Cleaning up CRM data is a critical task for nonprofits as the end of the fiscal year approaches. Effective data hygiene not only streamlines operations but also ensures that organizations can trust their data for reporting, fundraising, and strategic planning purposes. Poor data quality can lead to misinformed decisions and strategies. Nonprofits should understand how outdated or incorrect data can impact their fundraising and outreach efforts.
Data Audit: The first step is to perform a thorough audit of the existing data. This includes identifying duplicate records, outdated information, and incomplete profiles. It is crucial to evaluate the relevance of data fields and determine whether they still serve the organization’s needs.
Data Relevance: It’s important to evaluate the relevance of the data being collected and stored. Over time, the focus of a nonprofit may shift, and certain data fields may become obsolete. Regular reviews of what data is being stored and why it’s necessary are crucial to ensure that the CRM reflects current organizational goals and reporting requirements.
Cleanse Data: Once data standards are in place, the existing records should be cleansed accordingly. This may involve bulk updates, merging duplicate records, and filling in missing data. In some cases, outreach may be necessary to update or confirm critical information directly with the contacts.
So you’ve done a year end data cleanse. How do you maintain the integrity of your data throughout the year? Here are a few tips:
Standardize Data Entry: Data standardization is a preventive measure against future data quality issues. It requires setting up clear guidelines for data entry, which may include formatting rules for phone numbers, addresses, and date fields, ensuring consistency across the database.
Train Staff: A clean CRM is only as good as the people using it. Training staff on new protocols, data entry standards, and the importance of data hygiene is essential for maintaining a clean database. Reach out to ResultsPlus for our specialized training services!
Plan for Regular Maintenance: Nonprofits should establish regular maintenance schedules for their CRM databases. This routine ensures that the database remains up-to-date and reflective of the organization’s current situation and future needs.
Data Quality Over Quantity: It’s better to have less data of higher quality than a vast quantity of untrustworthy or irrelevant data. Nonprofits should emphasize the accuracy and completeness of each record over having a large number of contacts.
By taking these steps, nonprofits can enter the new fiscal year with a solid foundation for success. Clean CRM data supports better decision-making and effective communication with donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries, which is integral to the nonprofit’s mission and growth. Don't have a CRM? Reach out to us to learn more about the benefits of ResultsPlus!