3 association event tools and how to leverage their data

3 Association Event Tools and How to Leverage Their Data

Association events can be some of the most financially taxing one-time investments that your organization makes over the course of a fiscal year. Of course, your event content may remain on-demand through a paywall on your association website. However, the event itself and the bulk of its initial engagement and financial potential are usually concentrated in just a single afternoon or a few days.

This can create a lot of pressure for your team, as you try to not only exceed your initial investment but also thoroughly engage members and provide them with valuable experiences. That’s what makes it so important to ensure that you’re using whatever tools are available to you to boost attendance, maximize engagement, streamline operations, and make the most of your association events.

In particular, we’ve identified three important software solutions that no association event should go without and necessary features to look out for. From interactive event platforms to effective data hygiene practices, make sure that you come prepared with these tools for your next event:

Ready to supercharge your in-person, hybrid, or virtual association events? We’ll begin with the most powerful software solution: event management software.

event management software

Event Management Software

Event management software is a broad set of tools that helps your organization plan, promote, and manage your events. This software has a hand in virtually every step of the event lifecycle, from facilitating multichannel marketing to generating post-event reports, and it’s built to make the event experience better for both the people organizing it and the attendees who register for it.

That being said, some event management systems are more comprehensive than others. If you’re looking for a robust, all-in-one platform to help your team improve the creation and execution of your events, the Fonteva guide to event management software names top providers that you should consider, as well as the features of a strong event management solution. For example, keep an eye out for:

  • The ability to plan and manage all event formats—virtual, hybrid, and in-person
  • Easy-to-use, mobile-optimized registration forms to streamline registration
  • Seamless data integration with your association management software
  • Reports on event and attendee data
  • Management capabilities for vendors, sponsors, speakers, and exhibitors

Additionally, if you want to ensure that your event management software has your specific needs and requirements in mind, then opt for a platform from an association-specific software provider.


An event platform

An Event Platform

As virtual and hybrid events continue to grow in importance, it’s essential for you to invest in an online event space where all attendees can enjoy everything that your association has to offer.

While there are plenty of free conferencing apps floating around with basic streaming and discussion features, a dedicated event platform gives you the power to effectively interact with virtual attendees, encourage greater member engagement, and facilitate networking and community-building.

This Re:charity article on updating your association tech strategy dives deeper into the topic of community-building and networking, explaining how they are the backbone of any association—particularly those made for professionals in the same industries. This makes it critical to invest in tools that support these member-to-member activities, especially during your events.

In particular, seek out an event platform that offers:

  • Live chat and reaction features
  • Virtual community and committee creation features
  • Viewable attendee profiles
  • Chat or video invitation capabilities

These tools aren’t only important for virtual attendees, but they can also help in-person attendees use their mobile devices to connect with others and enjoy a fuller, multi-faceted event experience.
membership data software

Membership Data Software and Resources

Events provide a notable opportunity for associations to better connect with their members. If done correctly, your association can even grow your donor community. However, this is only possible with high-quality membership data management.

Having software to manage your membership will make it easier to continually learn more about your members and greatly enhance your follow-up phase after the event is done. Prompting your members to sign up with detailed and up-to-date contact information is a must. This goes for their guests, as well. Using membership management software is the best way for your association to keep detailed records at your event so that you always know how to contact your members afterward.

Unsure what data you should be targeting? Here are some suggestions for what data you should collect:

  • Preferred name
  • Age
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Physical address
  • Employment status and employer
  • Educational background

You can collect more detailed data as well, but these are simple metrics that you can collect on a sign-up sheet at your event. Use membership management software in order to keep this data organized. It’s incredibly valuable to leverage in future connections with your member community.

If your nonprofit is running into roadblocks in finding content to add to your membership management software, you might want to consider appending your member data. A good indicator of if you’re in need of appends is if you’re constantly sent to voicemail when you call clients or if the mail you send them gets forwarded back to you. Having up-to-date records is critical in preserving your relationships with your members. Appending your data is also important for encouraging a strong turnout to your events. Services such as NPOInfo provide appending services so that you can build strong, long-lasting contact with your members.

Regardless of whether you’re hosting a virtual networking fair or an in-person awards ceremony, all event types and styles can be improved when the right software is powering the planning, management, and hosting processes. While you may be tempted to cut costs and avoid relying on dedicated event software, these systems are available for a reason. And by taking advantage of the software solutions and platforms we’ve highlighted, you can increase member engagementleverage your data, raise the value of your membership program, and reduce stress for your event organizing team.

Explore this guide to learn everything you need to know about phone appends.

Phone Appends: A Nonprofit’s Data Enrichment Guide

Calling your devoted supporters is one of the most effective ways to cultivate relationships with them and rally more support behind your cause. However, outdated or otherwise inaccurate phone numbers in your database can do more harm than good by wasting your staff’s time. While some supporters will regularly update their contact information with your team, many people won’t. That’s where phone appends come into play!

Phone appends are a reliable way to keep your CRM up-to-date. When you turn to a trusted data append provider with a comprehensive database of contact information, they’ll help you find any missing or old phone numbers for your supporters. In short, this is the easiest way to bring your database up to speed, so your marketing and development teams aren’t constantly sent to voicemail when they call the wrong numbers.

At NPOInfo, we strive to provide nonprofits with the data they need to create lasting relationships with those who make their missions possible. We offer data appends, including phone number appending services, so your team can successfully get in touch with its supporters and have meaningful conversations that drive value for your cause.

With this guide, we’ll answer any questions you might have about telephone appends before you start looking at providers. That way, you’ll be equipped to determine whether a phone append is a smart move for your organization and when you should get started cleaning up your database. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Phone appends pose tremendous value for your marketing and development answers. Better data means higher ROI for your marketing efforts and more engaged constituents, so if you’re ready to enrich your data, let’s dive in!

Get a free quote for our phone number appending services.

This section covers what phone appends are.

What is a phone append?

Phone appending is the process of updating or adding missing phone numbers to constituent profiles using existing identifying information.

Phone appending is the process of updating or adding missing phone numbers to constituent profiles within an existing constituent relationship management (CRM) system. It involves taking the existing identifying information you have for individuals and cross-checking it with an external, comprehensive database of contact information.

Phone append software and service providers will match the name, email address, and postal address from the contact list you share with the information in the database. That way, you can be sure you have the most accurate phone number to get into contact with supporters. This process empowers you to stay connected with your current supporters, re-engage lapsed supporters, and drive engagement to generate revenue for your cause.

A phone append will pull a few types of phone numbers.

What types of information will a phone number append reveal?

There are a handful of different types of phones available today, and chances are, your supporters have likely shared numbers for all three kinds with your organization. These include:

  • Cell phones: These probably make up the bulk phone numbers stored in your CRM. Being able to call supporters even when they’re on the go is ideal for contacting them whenever.
  • Landlines: Though less common, landlines are still useful in specific situations. In fact, there are still plenty of people who only use landlines, making it the only way to contact them.
  • Business phones: These numbers might be more useful for corporate sponsors or other socially-responsible businesspeople in your database.

The good news is that phone appending can help you verify existing numbers and fill in the missing pieces for you for all three types of phone numbers. Having all three numbers for each supporter will make it much easier to contact them.

Just consider the goal you want to achieve with the conversation to determine which numbers are appropriate to call on top of the contact preferences they’ve expressed to your organization.

The phone append process is easy to understand.

How do telephone appends work?

Phone appending is incredibly straightforward, so long as you turn to a trusted provider to handle the work for you. You provide the data, and they’ll handle the rest.

