A nonprofit’s most valuable resource is its donors and other supporters, and maximizing those relationships tops the list of strategic priorities. Therefore, your organization should be using a CRM (constituent relationship management) database to consolidate and store your most valuable data. In addition, having a centralized location for donor data allows you to better understand your donors, prospects, volunteers, contacts, and programs so you can continue to boost your fundraising outreach.
In this post, we’ll walk through six tips to help you better manage your account and contact data in Salesforce, but these concepts will apply regardless of which CRM system you might be using.
1. Stay on top of data hygiene.
The most crucial task for any nonprofit is staying on top of all your supporter information. Unfortunately, many nonprofit organizations make one common mistake: not returning to their donor data. So, data is left out of date, inconsistent, incorrect, or riddled with duplicate information.
Additionally, as your technology stack evolves, more information is collected, which can quickly snowball into a much larger problem if you are not trying to maintain current data and have processes in place for uniform protocols and addressing errors.
For instance, is your organization prepared to handle data issues, such as:
- Names: James vs. james vs. JAMES.
- Phone Numbers: 1234567890 vs. 123-456-7890
- Job Titles: CEO vs. Chief Executive Officer.
- Addresses: 123 Mulberry St. vs. 123 Mulberry Street New York, New York, 10013
Shameless Plug: Omatic’s integration solution for Salesforce allows you to seamlessly import your data with confidence while ensuring no duplicate, incomplete, or unstandardized data.
2. Create in-depth contact profiles.
You most likely have the essential details stored in your CRM, including your supporters’ full name, email address, phone number, and mailing address. But, have you thought about what other details you could capture that could help heighten donor engagement? For example, are you keeping track of any noted hobbies or interests? What about social media profiles?
The more you know about the people supporting your organization, the better your fundraising and engagement efforts will be. To properly connect with your supporters and move your mission forward, you need to know and keep track of more than just contact information.
Takeaway: Giving time or money is such a personal decision, and your supporters need to know they are more than a simple transaction or another volunteer. Ultimately, the best way to keep donors engaged is to get to know them a little deeper. Try including personalized information like a past donation amount or volunteer history.
3. Keep track of supporter engagement styles.
When it comes to your organization’s engagement and fundraising, not all supporters are created equal. You have various types of people who support your mission: passive social media followers, board members, event attendees, volunteers, peer-to-peer event donors, to name a few. Keeping track of the different levels of engagement allows you to better cater individual messages to your supporters for things like event invitations and volunteer or fundraising asks.
Takeaway: Keeping track of supporter engagement styles allows you to segment your donor list, create targeted messaging for each group, and reach out to each group in the most appropriate, personalized way.
4. Use Segmentation.
Not all donors are the same, and separating them into different buckets will make the impact of your marketing efforts much more effective. For example, you may want to segment your donor database by advocates, event attendees, geographical location, engagement history, donation levels, and other factors.
Takeaway: Grouping your donors based on specific characteristics or activities will help you be more efficient and make better-informed decisions in your communication strategies so you can deliver donor-centric content. Let’s say you want to pull a list of your recurring donors. Having a segment of these donors already designated in your CRM will make extracting this list so much easier and faster.
5. Tailor Outreach Based on Communication Preferences.
Equally as important as segmenting your donor database is the ability to disseminate messages as effectively as possible. Learn your supporters’ communication preferences and leverage them. For example, some supporters may always gravitate towards receiving direct mail, while others prefer receiving updates via text messages. Some others may want you to get in touch directly via a phone call. Make sure you are contacting your supporters the way they prefer.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a “phone person,” so I typically don’t answer phone calls, but I’ll respond to a text. So, look for trends in communication preferences.
This information can also help you plan for future fundraising efforts and eliminate unnecessary outreach. For example, are you spending time focusing on methods that don’t reach people anymore?
Takeaway: Just as each message you deliver to a donor will matter, so does the communication channel you’re using. When connecting with donors, you need to consider the communication method they prefer, the frequency they would like to hear from you, and what content they find most valuable.
6. Integrate other platforms’ data when possible.
Shuffling between Salesforce and other technology tools to learn more about your constituents slows your organization down. With an increase in the number of nonprofit organizations’ systems, relevant information about your donors should be in one place. Can your team afford to spend time manually transferring meaningful gift and donor data from one system to the next or manually importing data?
With an accurate system of record, your organization can simplify operations and gain greater visibility into your supporter base.
Takeaway: Think about the systems that, if integrated, could help your organization work more efficiently and effectively, take the burden off your staff, and help drive better decision-making.
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