Data Management Best Practices

Jun 11, 2019

Are you leveraging your data to the fullest extent? Today, massive amounts of information are being shared, but not all organizations know what data they should be collecting or how they should be managing it.

Supporters are engaging in various social media channels, online platforms, and more. Their interactions, gifts, and interests should be aggregated and analyzed so a quantitative approach can be used to gain a complete view of each individual. Ultimately, effective data collection and management fosters productivity and a culture of transparency within your organization. Your organization can gain numerous insights and unlock hidden opportunities from information gathered in donor databases.

Make sure your information doesn’t go to waste by implementing a donor data management strategy that supports your goals. Check out some of our best practices to become a more data-driven organization today.

1. Identify and Align Valuable Data

As an organization, you should take the time to review what data you are already collecting and what data you should be collecting. By tracking all the data points that your team currently utilizes, you can determine the best way to use that information.

Whether it’s giving history, survey results, annual reports, or email results-to name a few, understanding what you’ll be using the data for is the first step. Properly collecting and analyzing information about your supporters, can help you build the case to further fund your mission.

2. Leverage Important Information

Now that you’ve identified which information is the most valuable to your organization, how do you leverage it successfully? Ultimately, you want to understand what data can help you better market and serve your supporters.

Use the information that is readily available to optimize future fundraising campaigns and volunteer events. Cross-reference your organization’s current goals for the year and see where data can help you achieve those results.

3. Integrate Your CRM

Your donor data should be stored in a strategic system that is easily accessible to all team members. A centralized CRM should house supporter information and provide as a tool for data management. Minimize the use of spreadsheets and have employees keep relevant information in the online database.

CRMs also give you the ability to build donor profiles to gain supporter insights, segment your database to create lists, identify donor personas based on trends, pull reports to analyze campaigns, and more. By implementing integrations that connect within your platform, you can use other tools that assist in distributing mass communications or coordinating fundraising efforts.

4. Target Your Messaging

Now that you have more complete data about your donors, aim to reach out to them in a way that reflects their lifestyle and engagement habits. Create targeted segments within your database by developing lists. Utilize the information to strategically approach supporters when sending solicitations. This data can be particularly valuable when it comes to marketing, fundraising, and program management.

5. Develop Systems and Processes

By standardizing data entry and enforcing policies about data cleanliness, you can help keep your systems running efficiently. Develop standards around number formatting, titles, notes, empty fields, and profile updates.

During annual maintenance checks, make note of trends that arise and continue to improve your practices with new policies. Conduct training for employees and ensure there is documentation to support your cause. In the end, consistency is key!

Omatic Software
Omatic Software is dedicated to integrating disparate systems and democratizing data access for today’s nonprofits. Founded in 2002, Omatic has worked with thousands of nonprofits globally to remove their data barriers by integrating systems and enabling nonprofit teams to leverage their donor data rather than be burdened by it. The Omatic team has one goal – unleashing the power of data to show a complete view of your donor, enabling data-driven decision making and opportunity creation for your organization.