Here’s what you can expect the process to look like when you work with a phone number appending service provider:

  1. Share a list of names, addresses, and other identifying information with your services provider.
  2. They’ll use batch processing to search for any missing or outdated information for all of your constituents using their comprehensive, reliable database of contact information.
  3. They’ll remove any inactive or otherwise outdated phone numbers and replace them with the updated details.
  4. In some cases, your phone number appending services provider will manually check the phone numbers for you to verify accuracy.
  5. You’ll receive a list of contact information for everyone in your database.

This graphic outlines the telephone append process.

If you’d like to update and verify other types of contact data (like email addresses or postal addresses), full-service data append providers like NPOInfo can handle that for you all at once!

Bear in mind that no matter which provider you use, results are typically returned fairly quickly, but the more constituents you share, the longer it will naturally take.

To run a phone append on your own, you’ll need access to your own database of phone numbers, which requires you to find software that will do the phone appending for you. However, this isn’t quite as reliable as having someone who can manually check the data returned to you.

That’s why we recommend turning to a trusted phone number appending services provider. They can manually check everything and ensure you’re only given accurate and working phone numbers.

This section describes the concept of reverse phone appending.

What is reverse phone appending?

This is a specific type of phone appending. It’s when you supply only a phone number. Then, the services provider locates the name, postal address, and other supplemental information associated with that phone number.

Note that our team at NPOInfo doesn’t offer this type of appending. However, as an organization, this is likely something you won’t need to worry about since you’ll only want to append data for constituents who are already in your database.

Phone appends offer plenty of benefits for nonprofits.

How will a phone number append impact your organization?

Whether you’re a national advocacy organization or a local charity, phone appending can positively impact your organization in more ways than you might think.

For instance, you can expect these bonuses by successfully appending phone numbers stored in your organization’s CRM:

These are the key benefits you can expect from a phone append.

  • Enhanced fundraising opportunities. Calling constituents plays into a wide array of developmental efforts. Call your major donors every once in a while to strengthen their commitment to the cause. You can even use phone numbers for specific fundraising campaigns. For instance, a phonathon and text fundraising are some of the best ways to request donations from supporters. If you reach out to people who have previously supported your cause, they’re much more likely to give than if you reach out to people who don’t already have a connection with your cause!
  • Open lines of communication. Easily get into contact with your supporters by quickly calling them up. Having their cell phone numbers also opens up the opportunity for text outreach, so you can share the latest updates from your cause with anyone who prefers to hear from your team via SMS. In fact, fundraising research found that text message audiences grew by an incredible 26% last year, while text message volume grew by 14% for nonprofits.
  • More effective advocacy efforts and political campaigns. Phone and text banking make it easy to reach out to supporters who live in areas affected by a particular advocacy movement or political campaign. That way, you can get them to rally behind your policies and vote for positive change.

Enriching your organization’s data is a powerful opportunity so long as you do so ethically and effectively. In any case, know that you should always adhere to their opt-out preferences. If someone opts out of your phone solicitation, make a note of it. Otherwise, if they keep getting texts and phone calls when they’ve indicated they don’t want to, this will negatively impact their relationship with your cause.

These are the data points you'll need to share with your phone number appending services provider.

What information do you need for a phone append?

You’ll need to provide as much identifying information from your CRM as possible. The more information you can provide, the better!

Some of the information we recommend you provide includes:

  • Name
  • Postal address
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • College/university
  • Last donation amount
  • Last donation date

Don’t worry about extra data in your file. Your phone number append services provider will know exactly what to look for, and as we mentioned, the more data you can share, the better. This helps your phone number appending services provider more accurately identify your contacts and locate the correct contact information.

The price of phone appending depends on a few factors.

How much does telephone appending cost?

Just like timing, phone appending costs vary depending on the number of constituents you have. It also depends on the phone number append service you use.

While it can be tempting to go with the cheapest option you find, bear in mind that spending a little extra often means you’ll have access to a more comprehensive, reliable, and quality database of phone numbers.

To discuss pricing with our team, reach out for a free quote! We’ll ask you to provide basic information like the types of appends you’re interested in and how many records you’d like to append. From there, you can decide whether a phone append makes sense for your organization’s budget.


Get started with NPOInfo's phone number appending services.

How can you get started with phone appending?

If you’ve decided a phone number append is a smart move, reach out to the data experts here at NPOInfo. Or, if you need more information, we’re happy to chat about how we can help!

At NPOInfo, we understand that nonprofits have different data management needs from other types of organizations like corporations. That’s why we’ve uniquely configured our data append services to cater to the nonprofit sector. We guarantee a quick turnaround and accurate results thanks to our thorough investigation of your constituents’ contact information.

Not to mention, we offer other types of data appends beyond just phone numbers! We’ve got you covered if you need appends for email addresses, employer information, birthdays, or postal addresses.

When you turn to our experts, you’ll receive exactly what you need to strengthen your outreach methods, grow your revenue, and drive meaningful supporter relationships. Here’s what to expect:

Here's how NPOInfo's phone number appending services work.

  1. Select the services you want. Let us know which data you’d like us to find to fill the gaps in your database. Depending on what you need, we’ll search for phone numbers, emails, employers, birthdays, and postal addresses.
  2. Get a quote. Our team will take a look at the types of data you requested along with your anticipated record count. From here, we’ll reach out with a fair and accurate quote.
  3. Send us your records. Securely send your records with the information our team requests.
  4. Wait as we conduct the phone append. Our team will implement a thorough checking and verification process as we append the phone numbers for any constituents you asked us to.
  5. Receive your appends. We’ll send the appended phone numbers along with any other data you requested. We’ll let you know whether we found phone numbers, what those phone numbers are, and how accurate we think we found the right information. Plus, we’ll answer any questions about the reports and even help you import the information into your database if needed.

We make it easy to get started! Simply reach out to indicate your preferences and request a quote. We’ll contact you to discuss your needs further and get the ball rolling with your data enhancement efforts.

Check out these great additional resources to learn about phone appends and other data enrichment practices.

Additional Resources

Your constituents want to hear from you, but reaching out is challenging when you have inaccurate contact information for them! A phone append will clean up your database and ensure you’re calling the right numbers to contact donors, volunteers, sponsors, and any other constituents.

Our team at NPOInfo is happy to help whenever you’re ready to discuss your data enrichment needs! Just reach out to request a quote, and we’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible. That way, you can start successfully calling your constituents again rather than dialing the wrong number time and time again!

In the meantime, explore these educational resources if you’re still curious about effective nonprofit data management:

Get a quote for NPOInfo's phone number appending services.

Learn all about email appends in this comprehensive guide for nonprofits.

Email Appends: The Complete Q&A Guide for Organizations

Email marketing provides an unparalleled ROI when compared to other channels. Digital marketing research estimates that for every dollar spent, you can expect an average return of $36. That’s a higher return than any other form of marketing. However, inaccurate or outdated data can negatively impact your outreach, making it challenging to get in contact with the correct recipients. That’s where email appends can come in handy.

Email addresses are only valuable to an organization if they offer a reliable communication channel. Email appending is one of the quickest and most accurate ways to verify existing information and expand your marketing lists to include missing contact information. Doing so will empower you to increase your ROI even more for your organization since you can more effectively connect with your constituents.

Even though data append services have been around for quite some time, many organizations still don’t leverage them to strengthen their marketing. To help clarify any of the confusion you have about email appends, we’ll answer these core questions:

Here at NPOInfo, we empower nonprofits to take control of their data with our data appending services. We conduct email appends for our clients and fully understand what it takes to produce accurate results. We’ll make sure you’re well-versed on everything you need to know about email appends, so you can supercharge your marketing efforts in no time!

