The Ultimate Guide to the Top 5 Free Donation Tracking Tools
Your company wants to give back to your community. But managing the logistics of tracking donations, inventory, sponsorships, and IRS status can add logistical headaches and costs. How do you track donation requests and fulfillments efficiently and effectively?
Donation tracking software can help you manage donation and sponsorship requests that your company receives. By tracking and process donation requests effectively, you’ll streamline your charitable giving program and reduce the workload on your team.
Key Features for Donation Tracking Tools
Not all donation request tracking tools are the same. Whether they are more manual solutions, like tracking templates in Microsoft Excel or other solution, or full software products, certain features make the difference between an effective donation tracking tool and one that adds more work.
Customizable donation request forms
It’s important to be able to accept donation requests in your donation tracking tool, especially if you want to reduce the manual transferring of data between systems. The more systems you use to track your donation requests, the more likely it is for a request to be missed or a mistake to be made as you rely on analog processes to transfer data and track what needs to be done.
It goes a long way when your donation request form can be customized, too. You may need to capture unique data for your program—perhaps it’s related to your company’s giving focus, the impact your giving has from a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion perspective, or simply the geography of the organization requesting a donation. Collecting this unique data can help you make a better business case for your program as well as reducing the amount of ineligible request you have to filter through—rather than receiving emails from every posible request that all contain different details and data points, you can find out everthing you need to in the first round of communication.
If your donation request form can be customized to fit your brand and embedded on your website, even better! That helps stick to your brand guidelines while increasing trust and brand recognition with people making donation requests.
Part of the reason it’s important to collect unique data comes when you have to report out on your company’s giving. Being able to quickly and effectively point to the requests you’ve fulfilled, the impact they have, and exactly how much money has gone out can set your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program apart. Managing your CSR donation requests doesn’t have to take a lot of analog work—neither should reporting out on the results of your program.
Easy, real-time reporting that can be exported from your donation request tracking tool quickly helps cut down on manual creating reports and gives you the ability to answer questions from leadership quickly and effectively.
One of the most common donation requests you may receive is for in-kind donations for events like silent auctions, raffles, and banquets. These are great opportunities to promote your product or company while also contributing to a cause you care about. The challenge, however, is in keeping track of the inventory you have already committed or sent to fulfill other requests. Tracking the items you have remaining to contribute through your CSR program can speed up your ability to respond to donation requests, track donations, and make sure your program reaches it’s maximum potential.
Tracking your inventory of donatable items in the same solution where you track requests reduces time transferring information and cuts down on human error or misunderstandings.
Automation is your friend. Donation tracking and donation requests can become time-consuming tasks, which can take away from your ability to focus on longer-term goals and hurt your giving program. Find a donation tracking tool that streamlines your processes, integrates data quickly (especially if you can use an API solution to have that tool talk to your other software), and prevents human error.
Top Free Donation Tracking Tools
There are many donation tracking tools available to manage donation and sponsorship requests. Most solutions are paid solutions, which can be a barrier if your CSR program is young or currently has a small budget. To find great free donation tracking tools that will help your giving program be more effective, try out these options below.
#1. DonationXchange Lite: https://lite.donationx.org
DonationXchange Lite is an incredibly robust free donation tracking solution. You’ll have the ability to create a custom donation request form, screen applicants using the IRS database to confirm their nonprofit status, and track your inventory of items for donation all within the software.
Add in the ability to communication with applicants within the software and export reports in real-time, and this free donation solution offers a lot of capabilities to get you started. There is also a paid version that increases your support options and the number of requests you can receive.
2. Charitable Gifts Tracking Spreadsheet Tempale https://templates.office.com/en-us/Charitable-gifts-and-donations-tracker-TM04038908
This easy Excel donation tracking template allows you to simply track donations, organizations, and dates for simple reporting. This solution has a pretty easy learning curve, which means it can be implemented quickly. That said, this will not automate much of your process and still requires heavy communication support and manual entering of information.
Another great Excel option, these templates will make it easy to track donations. With a few small tweaks, you can change the tracking from focusing on incoming donations to outgoing donations, allowing you to track donations while also putting your CSR budget in the same solution. This can streamline accounting for costs for your overall program, though it continues to require a lot of manual updating.
As one of the most well-known places to donate items for most people, Goodwill’s donation tracking system is intended for use with donations to that organization. It provides a helpful template of the important information to track as well as allowing you to export all your donations at the end of the period.
There templates come in various file formats, allowing you to choose the format that works best for you. While these will help you track donations, it requires a lot of manual entry and staff support for communications.
Choosing the right solution
If you see the need to streamline your donation request tracking, make sure to pick a solution that works for your budget and helps your team increase their efficiency and effectiveness. The right option will make your CSR program better able to make an impact in your community—and make your job easier!