By Emily Hawkins

Corporate fundraising, defined as “pursuing a relationship with a nonprofit that involves a gift, commitment of support or other monetary transfer from the fundraising party,” is an incredible way to engage employees and give back as an organization. And, with the prevalence of Millennials in the modern workforce, now more than ever, organizations that prioritize social good are attractive workplaces for so many young professionals.

The Association for Fundraising Professionals reports, “Millennials expect the companies they work for to give back and are more likely to work for companies that they believe have a sense of purpose and are making an impact.” Millennials want to work at companies that prioritize social good, putting corporate giving in the spotlight with more than $4 billion dollars raised on an annual basis.

A corporate fundraising platform becomes an integral part of your fundraising efforts as employees start to rally around the causes that are important to your organization. You’ll want to make sure you’re set up to handle multiple fundraisers, donation collection, and the ability to control the overall messaging of your company and it’s mission.

So, when you’re ready to join the corporate fundraising space, here are six must-haves you should look for in a corporate fundraising platform for optimal engagement.

Ease of use

The platform you choose should be both easy-to-use for your employees as well as your donors. By providing a seamless and intuitive user flow, you’ll be able to more confidently ensure that the user does not abandon the task at hand. Additionally, choosing a platform with a strong support service creates even more ease when they are readily available for questions and general support. As a bonus, it would be incredible if the platform lets you set up an entire fundraising campaign in less than 20 minutes

Branding control

Making sure your corporate fundraising page reflects both your organization as well as the nonprofit you’re supporting is crucial when choosing a fundraising platform. You don’t want any confusion when potential donors land on your campaign page and have the opportunity to give to your cause. Even simple features like having the correct colors reflected on your campaign page can increase brand recognition by 80 percent. Ensuring the platform you choose has ample abilities for customization for both your organization’s main page and team pages in another must-have for optimal engagement.

Team abilities

Dividing your organization into teams helps to foster friendly competition as well as the development of camaraderie among coworkers. Imagine your marketing department vs. the finance department vs. sales department. When you create a game out of it and you’re competing for a good cause, the results can be incredible. So when choosing a fundraising platform, a good takeaway is that a great corporate fundraising platform sets itself apart from a good platform with gamification capabilities like goal setting and leaderboards to help foster this friendly competition.

When you implement a leaderboard into your campaign, you fundraisers get a real-time snapshot of the fundraising team leaders, goals completed, and what they’ll need to do to catch up. This gamification can go a long way in raising money for a good cause.

Social plugins

Choosing a platform that has a deep understanding of the way social media can integrate into your fundraising campaign is crucial. Did you know that on average, campaigns whose donors share on social media raise three times as much money as those that don’t? Saying social media has a large impact on the success level of fundraising campaigns is a huge understatement. Qualified platforms should be utilizing built-in plugins to make social sharing easy for both fundraisers and donors to cultivate peer-to-peer connections that make social fundraising all the more powerful.

Communication tools

Communication tools are tools that help your administrators and team members keep in touch with their supporters and donors. Not to be confused with social sharing, communication tools are a beneficial feature for fundraiser admins and team members. When your donors and team members are updated on goals met, general campaign information, and inspiring messages, they feel more connected to your campaign. Updates can be done with text, or even better, short videos. In fact, video updates are 5.7 times more likely to bring in a donation than not sending an update. Make sure the platform you’re researching has update tools and functionality in place so your administrators as well as team members will be more likely to stay engaged in your campaign.

Optimized Data

When your fundraising campaign is completed and you’ve hit your monetary goal, now is the time to take a look at all of your new donor data. The fundraising platform you choose should allow you to own all of your donor data as well as make it easy for you to optimize this data for future use. Use this data to stay in touch with donors, send them updates on you campaign, make them aware of promotions for your products, and notify them of future events and fundraisers. It’s a wealth of information so make sure you have the capabilities to keep it and use it.

Running a corporate fundraiser can be such a rewarding task. But, the importance of choosing the right platform for your corporate fundraiser cannot be underestimated. It does take a fair amount of work and organization so finding a platform that makes the process as seamless as possible really helps to drive a successful fundraising campaign. That way, you can be free to focus on the friendly competition component of the campaign, raising the most money out of your organization, and truly making an impact on a deserving nonprofit.

Emily Hawkins, VP, Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at CrowdRise.