Get a free quote for NPOInfo's email append services.

What is an email append? This section answers that question!

What is an email append?

Email appending is a near-real-time marketing strategy organizations use to verify that existing constituents’ email addresses are the most current ones. It’s also leveraged to fill gaps by acquiring missing emails based on constituents’ existing details, such as their first names, last names, phone numbers, and postal addresses. Its purpose is to provide you with the most up-to-date email addresses for your contacts and grow your email subscriber list.

Organizations that want to leverage this strategy typically outsource the work to a service provider, like our data append experts at NPOInfo. Professional data append providers have an expansive database of email addresses. You provide your list of constituent information, and your data append provider will match it against their comprehensive, updated database to make sure you have the most accurate and complete information possible.

An email append will help your organization in several ways.

Why should you use email appending?

Appending email addresses reduces your marketing costs, boosts ROI, and helps you reach your audience more effectively. It supplies you with the freshest email address for each contact, so you can be sure you’re connecting with as many donors, volunteers, sponsors, and other stakeholders as possible.

Some of the most crucial factors that make email appending services a resolution for better nonprofit marketing include:

  • Data becomes outdated. HubSpot’s marketing research estimates that email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% each year. People change their email addresses, unsubscribe from newsletters, make typos when submitting forms, and submit fake email addresses in addition to a host of other things that negatively impact your subscriber list. Email appending resolves that by finding the most valid emails for your donors, volunteers, and other constituents!
  • Improved lines of communication. Quality constituent data means that your email outreach will make it to customers’ inboxes, directly improving deliverability and engagement rates. By cleaning up your supporters’ data, you’ll see higher engagement and open rates for your emails.
  • Highly segmented campaigns at lower costs. Reduce your marketing team’s expenses by supplying them with the data they need to create targeted campaigns. Email appending allows you to fill in missing contact information based on the other information you already have. This makes it much easier to create multichannel campaigns that reach your different supporters across different channels.

These are the benefits that email appends offer.

While email address appending is incredibly beneficial, doing so yourself can eat into your already-limited time. You might have hundreds or even thousands of outdated email addresses in your CRM. Cleaning all that up by hand could take an unimaginable amount of time! Not to mention, it might not be as accurate as a professional email append services’ information.

Instead of wasting staff time by having someone update your database manually, turn to an email append services provider like our professional data appending team at NPOInfo to experience all of the benefits of clean data!

The email append process is incredibly straightforward.

How does an email append work?

One of the best parts of email append services is how straightforward the process is on your end when you turn to a professional provider. You provide relevant identifying information for each of your nonprofit’s constituent profiles, such as:

  • Name
  • Postal address
  • Region (state, city, and country)
  • Phone numbers
  • Last email address on file
  • College or university
  • Class year and major
  • Last gift amount and date
  • A unique ID number

Here are some of the identifying details you'll need for an email append.

Even if you’re missing some of the information listed above, it’s important to provide as much information as possible to increase identification efficiency and accuracy. Your email append services provider will then cross-check it against their premium database of emails. Here at NPOInfo, our team will involve automated scans and manual checks to ensure we’re only providing active, deliverable email addresses to you.

After validating the data, your provider will send the appended email addresses back to you, letting you know if they found an updated or missing email address and what that email address is. Our team will even provide you with an accuracy rating for each email address we appended. From here, all you have to do is update your CRM, and you’ll have a clean database!

Email appending helps different types of organizations in different ways.

How do email appends help different types of organizations?

Email appending can empower a wide range of organizations to pursue their different marketing goals more efficiently. While turning to a generic provider can be helpful, your best bet is to go with a data append service that targets your unique industry.

For example, our team at NPOInfo focuses on fundraising organizations. That way, you’ll receive the targeted information your team needs to push your development efforts forward.

Here are a few ways different fundraising organizations might improve their marketing using an email address append:

  • Associations. Member-based organizations like associations are often comprised of geographically-diverse members. Email is a much more efficient way to stay connected with supporters and ensure members don’t lapse.
  • Green nonprofits. What better way to communicate your mission than by exemplifying it yourself? Email outreach eliminates the need for paper and communicates to donors that you take your mission seriously. Make sure you have accurate email addresses to reduce direct mail outreach as much as possible.
  • Schools. After students graduate, it’s easy to lose touch with them. They stop checking their institutional email addresses, and their postal addresses change after they move to start the next chapter of their lives. An email append will help you stay in touch with them wherever they are.
  • Cultural organizations. Zoos, aquariums, museums, and other cultural organizations must maintain membership renewal rates by offering valuable perks such as events. Otherwise, people may let their membership expire. Accurate email addresses will ensure you can send membership renewal letters, promote perks, and share upcoming events with all past visitors.

Email appending can transform your digital marketing, strengthen your supporters’ commitment to the cause, and much more. Take a look at the exact benefits for your type of organization, and you’ll see why it’s such a widespread practice!

Email address appends are incredibly accurate with the right services provider.

How accurate is an email append?

The accuracy of your email append results entirely depends on the quality of your provider’s email address database and the data you provide them. Look for a reputable provider and share as much data with them as possible. This will make your results more accurate.

Our team at NPOInfo strives to provide accurate results, which is why we have a very thorough cross-check examination process. As we mentioned, we employ a series of automated scans and manual checks to ensure we’re providing you with the best information possible.

When returning your appended email addresses, we’ll provide an accuracy rating, demonstrating how confident we are that we correctly identified the right person and their email address based on the data you originally provided us. That way, you can confidently build your fundraising initiatives on data you trust!

These are some of the factors that play into calculate the price of email append services.

How much does an email address append cost?

Generally speaking, the price of email address appending services varies based on your number of constituent records and your provider’s rates.

Bear in mind that you’re also paying for the quality of data your provider shares, so while one service provider may offer an incredibly low rate, that doesn’t mean you’ll receive the best (or most accurate) information. Accurate and up-to-date contact information most often comes at a slightly higher append rate.

If you’re curious how much this practice would cost your team, request a quote from our experts! We’ll ask you to provide some information about your organization, the type of data you’d like to append, and how many records you’re interested in appending.

These best practices will help you make the most of email address appends.

What are some best practices for email appending?

While email appending seems like a very straightforward concept, a lot goes into doing it correctly. Between picking a reputable provider and getting your timing right, you’ll need a well-thought-out strategy before moving forward.

If you’re considering using email appending to strengthen your marketing, here’s how you can set yourself up for success:

  • Start with your active supporters who haven’t shared an email address. From here, start moving through your older records.
  • Append email addresses regularly. Whether you append monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually, regular updates ensure your nonprofit’s CRM is the most accurate and complete it can possibly be at all times.
  • Append during the off-season. If you’re launching a big fundraising initiative or project, append email addresses in advance. We recommend wrapping up your ramp-up at least one month before your organization’s peak season.
  • Only append existing and past supporter emails. You should only ever append email addresses for people who have previously connected with your organization. Whether they donated, signed up for your newsletter, or registered to volunteer, you want to make sure you’re leveraging email appending ethically.
  • Research to find the right data enhancement partner. Above all, make sure you use a reputable email append service. Get a sense of their match rate and data append process, and if possible, ask the provider to run a test batch to see how many emails they accurately append for you.
  • Follow opt-in rules and anti-spam laws. For example, if you send emails to anyone who’s previously opted out of communications, you may run into some legal trouble. Make sure to only append email addresses for those who have opted in. As a bonus tip, keeping clear records of when and how supporters opted into communications will help you steer clear of trouble.

