May's Installment of our Tapp Social Series: Don’t Fear the Data focused on tackling the myths associated with data and fundraising. The event featured guest speaker Erin Troia, CEO of Ignite Intention Consulting, who discussed fundraising analytics and how to leverage the data at your fingertips to tell a strong and impactful story.
Now, in case you missed it...
What database should you use?
When it comes to databases, a lot of great questions were raised, but Erin started by naming a few that were helpful for tracking data. As attendee's joined in and named the CRM databases they utilize in their own nonprofits, some of the names that were repeated were:
Erin continued by stating that a good database is a place where you can track, amongst other things:
Another great tool Erin mentioned was NOZA, a Blackbaud company that helps organizations research:
The best part is, you don't have to be a subscriber to get it. She suggested that organizations find a home for it within their database. The most important question to ask to determine what data is needed is: What are you looking to gain from data and how can you make it happen? A common myth is that major gifts are all about relationships. But good relationships stem from good data.
The best way to ensure you have decent relationships:
Contact reports - You need to write things down. If you don’t track it, it won’t be there forever. You have to be able to write those things down. You want to be able to maintain relationships through data.
Good contacts reports - Are fast - they outline who you saw, where you saw them, and what happened.
The Best contact reports - Exist when people are in touch with the data team and actively ask them to make changes and update the data that is stored in the system. Only relevant information should be added.
Data goes a lot deeper than how we track and what we track, you need to look at it as a strategic plan. For example, how many calls did it take you to get that visit? Erin outlined a situation where in a past career it was taking 7 visits to get to a gift.
Who should have access to the database?
An organization should trust the people they're working with. Everyone should be able to see basic information. Fundraising is not a democracy, you have to segment different people in different ways. In a complex organization, there are 1-2 people who enter information. No one should be able to delete any of that data except the person in a lead role. Ideally, training should be every 6 months for contact reports and should go over what the expectation is and how the organization is rewarding people for using the database well. Everyone should be able to complete contact reports no matter what they do.
What are the strongest predictors of giving?
Observe these types of behaviors: Past giving to your organization, giving to other organizations, indications of a stock portfolio, nonprofit org membership. It varies by organization but the most important thing your donors want to know before they donate is that they’re contributing to something successful, that they’re a hero for donating and that not all of their money is going to expenses. They want to be able to know what the benefit is and if the organization is thriving and will continue to have meaning to the community it serves.
Erin also suggested hosting Jefferson dinners, where 10-12 people gather at a nice supper to talk more about fundraising ideas. Identify an advocate that has a home with space and someone with a good topical personality, and invite people in to talk about what is happening with your organization.
Buying lists doesn't necessarily bring success, but building relationships over time does. People want to know that you remember them.
If you missed this #TappSocial don't worry, it's not too late! We host our #TappSocials monthly with new speakers and topics each time. Our next social will be July 17th!
Keep an eye out for this month's 2nd Annual Nonprofit Social Summit on June 19th, 2018 from 1:00 - 7:00 pm!
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