Doubling your impact but reducing your stress may seem simpler than it sounds. I get it. This is an epic challenge when it comes to short-term and long-term missions goals.
The key is finding a technology that works best for your organization. It’s important you find a technology partner who can help you scale your growth and relieve the stresses of administration on your staff.
Here are a few things to consider when deciding on a software to help your organization reach its missions goals:
#1 Does it manage online fundraising?
This is a given expectation of any tool that handles short-term trip logistics but make certain to map out what exactly you want the online fundraising to look like.
#2 Is it simple for our staff to use?
Any new technology is going take time to learn but make certain to find a system that’s both intuitive to learn and has the training resources you need to learn it well. You should feel like your software solution is part of your team and working for you.
#3 Is it simple for our members to use?
Often, we shop for software from the perspective of the administrators but also make sure to think of the end user experience (your members) and if the tool has all the features and simplicity they need.
Read: the easier your technology is to use, the less stress your admins will feel because users can do it themselves! Meaning, you get your life back!
#4 Can it scale to our ultimate vision in missions engagement?
This is an important question to ask as you choose a solution. You might only host a handful of trips right now but does the solution scale to your growing needs? Also, does the solution help you not only handle short-term trips but also scale into sending long-term missionaries and helping people build their long term missional goals? This may seem way off, but it’s good stewardship to be thinking of this now.
#5 Does it help mature your members toward greater engagement?
We have no doubt you will be asking all the right questions about the functions you need for short-term trips but we also know you have desires to see your short-term trip participants turn into so much more. Does the technology solution you choose have the ability to nurture and walk with people long after their short term trip? This is important as you want to keep the continuity of the engagement moving.
#6 Do applicants need to fill out application data from scratch each time?
Application management is complex and it can be very frustrating for your participants. Imagine filling out a 60 question application for a trip this summer to find that you have to fill out all the same questions again to apply for next summer? That’s not good! Does your solution offer the ability to retain application field answers to make it easy for participants to serve year after year?
#7 Does it allow granular permissions to be given to your administrators?
There are about a thousand different combinations of how you might see trip admins assigned, but the common thread is the need and desire to assign very specific admin permissions. Does your solution provide the right granularity (choice) of permissions needed for your organization?
#8 Do trip members have dedicated fundraising pages?
We discussed this above, but it is important to mention specifically. Does your solution offer each individual a personal fundraising page to help them fundraise, tell their stories, and build a community of support?
Personal fundraising stories should allow for someone to raise funds online but also allow them to tell their story well so that donors are engaged in understanding your vision and impact (beyond the writing of a check).
#9 Are trip members notified of financial progress?
What automated notifications are associated with your solution? It’s important that your tool helps make your communications simpler which means it should provide robust automated notifications along with tools to easily send “as needed” communications.
#10 Does it help you tell your organization’s missional story?
And last, but certainly not least, you are not only stewarding short term trips, you are stewarding the vision of your organization and telling a significant story.
These are only 10 questions you should be asking but these are important questions to help you be more strategic in your missions goals and choose software that’s going to set you up for the greatest long-term success.
Action: Brainstorm and build your own list of required and optional features that you need. Download the ServiceReef scoring sheet at Choosing a Technology.
This is just one strategy of five (5) we have for doubling your impact. Download all five (5) strategies you can implement immediately that will double your missions impact.
This post is written by Will Rogers. Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of ServiceReef.