When done properly, email appending can promote positive supporter relationships and amplify your cause. These best practices will put you on the right path toward more effective outreach in no time!

Here are the next steps you'll need to take to use email append services.

How can you get started with email append services?

Getting started with email append services is incredibly easy. First and foremost, you’ll need to research and find a provider you’re confident will deliver the results you need without overspending.

The experts here at NPOInfo are more than happy to help transform your marketing through email appending. Plus, we specialize in data appends specifically for fundraising organizations like schools, cultural organizations, and other nonprofits.

Here’s what to expect when working with our email appending team:

Here's how NPOInfo's email append services work.

  1. You’ll need to send us any data that you have. As we mentioned, this includes information like names, mailing addresses, current email addresses, educational institutions, fundraising data, and anything else.
  2. We’ll conduct a thorough email appending process. Our process involves automated scans and manual checks by our team. That way, you’ll only receive accurate and deliverable email addresses for your supporters.
  3. We’ll return the email addresses along with some supplemental information. We’ll primarily flag three things: (1) whether a new email address was found, (2) the email addresses themselves, and (3) an accuracy rating. Our accuracy rating system indicates how confident we are that we correctly identified the correct contact details.

From here, you’ll need to update your CRM, let your marketing team know, and start pushing forward with any new fundraising opportunities you see!

Note that we don’t supply reverse email appends at this time, but we’re happy to connect you with one of our reputable partners in the space! We also provide plenty of other data appends, including employer, phone number, date of birth, and postal address appends.

If you’re ready to transform your marketing and boost your ROI, get started with our email append services for fundraising organizations!

If you're looking to look more about email appends and data enrichment, check out these resources.

Wrapping Up

Email marketing has the power to produce incredible results for your cause but only if you’re sending messages to deliverable email addresses. So take the time to clean up your email marketing list with email appending, so you can reach your audiences using one of the most effective forms of communication.

If you’re looking to learn more about data appends before getting started, check out some of these great educational resources:

Reach out to NPOInfo to get started with our email append services.

Creating a Case Management Database: 3 Simple Steps

Learn how to create a case management database for your human services agency.

Data powers the decisions that human services agencies make and helps them provide clients with the best experience possible. Client data can also help caseworkers better manage their workloads and make appointments with clients more efficient, allowing them to get the care they need. More broadly, a comprehensive database allows agencies to visualize important patterns in case data, save time, and serve more clients.

Once your agency has the data it needs, whether from data appending services or through conversations with clients, ensure that it’s accessible, organized, and comprehensive. That way, your agency’s caseworkers can easily reference information about specific cases, add new records, and modify existing ones without needing to sort through data housed on spreadsheets or across multiple platforms.

The best way to organize client data is to invest in case management software. This software can help you streamline your data management process, recording all client data in one program rather than juggling several different spreadsheets or platforms. To get started, it’s important to understand what to look for in a case management solution.

Step 1: Invest in case management software.

Case management software gives your agency one centralized platform to track important client data in. This data can include contact information, billing details, history with your organization, appointment scheduling, specific case notes, and communication preferences.

Outdated data entry and storage methods can cause heavy administrative burdens, staff burnout, and inefficient reporting that could lead to loss of funding to critically important programs. To remedy or prevent this, agencies should choose software that limits the strain on their staff and makes their programs more efficient.

As you look for case management software for your agency, make sure the options you consider have these essential offerings:

  • Progress tracking. Choose software that has a dashboard reporting feature to quickly track and visualize your agency’s progress. This can help keep your staff on the same page about their individual responsibilities, your agency’s overall performance, and how close you are to meeting goals.
  • A modern approach. Case management software should help you modernize your approach to client data. Look for a program that consolidates client data into one streamlined platform and moves away from clunky, difficult-to-use spreadsheets.
  • Access from multiple devices. Depending on who you serve, your caseworkers may need to work from the field to adequately serve clients. The software you choose should allow staff to take notes from their mobile devices so they can update records from anywhere.

Aside from these core considerations, your agency might also need more specific capabilities that are tailored to the services you provide. Disability services, for instance, may require more stringent privacy protections than workforce development programs. By equipping your caseworkers with easy access to the tools and knowledge they need to serve, you can make their lives easier and provide better client experiences.

Step 2: Keep data clean.

To keep your data clean, your agency must commit to practicing good data hygiene. Data hygiene refers to the procedures and processes an organization should regularly complete, ensuring that client data remains relevant, up-to-date, and free of errors and duplications. For human services, maintaining clean data is key to keeping up with clients’ changing needs, giving them personalized and effective care, and producing accurate reports that reflect your program’s impact.

Keeping your data clean is dependent on your staff regularly completing small tasks that limit how many errors or “dirty” data points are in your database. Consider incorporating these practices into your data management protocols:

  • Removing or clarifying ambiguous data.
  • Frequently looking for and deleting duplicate records.
  • Correcting misplaced data, like adding a client’s contact information to the wrong file.
  • Identifying and filling in missing data.

Database software can help to limit input errors and even catch duplicate and missing data for you, reducing the amount of time your caseworkers spend tracking down these errors manually. Then, your staff can get back to serving clients and extending your agency’s impact.

Step 3: Standardize the process.

By using case management software, your agency can prevent many of the data input errors associated with outdated methods like spreadsheets.

But because it’s unlikely that just one person will be entering client data into your database, human error can still result in inaccuracies that interfere with reporting down the line. An important part of data management is to train your staff to input data in a standardized format that reduces the likelihood of these errors happening.

These practices can help you standardize the data entry process and ensure that all of your information remains accurate and clean:

  • Standard formatting. Maintaining the same formatting across all case files is key for data points like names, contact information, dates, and times. By entering an address with the wrong formatting, follow-up documents and other important records may not get delivered to your client. To prevent inconsistencies, you may decide that each address should be formatted using abbreviations like “St.” rather than spelling out “street.”
  • Outline a self-editing process. Create and share guidelines for your staff to ensure that they check for any typos or other errors they might make during data entry. Consider making a helpful checklist they can reference to make sure they review each field before adding the data to the database.
  • Reference existing data before adding new records. Write detailed instructions to help staff search for potential duplicate records before creating a brand new one. In some cases, your clients may go long periods of time without visiting, and it’s important to keep all relevant records and history with your agency in one profile rather than unintentionally creating multiple.

Training staff in data entry best practices can help prevent mistakes that could cause misunderstandings both with other staff members and your clients. Maintaining clear communication with clients prevents lapses in care and leads to positive outcomes.

Not only does a well-organized database help make life easier for caseworkers and give clients better experiences, but it also helps caseworkers build deeper relationships with clients. With a robust case management database, they can reference demographic data, jot down important personal details, and follow up through their preferred contact method much more easily. A structured, accurate database allows your agency to connect and serve clients more efficiently, helping you expand your impact to others in your community.

Understand Your Data | Charitable Giving Statistics for 2022

Understand Your Data | Charitable Giving Statistics for 2024

Throughout the year, your organization collects data related to your donors, marketing campaigns, volunteers, and more. This information can help you decide how your organization should operate in the future. However, only examining your nonprofit’s own data is like attempting to solve a puzzle by only looking at the edges of a single piece. 

Instead, you have to benchmark and compare your performance to get the bigger picture of where your strategies are working and where they could go further.

