t replace the oft-needed human touch and intellect required in our work, but they can do a couple of things better. Software and tools aren’t biased, and they run processes with magnificent efficiency. If you set up a report in your Email Delivery System to be run each Monday morning to tell you how many new donors came in from online gifts, expect to get that each Monday morning. Or if you have a Giving Society, where people receive a welcome letter once they give $500 annually, expect your donor management software to include everyone who gives $500 on a list to be mailed.

What it All Means

These are only a few examples of the benefits you can receive when investing in technology to help your organization grow, become more efficient and focus on your mission. So, the next time you’re considering investing in some technology, don’t look at it as an additional cost. Weigh the pros and cons, and ultimately the benefit individual employees can receive by letting them focus on what’s really important.  That’s how to judge the real ROI your organization could receive based on your decision.

For additional information and reviews on the tools and software discussed in this article, please visit these websites:

Online Donation Tools Review: Nonprofit Hub –

Email Marketing Tools Review: ELEVATION –

Donor Management Software Review: Capterra –

At Causemo, our Insights platform is the first automated fundraising intelligence and targeting platform that allows users to quickly understand who their constituents are, what they care about and the channels they prefer to give through, to efficiently and effectively raise more money for their mission.

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