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5 signs it’s time to find response handling support for your charity

Well-executed response handling is an essential part of any charity’s fundraising success.

While many not-for-profit organisations choose to manage their response handling in house, when numbers get a little too large to easily handle, some prefer to make the most of external providers to take advantage of their fine-tuned experience and well-established processes and equipment for mass processing, and the efficiencies this all brings.

The question, however, is whether taking on campaign banking and thanking tasks internally is working for your charity, or whether it’s time to defer your response handling duties to an external team?

Amid your many other charity duties, the signs can be difficult to spot – which is why our team at Woods Valldata, as experts in response handling for charities, have shared some of the top ones below...

A charity employee working efficiently on a red laptop after teaming up with experts in response handling for charities.

5 signs you should outsource your charity's response handling:

1. It's taking longer than you'd like to respond to the volume of responses

Response handling is an essential component of supporter engagement, ensuring that the supporter feels appreciated for their contributions to your charity. The more appreciated they feel, the more likely they are to donate, and even recommend your charity to friends and family!

However, with the rise in companies like Amazon, the expectation from supporters to receive an immediate response is growing.

When campaigns are successful, and donations keep coming in, getting responses out to supporters can be increasingly challenging for internal teams, as there's often little flex in capacity and there may not be the best (or enough of) an infrastructure to handle these responses in the most efficient way.

Charities have found that by hiring an external response handling team, they can ensure response handling is managed in a timely, accurate manner, enhancing the donor experience. For example, research has found that quick and accurate thanking alone can raise funds for charities by a whopping 39%!

2. You're finding it difficult to respond to supporter queries in the way they'd like

There are lots of different channels that your supporters can contact you through in order to ask questions or raise issues (telephone calls, emails, social media pages and contact forms on your website, to name a few), and it can often and understandably be challenging to manage all these successfully.

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for this to result in supporter disengagement, or at worst, complaints. In fact, complaints about digital fundraising tripled in 2021 alone!

In this case, an external response handling team can provide additional support for your supporter care team, dealing with supporter queries with the same care and attention as you do whilst linking seamlessly so your supporter record is always up to date !

3. You'd like to make your thanking more personalised, but don't have the time or systems to manage it

Supporters like to feel valued and recognised as individuals by your charity; and personalisation in thanking is a brilliant way to do this. What’s more, it will help you build an even better relationship with your supporters!

There are lots of different ways that you can thank your supporters. However, you may not have the time, resource or technology to create and manage the complex thanking matrices you’d really like.

Working with a response handling partner like Woods Valldata can help you to create a thoughtful, personalised thanking programme based on pre-set criteria and known supporter likes and behaviours, ensuring your supporters feel uniquely valued. Our SmartThank platform takes complex thanking and makes it easy.

4. Managing the banking and reconciliation of campaigns is taking valuable time and resource in the team

Making sure your campaign records match supporter records and banking reconciliation can be an arduous task.

When outsourcing response handing, however, your data feeds and reconciliation will be sure to match, meaning it's a simple case of uploading and sense-checking.

What's more, if your response handing partner is Bacs Bureau accredited, they can remove the complexities of direct debit for regular giving by taking it on and managing the whole process for you too.

Here at Woods Valldata, we have state-of-the-art facilities that have been purpose-built to keep donations completely secure. You can see a real-life example of how we managed direct debits for the charity RNIB in this case study.

We can also handle compliance management and infrastructure security for you. This way, you’ll have complete peace of mind and be able to enjoy spending your budget and energy on growing your supporters and income!

A charity team working alongside experts in response handling for charities.

5. If something happens that you're not expecting, it's a real challenge for you and the team

There’s no telling how successful a fundraising campaign may be; and if it’s more successful than you ever planned for, you and your team may find yourself overwhelmed and unable to keep up!

Again, a good external response handling team will be able to manage this overflow for you; indeed, at Woods Valldata, we have the technology and capacity to bank and thank supporter donations quickly and accurately, regardless of scale and current circumstances.

For example, our offices stayed open during the pandemic so that we could continue supporting charities as they closed their doors and found their feet in a new online and hybrid working world.

We can also take the role of your fulfilment partner; a brilliant example is when we delivered a much higher volume of packs within a short lead time for the charity Concern as part of their Ration Challenge!

Have you noticed any of these signs?

If so, our experts in response handling for charities at Woods Valldata would love to chat with you. Simply book in your free consultation with our team today and we’ll be ready to discuss your unique requirements.

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