Weekly Roundup – Nonprofit Data Assessment
With spring officially in bloom, people everywhere are taking a moment to reflect on some much needed cleaning. For nonprofits, this can mean cleaning out an old storage unit, organizing important files, or reconciling past donations. But one step in the cleaning process that shouldn’t be forgotten is cleaning up your data. As the Nonprofit Quarterly mentioned in a post last month, spring is the perfect time to assess your donor and fundraising database. Including in that cleaning process is assessing the needs of your organization – we’ve highlighted some of the more important thoughts below.
How are you using your data?
Before you can organize your database, you first need to consider how using data can help your organizational goals. From a fundraising perspective, what elements are most important to track for long-term success? For volunteers, what information should you be tracking to reach your end goal? By assessing how data can help you accomplish greater objectives, you will be able to set up your database for future success.
How accurate is your data?
How long ago was your last database cleaning effort? Where did most of the data you’re using now come from? Before trusting the data you already have, it is vital to determine just how accurate that information still is. It is possible that you have hundreds of old email addresses, phone numbers, or addresses clogging up your system from being effective. Take the time to review what information is in your records before moving forward with a new plan.
How can you use data to increase fundraising?
Once your database is ready, how can you use this data to increase fundraising? While a complex and complicated idea, boiled down to its simplest form, your data can help you fundraise by allowing you to better track, manage, and qualify potential gifts and donors. Are there certain types of donors that give during a particular time of year? Consider structuring major asks around those habits. Are you consistently losing first time donors? Now might be the time to restructure your donor retention program. Above all else – use the data to help inform decisions moving forward.
As it’s Friday, we also wanted to include a few more links for your reading pleasure. Be sure to follow us on Tumblr for other updates throughout the week.
- A recent report indicates that young Americans are actually giving more money to charities than previously thought – more details can be found here.
- DoSomething.org now texts one million teens about volunteer opportunities. A great announcement for an organization that has been a pioneer in text campaign and data management.
- Elliot Greenberger wrote a blog post that provides advice that any staff at a nonprofit organization could implement. Ask others (friends, family, or even your constituents) what they think your organization does. The answers may surprise you and help identify areas of better communication.
- A quick and simple list of some tricks for ensuring the best implementation of your social media campaigns.