Charitable giving statistics help organizations, from nonprofits and higher education institutions to health care organizations and associations, gain a better understanding of larger industry trends. These statistics can help organizations put their own data into a greater context, providing a benchmark for their overall performance and giving insights into how they may want to proceed moving forward. 

This report will explore a range of recent charitable giving statistics for four types of mission-driven organizations:

  1. Nonprofits
  2. Associations
  3. Higher Education
  4. Healthcare

Each section will provide a key takeaway to offer additional context for each set of statistics. Use this information to determine what the data means and how it relates to your organization. Let’s get started. 

Interested in expanding your nonprofit's data? Learn how NPOInfo's data append services can help. Learn more.

Explore these ten charitable giving statistics for nonprofits.

Nonprofit Charitable Giving Statistics 

In 2024, many nonprofits are still recovering from the setbacks of COVID-19 in 2020. Charitable giving statistics can give us a glimpse into how well nonprofits have responded to these challenges as well as how they intend to move forward. 

Learn more about nonprofit charitable giving statistics.

  1. December is still an important month for giving, but not as much as in previous years. Reports indicate that nonprofits receive 17-22% of their total annual fundraising in December, and giving levels depend heavily on organization type. Arts, animal rights groups, and higher education institutions have a steady flow of donations throughout December, while health, human service, and international organizations receive most of their donations on Giving Tuesday and December 31st
  2. 61% of donors claim that they choose which nonprofits to give to based on how well the organization uses their money. 
  3. Donors care about stories. 42% claimed that personal stories from a nonprofit’s beneficiaries influenced their decision to give. 
  4. Nonprofits should educate donors about different ways to give. For example, studies conducted on planned giving found that over 40% of the donors surveyed learned about planned giving from a nonprofit organization. Studies also emphasize the importance of having conversations about planned giving early, when donors are in their 50s and 60s, rather than waiting until later in life to build long-term relationships prior to the bequeathment. 
  5. The golden rule of donating continues to hold strong: only 20% of donors give after their first gift, but donors are 60% more likely to become recurring donors after their second gift. 
  6. Despite the challenges of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the total giving rate is predicted to continue rising in 2022, increasing by 5.7%.
  7. For affluent donors, a nonprofit’s mission and their history with an organization almost equally influence their decisions to donate. According to recent surveys, 44% of affluent donors stated the issues a nonprofit addressed were the most important factor in their decision, while 44.5% claimed it was due to the organization. 
  8. Donors often don’t give simply because they’re not asked. A survey of wealthy donors found that about 20% of participants did not give due to not being asked, while 22% didn’t give due to not having a connection with a charitable organization. 
  9. Donors who give to one organization are likely to give to several others, as studies have found that 43.3% of wealthy donors give to five or more nonprofits. 
  10. Ultimately, different nonprofits have had different experiences with the pandemic. While 45% of nonprofit leaders reported decreases in fundraising revenue, 31% reported increases in donations.  

Takeaway

While COVID-19 has impacted charitable giving for nonprofits, many well known beliefs about nonprofit fundraising, such as the golden rule and the importance of year-end fundraising, continue to remain true. Overall, statistics show that nonprofits can benefit most from creating connections with supporters to encourage increased and more frequent donations. 

Explore these 10 association charitable giving statistics.

Association Charitable Giving Statistics

Economic instability can result in multiple changes for associations. During these times, some individuals will flock to associations to improve their skills and connections in hopes of re-entering the job market with better prospects. By contrast, others will lack the funds to continue renewing their annual memberships, resulting in a decrease in overall association revenue. 

Learn more about associations with these charitable giving statistics.

  1. Due to COVID-19, 50% of associations have reported having trouble reaching their fundraising targets.
  2. Membership fees are an important source of revenue for associations, making up approximately 46% of their total revenue. Plus, another 29% of revenue comes from fundraising events. 
  3. Only 1 in 3 associations feel their association software helps them achieve their fundraising goals. 
  4. However, despite this focus on decreased revenue, less than 50% percent of associations track their eCommerce transactions. 
  5. Associations are seeing new highs in membership decreases with 47% of survey organizations reporting a decrease in members. Overall, smaller associations with limited budgets tend to experience decreases in membership more often than their larger counterparts. 
  6. Despite these challenges, the average renewal rate for new members has remained relatively stable at 72%.
  7. While some may assume that young professionals looking to improve their skills would make up the bulk of association members, reports show that Baby Boomers actually participate the most in associations, making up 34% of association members. By contrast, Millennials make up 21% and Generation Z makes up just 8%. 
  8. In terms of attracting support, word-of-mouth continues to be the most successful method with 57% of associations reporting it as one of their top three methods for attracting new members. This is followed by email (50%) and sponsored events (40%). 
  9. Half of associations believe their members stop renewing their membership due to lack of engagement with their association. And 38% of associations believe that they have trouble communicating their beliefs and values to members. 
  10. With these challenges, 62% of associations have considered adopting or have already adopted new membership models. Among new types of models, tiered is the most popular with 43% of associations changing their structure adopting it. 

Takeaway

Associations are aware of the challenges their industry faces and are actively considering how to improve their marketing, organization structure, and offerings. However, the negative trends in these statistics seem to primarily impact smaller associations, while larger organizations have the resources to continually reach new audiences despite current challenges. 

Explore these 10 higher education charitable giving statistics

Higher Education Charitable Giving Statistics 

Higher education as a whole has had to overcome the challenge of transitioning to remote and hybrid education. For many institutions, this change has resulted in reduced funding from previously reliable revenue sources, such as accommodation fees for student room and board. 

Subsequently, many institutions have become increasingly invested in relevant charitable giving statistics as they strive to stay connected with donors to continue supporting their programs while managing the long-term impacts of COVID-19. 

Check out these top charitable giving statistics for higher education institutions.

  1. Adjusted for inflation, education organizations saw an increase in total giving of 7.7% to reach an estimated total of $71.34 billion. 
  2. Approximately 3 out of 4 affluent donors gave unrestricted gifts to higher education institutions in response to COVID-19. 
  3. Online giving has become more important for higher education organizations, as reports show a 10.4% year-over-year increase in online giving. 
  4. Higher education institutions continue to rely on a diverse set of fundraising revenue streams, with approximately 9.85% coming from individual donors, 7.74% from government grants, and 3.41% from fundraising events.
  5. Higher education organizations receive the highest average individual donation of any nonprofit sector at $1,671. 
  6. Alumni are a major giving audience for higher education institutions, contributing approximately 26% of all higher education gifts. 
  7. More than 1 in 5 donors claim that supporting education-related causes is important to them.
  8. 33.4% of women claim education is one of the causes that matters most to them, compared to 25.4% of men. 
  9. Higher education has faced obstacles with online learning, and nearly 75% of university students report being unsatisfied with remote learning, which university leaders fear could lead to a generation of unengaged alumni and lower donations. 
  10. Funding sources typically categorized as “others,” specifically donor-advised funds, have significantly increased their contributions to higher education institutions as compared to other types of donors, contributing approximately 11% of total gifts. 

Takeaway

The statistics show an overall leveling off of funds with support primarily coming from alumni and family foundations with connections to specific universities. Professionals in higher education advise other leaders to be vigilant of long-term statistical trends, particularly warning universities that lack major endowments and high-level brand recognition about the potential loss of future major donors due to a lack of engagement caused by remote learning. 

Explore these 10 healthcare charitable giving statistics.

Healthcare Charitable Giving Statistics

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a resurgence of interest in supporting health-related organizations. But has this interest translated to donations? The answer has also only become more complicated as the pandemic has stretched over multiple years, as these giving statistics show. 

