A highly functioning database that houses data cleanly and provides key reports to your leadership is critical to any nonprofit’s success. With a specialty in Salesforce, we build effective donor relationship management systems for our clients, improve and advise on how to get more out of existing systems, and audit current database practices to drive improved results.
Unlike many other data consultants, we bring to this work extensive experience in and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, including the unique sectors in which our clients operate.
These are the 5 essential features that every successful nonprofit database should have, and that we help our clients acquire:
If you are going to think of your donors as people rather than ATM machines, you have to treat their information accordingly. Your database needs to be able to capture every donation made and to what program, all available contact and biographical information, what pitch you’re going to approach the donor with, and your past connection/interaction with him or her.
With a good database, it is ridiculously easy to send acknowledgments of gifts as well as newsletters, update letters, or solicitations. You can quickly export out all your recent donations and merge them into a stock thank you letter. What’s more – you can note these interactions within the database itself so you’ll know exactly where you stand with each of your supporters.
Tasks and next steps should also live in your database so that when you sit down with any of your staff, you’re all on the same page and can see exactly what everyone is focusing their efforts on. Connect these tasks to donors or particular campaigns to get the bigger picture and coordinate efforts. No more flailing around at meetings!
A job unassigned is a job undone. The same is true for donors. Donors unmanaged are donors uncultivated. Every organization manages relationships with their donors. Some just do it very poorly, neglect to communicate, or only approach donors with hat in hand. Use your database to actually assign your top donors to a particular development staff member that becomes their “Relationship Manager” and hold them accountable for cultivating that donor.
One of the most effective uses of a database is to align your organization’s thinking around the records and data you utilize on a daily basis. The database is not additional but central. Relationship management is not superfluous but essential. A central repository for your donors, donations, tasks, and events is not a luxury but a necessity.
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