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Is it Time to Spring Clean Your Fundraising Database?

Data Cleanliness

Since many nonprofits rely on fundraising to support their cause, the accuracy and cleanliness of all donor and supporter data are imperative to your mission. In fact, respondents to a 2015 Experian survey said that they believed 27% of their revenue was wasted on the inaccurate data.

What can You do to Help Keep Your Data Clean?

  1. Clean data starts with a clean data entry process
    Start by reviewing how data is entering into your fundraising systems. Is there any information that is commonly being missed or falsified? Also pay attention to which fields you require and use, such as full name, email, address, city, state, and zip.
  2. Update constituent mailing addresses
    If you plan on utilizing mailing address for fundraising purposes, it may be worth running your list through a National Change of Address tool (like NCOALink), which will take your list to see if it matches any USPS change of addresses.
  3. Give donors the ability to update their own data
    Put the power back into the hands of your donors and supporters by making it easy for them to update their own household information. Cloud for Good recently released a new Salesforce Application which allows organizations to easily expose donor history information from the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) in a Salesforce Customer Community. Donors are then able to update their information, triggering a simple Update Request function. That function can create an activity task on the appropriate record and using standard Salesforce processes, automation can then be used to assign the task to different users, define follow-up reminders, and ensure that requests are processed in a timely fashion.
  4. Centralize your databases
    Many nonprofit organizations have separate systems to manage their programs, marketing, and fundraising. But by centralizing your data source, the information you’re able to return becomes much richer. Now you can take the data from fundraising activities and trigger workflows in other systems, such as your marketing automation tools, to improve communication and engagement.
  5. Monitor your constituent’s engagement
    Seeing high email bounce rates, or low return phone calls can be signs that donor data needs to be updated. If your engagement rates seem low, look to the data and see if anything needs to be updated.
  6. Eliminate uninterested contributors
    If your contacts have not engaged with you in over a few years, it may be time to purge their data. Set up data processing regulations that outline when a contact is considered to have gone dark and set up rules using marketing automation to remove those individuals from your email lists.
  7. Report, report, report
    Reporting is crucial for any organization. You want to know which programs are working, and which ones need improvement. If you are already using the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), you have access to over 60 pre-built reports to help you understand the power of your fundraising programs. Using tools like Einstein Analytics may also help you predict donor behavior.

By using a few of these tools to help keep your data clean, you’ll find your engagement rates will begin to climb. You’ll also be able to better predict donor behavior and track your successes.

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