Explore these healthcare charitable giving statistics

  1. Most individuals prefer to give to local healthcare and basic needs organizations, as 90% of wealthy donors gave to community organizations in response to the pandemic, while only 35.4% gave to national organizations. 
  2. Contrary to assumptions, healthcare organizations as a whole actually saw a 3% decline in giving due to the pandemic. However, 42% of health service organizations saw an increase in donations. This is likely due to reduced participation in fundraising efforts for disease-specific organizations with objectives other than fighting COVID-19.
  3. In response to the pandemic, 49% of wealthy donors who gave to healthcare organizations did so to help hospitals and healthcare organizations obtain needed supplies.
  4. Wealthy donors also primarily gave unrestricted donations (74.8%).
  5. Health-related causes are the third most popular cause affluent donors give to with nearly a third of donors contributing to these organizations. This puts health-related causes behind only basic needs causes (57.1%) and religious organizations (46.9%). 
  6. Donations from individuals are an important revenue stream for health-related organizations, making up 22% of their total funding. 
  7. Healthcare-related organizations received the largest percentage of corporate gifts of any industry type at 35.3%. 
  8. Healthcare organizations have seen a reduction in donors but an increase in gift sizes for years now, with 75% seeing fewer total donations but 46% earning more in dollars raised. 
  9. Healthcare organizations tend to have lower than average donor retention rates when compared to other nonprofit sectors. However, the retention rate has been increasing in recent years. While there is only a 25% retention rate for first-time donors, this rises to a 66% retention rate for online multi-year donors. 
  10. In-kind donations are also on the rise for health-related organizations, increasing by 61% with an estimated $170 million in value. 

Takeaway 

While there is a global interest in helping healthcare organizations, these charitable giving statistics show that individuals are primarily interested in supporting local organizations they have a relationship with first. This means health-related causes can most benefit from continuing to steward their donors to improve retention rates and gift sizes. 

Resources

Wrapping Up 

Charitable giving statistics help paint a wider picture of the overall giving landscape. Leaders at a variety of organizations can use them to put their own data into context, helping them make informed decisions about their future fundraising plans. Of course, this data is only useful if you understand how it relates to your organization’s specific situation. 

Collecting, storing, and maintaining data are all continuous tasks that can take up a considerable amount of a nonprofit’s time. You can ensure your organization is maximizing its efficiency and putting its data to the best use possible with the right strategies. Here are a few resources to help your organization learn more about managing your data:

Improve your fundraising strategy by enhancing your data today.

This guide offers three tips to help your nonprofit get started with fundraising data analytics.

3 Steps to Get Started With Fundraising Data Analytics

For the past six years, charitable donations have continued to grow. Within the past year alone, giving increased by 4.1%. However, many nonprofits still lose out on potential revenue despite this growth. How can your organization maximize revenue?

Using fundraising data analytics is a great place to start.

Fundraising analytics provide a way for nonprofits to measure the effectiveness of campaigns. Your nonprofit can develop a list of strengths and weaknesses backed up by concrete data. This makes it easier to adjust fundraising strategies based on past performances.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to getting started with fundraising analytics. After learning about the different types of fundraising analytics, you’ll read about selecting metrics and collecting the right data. Lastly, we’ll discuss how to analyze data.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

Want to know how to use data to improve your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy? Keep reading to learn more.

Contact NPOInfo to get started with fundraising data analytics.


These are the basics for the three types of fundraising data analytics.

What are fundraising data analytics?

Fundraising data analytics is the process of collecting useful fundraising data and analyzing patterns within that data. This gives your nonprofit a basis to build on current fundraising strategies by using metrics that quantify performance.

There are three distinct kinds of fundraising data analytics— descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive. Each of these plays an important role in the overall fundraising data analytics process.

Next, we’ll delve into what makes these types of fundraising analytics unique.

These are the three kinds of fundraising data analytics — descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive.

Descriptive Fundraising Analytics

Descriptive fundraising analytics provides information that describes your donors’ behavior. These metrics create classifications for donors based on their past interactions with your organization.

This information provides key insights into donors’ giving habits and behaviors. Common information found in this category includes metrics like donation amount, donation method, and demographic information.

Predictive Fundraising Analytics

Predictive fundraising analytics build off of the foundational data provided by descriptive fundraising analytics, identifying patterns and trends. These patterns in donor behavior are used to predict donors’ future behaviors.

There are a few things to look for when performing a predictive analysis. The point of predictive fundraising analytics is to reveal patterns in your data, so you should keep an eye out for pattern indicators. We’ll talk about this more later, but common pattern indicators include donation growth and fundraising return on investment.

Prescriptive Fundraising Analytics

Prescriptive fundraising analytics combines the information gathered from descriptive and predictive analytics. Here, donor classifications and predictions about their future behavior inform a nonprofit’s future fundraising strategy.

Prescriptive fundraising analytics provides concrete measurements about past and future fundraising campaigns. The insights gathered inform a nonprofit of its unique needs and how to address them. Nonprofits also walk away with a better understanding of key donor information like giving capacity, which can help maximize fundraising efforts.

A great example of prescriptive fundraising analytics is prospect research. This research focuses on finding prospective major donors based on their giving capacity and affinity.

Giving capacity refers to a prospect’s financial ability to make a major gift— something that can be ascertained using descriptive fundraising analytics. Giving affinity refers to the likelihood that a prospect will want to make a major gift, often ascertained by examining their past giving behaviors— a predictive analytics practice. The combination of the two, prospect research, is the ideal example of prescriptive fundraising analytics.


These are the three steps to using fundraising data analytics.
Getting Started with Fundraising Data Analytics in 3 Steps

The most important steps for getting started with fundraising analytics are choosing your metrics, gathering the right data, and analyzing that data. We outline how to accomplish each step and some best practices to keep in mind.


Learn how to select metrics when analyzing fundraising data.

1. Selecting Fundraising Metrics

Metrics are the foundation for all the insights you gather, so understanding them is key. We’ll cover what fundraising metrics are, list some common examples, and explain how to choose the right ones.

What are fundraising metrics?

Fundraising metrics, sometimes called key performance indicators (KPIs), are data points that are used to measure the strength of fundraising performance. If your nonprofit uses the Google Ad Grant program, you may be familiar with performance indicating metrics such as click-through rate and conversion rate.

Metrics can highlight growth from one campaign to the next. On the other hand, they can also point out weaknesses or stagnation.

8 Common Fundraising Metrics

There are many different metrics to consider, and choosing them depends on your organization’s goals. This list is far from exhaustive, but it gives you a starting point with fundraising metrics.

Here are eight common fundraising metrics:

  • Donation volume: This metric references the number of donations your nonprofit received within a designated time frame.
  • Average gift size: Average gift size reflects how much a gift is on average. You can measure the average gift size from individual donors or the overall average within a given time period. Both of these variations will provide useful insights.
  • Gift recency: This metric refers to how recently an individual donor made a donation.
  • Gift frequency: Similar to gift recency, gift frequency indicates how often a donor donates.
  • Demographics: Demographics are characteristics or traits of your donors. These can include age, gender, and location.
  • Wealth markers: These factors are similar to demographics. However, they are indicators of a donor’s financial ability to make a gift. This includes things like real estate ownership, job title, and stock ownership.
  • Affinity Markers: These reference how willing the donor is to make donations. This includes factors such as past donations, volunteer history, and more.
  • Return on investment (ROI): ROI represents the total revenue your organization gains from promotional activity over the total cost. A promotion could be something like a fundraising campaign or event. ROI is a great metric for determining efficiency.

