Good data to do good

pexels-photo-239898-1.jpegWe’ve heard it before: The better your data, the better your results. Data may seem boring, tedious and something that you, as a fundraiser, shouldn’t have to deal with. Think again! Data is everywhere and usable by everyone. And it’s not only useful, but can help you do more good and be more successful in your mission.

How, you ask? Data, which can come from a variety of sources including email, donor management software, your website and more. You can use this information to learn more about your donors, including:

  • Demographics
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Donation amounts and consistency (or lack of)
  • Past event participation
  • Past volunteer involvement

You may be thinking, “This is all great, but why is this data useful and how can it help me do more good?” Consider all the times when you’ve been on the phone with a donor and can’t think of any small talk to personalize the conversation. When you’ve collected data about your donors’ families, interests, hobbies and past involvement, you can establish relationships with your donors, making them feel like a person rather than a source of money for your nonprofit. When your constituents feel appreciated and like you’ve taken the time to get to know them, they will be more apt to donate to your mission.

Another way your data can help you do good is by helping you segment your donors. There is nothing worse than reaching out to a donor and asking them for a large donation, or inviting them to an event when they’ve 1) never given a large donation, or 2) never attended an event or shown any interest in that type of event in the past. And to your donors, this just screams that you don’t know them. When you have accurate donor data, you can see which donors have given large donations in the past, which donors have attended galas, golf outings, silent auctions and walk-a-thons, which donors have only given once and which ones are consistent givers. This means that when you’re putting together your email list for an upcoming event, you don’t need to reach out to your entire donor list and you don’t need to wing it when deciding who to reach out to. You can accurately segment your constituents to increase your chances of reaching the right people at the right time who will be excited to give to your cause or attend your event.

How is your nonprofit using data? We want to hear your success stories, tips and tricks for collecting, analyzing and using your good data for social good.