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The information you need to make your capital campaign run smoothly is no different than the kind of information you need for annual fundraising, it is just that the stakes are higher. There will be more pressure for you to be organized and to have the correct information quickly to hand when you need it.

Those who are most likely to give are those who have given to you in the past.

Some of the basic donor/prospect information you need to have in order is:

  • if they have given
  • when they last gave
  • how much they have given
  • why they have given,
  • and, of course, normal contact information like mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

All of this data should be as up to date as possible before you begin your campaign.

In FundRaiser Basic, you have Donor Category and Donor Source codes to indicate a bit of what a donor is about and how they came to your organization in the first place. You also have the Gift Source code on each gift to indicate why they gave those gifts, and you’ll be able to make Queries based on those codes as well as other information.

In FundRaiser Select and Professional, you have many more codes to choose from, including the gift codes. The Gift codes are : Motivation ("why" did they give), Fund (where did we put the money), and Purpose (how is the money to be used), as well as Solicitor (who was responsible for getting this gift). All of these can be used effectively when planning and executing a fundraising campaign.

Solicitors normally work with "Major" donors (and each organization has their own definition of what constitutes a major donor) to encourage them to give and to build a relationship between the donor and the organization. In FundRaiser Select/Professional you can assign solicitors to donors and keep track of how those solicitors are doing through a special Solicitor Summary report. If you have and use the Pledge module, you can also assign solicitors to pledges that they have encouraged others to make. This lets you see the "big picture" of what your solicitors have been doing.

You may communicate your mission and your needs in many ways, of course, and most consultants would agree that you are more likely to get results from a face-to-face request for money than any other method, but that is not always practical. Use FundRaiser’s built-in Word Processing to send your message through the print menu, and use Queries or Groupings to make sure that you have the right people getting the right kind of appeal letter.

Larry Weaver is an A+ certified computer technician, a Microsoft Certified Professional, as well as the training manager here at FundRaiser Software. He has worked with FundRaiser Basic software off and on since the mid-'90's.  When not operating computers, he enjoys operating motorcycles and musical instruments, and watching his grandchildren grow and prosper.