Metrics like these can help you evaluate your fundraising strategy from an objective perspective. By using these concrete performance measures, your campaigns should improve as you identify strengths and weaknesses.

Common Website Analytics

Your website can give you insight into fundraising performance. With tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics, you can monitor all sorts of data.

However, some metrics are more useful than others. Here are a few website analytics we recommend keeping an eye on:

  • Traffic Sources: How do people find your website? For instance, organic traffic refers to people who land on your site through Google or Bing, while referral traffic refers to visitors who land on your site from another website. Then, you have social traffic, which allows you to see which social media platforms drive users to your site. This can provide insight into how to best connect with prospects.
  • Ad CTR: If you’re using a platform like Google Ads to promote your website, keep an eye on your click-through rate. This is the number of people who click your ads divided by the number of impressions (i.e. people who see your ad).
  • Conversions: Your conversion rate describes how successfully your site turns visitors into supporters. A conversion might refer to a donation, volunteer registration, petition signature, or newsletter sign-up. Poor conversion rates might indicate poor CTA wording or placement.
  • Session duration. How long are people staying on your site before leaving? If they immediately leave, your website might not provide sufficient information to meet visitors’ needs. If certain landing pages have a high bounce rate, re-evaluate whether you meet the searcher’s intent for its ranking keywords and then revamp the content.

Especially if you’re promoting your website with Google Ads, partner with a Google Ads agency to monitor these metrics. You can integrate your Ad Grants account with Google Analytics to monitor your ad campaign metrics alongside other site data. Not to mention, having an expert on your side will help you interpret that data and make positive changes to your website and its ads.

How to Choose the Right Metrics

Knowing which metrics to track is half the battle when it comes to fundraising analytics. The most important thing to remember are your goals as a nonprofit.

With this in mind, here are a few helpful tips for choosing the right metrics:

  • Set goals that are tied to metrics. When you are creating goals for a fundraising strategy, select goals that are connected to specific metrics. For example, make it a goal to increase donations and use a metric like average gift size to measure your success.
  • Use metrics that will benefit future fundraising efforts. While you should have goals specific to each campaign, it is also a good idea to identify overarching goals for your nonprofit. Note consistent weaknesses for your organization and choose metrics that measure those areas. That way, you can track strong and weak performances across different campaigns.

With so many metrics to choose from, narrowing them down can be overwhelming. These tips will prepare you for data analysis and ensure your insights are useful.

This explains how to collect donor data.

2. Collecting the Right Data

After you choose metrics for your fundraising strategy, you’ll need to collect the data to analyze.

How do you collect data?

Fundraising data analytics relies on gathering fundraising metrics. This data can include information about your donors and information about your campaigns themselves.

Data collection happens at every touchpoint your nonprofit has with a donor. For example, when a donor makes a donation, your nonprofit gains access to several data points. Things like gift size, frequency, recency, and donation method can all be derived from one touchpoint.

The data your nonprofit collects is both automatically collected by software and added manually by staff members. Online interactions are easy to add automatically, but some donor touchpoints require manual input. Logging interactions and contact information at an event, for example, will need to be added by hand.

Supplementing Your Data

While there are many metrics your nonprofit can capture on its own, there are often gaps in what you can collect. Data append services like NPOInfo are a great investment for filling in those gaps. NPOInfo is tailored to helping nonprofits and offers a wide variety of quality services.

For example, NPOInfo offers the following services:

  • Employer appends: With an employer append, NPOInfo provides your nonprofit with information about your donors’ employers. The key data points like employer name, job title, and matching gift information clue your nonprofit in to more fundraising opportunities. This data can be difficult to append on your own, and the insights gained can directly increase fundraising revenue.
  • Email appends: Emails are one of the most important donor touchpoints to maintain. However, if you are missing donor emails, it can be hard to know where to start. NPOInfo offers highly accurate email appends to foster meaningful communication to donors.
  • Date of birth appends: Demographic information like age can help your nonprofit understand your donor base. But, gathering birth dates on your own can be difficult and time consuming. Consider NPOInfo as a simple, hassle-free option.

NPOInfo helps nonprofits append the data they need to create the best possible fundraising strategy. Contact us here to learn more about our data append services!

Data Collection Best Practices

Use this checklist to optimize data collection.
Here are some best practices when collecting data:

  • Only collect data relevant to the fundraising metrics you identified in the previous section. Collecting useless data limits the efficiency of your data. For example, if your goal is to increase gift frequency, collecting data related to your ROI will not be helpful. Carefully select data points so you only have to work with the data you need.
  • Optimize your constituent relationship management (CRM) platform. This is where your fundraising data will live, and it should include a full picture of all of your organizational data. If your CRM is disorganized or unable to integrate with your other software solutions, it’s worthwhile to look into upgrading your solution.
  • Link CRM software and fundraising software. Connecting the two can reduce manually inputting information. New information is exchanged automatically between the softwares when they are connected, reducing the amount of work you have to do.
  • Configure data before it enters your database. Before loading any data, set up any tags you would like to track. This could include things like donor name, gift data, and donation source. Setting up tags helps you stay organized, especially when dealing with a lot of data.

These strategies should help you collect accurate, useful data. Keep them in mind as you collect these pieces of information so that your database remains organized.

This explains how to analyze data.

3. Analyzing Data

Now that you’ve selected the metrics you want to analyze and collected the corresponding fundraising data, you can get started analyzing the data.

Identify trends in your data.

Use predictive fundraising analytics to identify trends in your fundraising metrics. Your nonprofit can use these trends to create possible predictions for future campaign behavior.

For example, you might look for trends such as:

  • Growth in donation size: If the amount of individual donations is increasing across your campaigns, consider what caused the change. Pinpoint the reason for the change, like a new donation appeal strategy, and note the impact it had. This will allow your nonprofit to replicate the positive results in the future and see more increases in donation size.
  • Participation: Participation from supporters, which you can measure through things like event attendance, marks how invested donors are in your nonprofit. Note the impact any changes have on participation and plan to replicate any successes. If marketing events on Instagram doubles attendance, market all future events this way.
  • Fundraising ROI: Return on investment is an important measure of efficiency. This will tell you how much you spent on a fundraising campaign versus how much you made. As you experiment with different fundraising strategies, observe how ROI changes. Retire strategies that impact ROI negatively and continue using those that increase it.
  • Online donations: More specifically, this metric tracks what percentage of your total donations come from online sources. Marketing to a younger audience, for example, could bring in more online donations. Note this success and continue to market to them while planning for how to increase these donations even more.

By identifying trends in your nonprofit’s overall fundraising, you can predict outcomes for future campaigns. Your future campaigns will reflect your hard work through increased revenue, participating, and ROI.

Form a strategy.

The final step in analyzing your data is forming a strategy. Your strategy should be based on the information gleaned from organizing donors and identifying donor relationships and focus on growing your nonprofit by building connections, establishing a clear goal, streamlining internal operations, and generally improving your fundraisers’ performance. Creating an effective strategy that will yield strong fundraising performance results is the ultimate goal in fundraising data analytics.

This part of the strategy is based on prescriptive fundraising analytics. Your strategy should be based on prospect research which we discuss further here. As a refresher, here are some pieces of information you can find in this step:

  • Finding matching gift opportunities.
  • Finding major gift donors.
  • Identifying planned gift donors.

Strategy is the culmination of everything we’ve covered. A strategy based on concrete insights and carefully analyzed data could be the push that your fundraising campaigns need.

