This guide shares data-backed ways to improve employee morale at nonprofits.

3 Data-Backed Strategies to Motivate Employees to Excel

Nonprofits operate in a landscape where resources are limited and stakes are high. This makes it tough to set aside time to prioritize employee engagement. However, ensuring your team remains dedicated can directly influence your organization’s impact.

Fortunately, we have an abundance of nonprofit data and software available to understand the intricacies of employee engagement, and we’re here to share exciting opportunities for motivating your team.

Basing your employee engagement efforts on research can help unlock their full potential, driving them to excel in their roles and more effectively contribute to your organization’s mission. Now, let’s dive into our first strategy.

1. Use eCards As A Personalized Motivational Tool.

Employee recognition research indicates that 80% of employees are motivated to work harder when they feel recognized by their superiors, so recognize those who face challenges head-on and make the most of opportunities with our favorite strategy: eCards.

Also known as digital greeting cards, eCards allow you to recognize employees with a personalized, visually engaging virtual message.

Let’s look at how eCards can motivate your employees:

  • Celebrate milestones and achievements. eCards are versatile. Whether the eCard acknowledges a work-related accomplishment, birthday, or personal life event, sending thoughtful eCards demonstrates your nonprofit’s investment in employees’ well-being.
  • Create eCards that emphasize your organization’s mission. Your nonprofit operates with a strong sense of purpose, and eCards are an opportunity to promote your organization’s core values and appreciate employees who demonstrate them. By connecting an employee’s contributions to your nonprofit’s broader impact, you’ll create a deeper sense of fulfillment. Here’s an example of an eCard that does just that:

This employee appreciation eCard is branded with the organization’s colors and says, ‘Thank you for committing to our value: Compassion.’

  • Encourage peer recognition. Allow team members to send eCards to colleagues to acknowledge each other’s efforts. Not only will this boost morale, but it’ll also foster a culture of mutual support.

By infusing eCards into your everyday recognition strategy, you can create a work environment where employees feel valued and inspired to excel.

2. Create a rewards program.

Take your recognition strategies one step further with a rewards program. Around 75% of employees experience higher job satisfaction for 3+ months after receiving a thoughtful gift, and rewards programs help employees feel like they’ve earned those gifts.

Tangible rewards add an extra layer of motivation and don’t need to be extravagant. eCardWidget’s employee gift guide shares several thoughtful ideas for rewards that can motivate your team:

  • Gift cards to a restaurant, retailer, online marketplace, or entertainment service like Spotify
  • Company merchandise like t-shirts, hats, water bottles, and mugs
  • Health and wellness benefits like a stipend for a gym membership or fitness classes
  • Tickets to a sports event, concert, or cultural activity

You can manage this program manually, but we recommend automating the work with employee recognition software. These platforms help track employee performance and enable managers to identify and reward high-performing employees.

Try combining your recognition efforts by following up eCards with a tangible reward. For example, the individual who received the most recognition eCards during a performance period will receive a gift basket, or management may pick a few standout individuals to reward with branded apparel.

3. Streamline time-intensive tasks.

Repetitive and tedious work takes away employees’ time to focus on bigger projects that are more meaningful to your mission. Worse, it can even lead to employee burnout. Luckily, nonprofit technology is advancing every day and can eliminate this demotivator.

66% of employees claim they spend at least 2 hours per week handling less-than-productive tasks like sending project status updates. On the other hand, those who use automation tools and strategies can save a notable 3.6 hours per week.

Ultimately, choosing the right solutions and automating tasks when possible empowers employees to be more productive and successful in their roles, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivation. Here are two solutions we recommend:

Data appends

Your nonprofit collects a lot of donor data, which can become outdated as people move, change their phone numbers, and get new email addresses. That’s where data appending comes in handy.

Instead of contacting donors to update their data, your team can outsource the work to a data appending provider. These services involve correcting outdated, void, or inaccurate data and supplementing existing data with information you don’t already have.

Here’s how data appending works with a service like NPOInfo:

  1. Select your services. Consider what gaps need to be filled in your database. This could include email addresses, phone numbers, postal addresses, birthdates, or employer information.
  2. Upload your records. Securely send your records to us with as much information as you can provide. We’ll use this information to identify your donors within our comprehensive database, so we can correct missing, outdated, or otherwise inaccurate details.
  3. Receive your appended records. We’ll return the updated information to your team and can even help you import the appended data into your CRM.

Enriching donor data provides your team with comprehensive, accurate donor profiles, empowering them to cultivate stronger donor relationships. Then, they can better tailor their fundraising strategies and do their jobs more efficiently, ultimately boosting employee morale.

Matching gift automation

Corporate giving is a powerful revenue source, and software makes it easy for your team to automate the matching gifts process. 360MatchPro’s nonprofit fundraising automation guide explains how matching gift software removes menial tasks from your team’s plates, empowering them to do more with their time and see a larger return on their fundraising efforts.

In particular, matching gift automation accelerates the process of identifying and claiming matches through powerful features, such as:

  • Automated match identification. Instead of manually researching and verifying matching gift eligibility for each donation, automation software instantly identifies potential matches based on the information donors provide.
  • Automated follow-up. Set trigger emails based on donors’ match status, reducing the manual outreach your team needs to conduct. The software will continue following up and drive matches automatically.
  • Auto-submission. Your donors can skip the process of submitting a match request altogether thanks to auto-submission, the latest innovation in matching gift technology. By clicking a checkbox while donating online, donors enable the software to fill out their requests automatically. That leads to more donors submitting their requests accurately and more revenue acquired.

Nonprofits Source’s online giving research has found that leveraging matching gift software leads to 77% more donations flagged as match-eligible, which can double or even triple your nonprofit’s donations. Even better, new auto-submission functionality is projected to yield an 80% increase in matching gift revenue. That means your fundraising team can accomplish more with less work!

These features ensure that matching gift opportunities aren’t overlooked, ultimately increasing your fundraising team’s impact and leading to greater job satisfaction.

Wrapping Up

From expressing gratitude to leveraging software to develop stronger donor relationships, you can boost employee morale at your nonprofit in several ways. When choosing strategies, take your employees’ preferences into account. You might even survey them to learn what ideas they’d find most impactful.

In any case, showing recognition and streamlining menial tasks are some of the most common ways modern organizations improve their workplaces. Start there and build an organization your employees are passionate about supporting.