Fundraising data analytics can give your nonprofit a boost when it comes to how effective your fundraising strategy is. You can maximize fundraising revenue by gaining a deeper understanding of your nonprofit’s strengths and weaknesses through fundraising metrics. These steps are not always simple to navigate, but we’re confident that you can give your organization’s strategy a refresh using fundraising data analytics.

Gathering data can be the trickiest part of fundraising data analytics, and doing it on your own is a huge undertaking. Luckily, services like NPOInfo are great for lifting the burden of appending data off nonprofits’ shoulders. Contact NPOInfo today for a quote!

In the meantime, check out the following additional resources:

To learn more about data-driven fundraising, contact our professionals at NPOInfo.

Follow this guide to learn how alumni management software can drive success.

Alumni Management: Overview & Our Top 10 Software Picks

Finding effective ways to reach alumni is an important task for educational institutions. Alumni management allows colleges and universities to reach alumni and encourage donations to the institution.

It’s likely that your organization already tracks data on its alumni. But with the right software, you can collect and organize that information more effectively. Alumni management software helps administrators maintain alumni contact information, plan fundraising initiatives, process and track donations, and organize alumni events.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the basics of alumni management and alumni management software through the following points:

We’ll also discuss the benefits of working with a data append service like NPOInfo. Our team of experts can fill in the gaps of your alumni data to ensure that your fundraising initiatives are built on data you can trust. Let’s get started!

Want to put your alumni data to good use? Contact us for a quote!

Let's explore an overview of alumni management, including what it is and why it is important.

Overview of Alumni Management

What is alumni management?

Alumni management is the process that universities and colleges use to connect and engage with alumni. Alumni management is the process that universities and colleges use to connect and engage with alumni. Building meaningful relationships with alumni can drive success for your higher education program. Although most alumni move away from campus to pursue careers, they’re still accessible and eager to engage with their previous educational institutions.

 

When managed properly, alumni can become:

  • Brand ambassadors for your school.
  • Recruiters for upcoming graduates.
  • A significant source of revenue through donations and memberships.
  • A source of expertise and mentorship for current students.

Schools used to rely solely on snail mail to reach past students, making it difficult to maintain engagement. However, keeping alumni involved is quick and easy in the digital age. With the right software, you can manage alumni in a single secure platform. You can:

  1. Keep an updated database. Collect data on your alumni to determine demographics, communication preferences, engagement level, event attendance, and more.
  2. Plan reunion events. Alumni respond positively to events that reflect school spirit. Leverage nostalgia to attract more attendees.
  3. Share campus news. Share university updates, alumni spotlights, and upcoming events through a blog or newsletter. This will keep alumni invested in your school’s progress.
  4. Provide networking opportunities. Include ways to find information about classmates or other alum to build a professional network.
  5. Start a mentorship program. An alumni mentor can provide career guidance and professional contacts to students. Keep in mind that younger alumni are more likely to mentor students due to a smaller age difference.

By continually creating value for alumni, you encourage them to donate and participate in school-wide events. We’ll dive into the more benefits of alumni management in the next section.

Why is alumni management important?

Higher education programs have a critical task: making an impression on alumni. Alumni management ensures that you never lose access to alumni and can continue to engage with them long after graduation. With strong alumni management, your organization can:

  • Share alumni data. Publish up-to-date statistics on alumni, including the companies they work for and the positions they hold.  This is a powerful way to improve credibility and recruit potential students.
  • Build lifelong relationships. Loyalty is vital in this quickly changing, digitally connected world. With consistent targeted engagement tactics, you can convert one-time supporters into lifelong relationships.
  • Drive event attendance. Alumni events are wonderful professional and personal development opportunities for former students. They can also offer real benefits to the organizing institution. From receptions and galas, to reunions and career networking events, there are a multitude of ways to bring alumni together and boost engagement.
  • Increase funds. When alumni are encouraged to donate, that money goes towards supporting the next generation of students. Use crowdfunding and matching gift programs to kickstart alumni donations.

The main reason that universities prioritize alumni management is because they want to increase alumni giving. According to the top 10 US News, alumni giving rates for colleges range from about 44% to 55%. Since graduates are likely to give back, schools want to find:

  • Alumni who make a significant amount of money and therefore can make large gifts.
  • Alumni who work for companies that offer matching gift programs, so they can receive two donations for the effort of one.

If your college or university is looking to boost its revenue, consider using an alumni management system.


We'll define an alumni management system and explore how your school will benefit.

What is an alumni management system?

An alumni management system is a software solution that allows you to manage all alumni data and activities in a single space.An alumni management system is a software solution that allows you to manage all alumni data and activities in a single space. Most software offer a wide range of features created specifically for schools, universities, alumni associations, and foundations.

Universities benefit from having all their information under one umbrella. Storing data across many systems can lead to information falling through the cracks. Management software, on the other hand, streamlines the process of gathering, storing, and updating data on alumni. It provides a comprehensive view of all alumni engagement efforts and gives new and improved insights into how to increase giving.

Alumni management software eliminates most of the administrative work involved in collecting and organizing data. Rather than spending hours importing alumni data into a spreadsheet, look for a software that allows you to automatically collect and customize information. We’ll take a look at the types of alumni data that you should collect in the next section.

What alumni data should you collect?

Schools should assess what data they want to collect and filter out unnecessary information that will clutter up their database. For example, the on-campus activities that a past student took while enrolled may not provide as much value as an alum’s current job. In general, alumni systems collect:

These are the top 5 pieces of data to collect on alumni.

  • Education: Areas of study will reveal the causes that your donors are most likely to support.
  • Past Giving: Assess how recent a donor’s last gift was, how frequently they give, and how much they typically contribute. This information can help you predict the timing and amount of future donations you will receive.
  • Contact Information: To create an alumni community, you must be able to reach former students. Use address, phone number, and email address appends to maintain updated contact information on your alumni.
  • Communication Preferences: Understanding communication preferences allows you to effectively reach target audiences. Direct mail is the best way to reach donors of all ages, while younger supporters are more likely to respond to virtual outreach efforts.
  • Current Employer and Industry: An individual’s business affiliations can give you an idea of their net worth and potential connections. Plus, if they work for a company with a matching gift program, you can reach out to begin the gift match process.

Although alumni management systems can collect a wide variety of data, sometimes that information isn’t enough. Data appends can fill in the gaps in your database by providing additional information on alumni. NPOInfo’s data appends for alumni have a high degree of accuracy and can reveal what your donor base is doing after graduation.

NPOInfo is one of many systems paving the way in alumni management. We’ll explore more examples in the next section.

The following software and service providers can help you manage alumni data and maintain alumni relations.

Best Alumni Management Software

It’s important to take careful time and consideration when choosing a management platform that fits the needs of your institution. As you search for the right software for your school, consider our list of top alumni management platforms.

The following software and service providers can help you manage alumni data and maintain alumni relations. To qualify for inclusion in the list, a system must:

  • Maintain alumni data. 
  • Facilitate fundraising efforts and donation processing.  
  • Provide a means for communication with alumni. 

Let’s get started with our favorite alumni management software!

NPOInfo

NPOInfo can collect the most accurate information about the lives of your students after graduation. NPOInfo understands that the core of your donor base is alumni. Our team of professionals strives to collect the most accurate information about the lives of your students after graduation. Data appends for alumni often have the highest accuracy of all constituent groups. That’s because there are a few key data points that your organization is almost certainly able to provide upfront. And the more data points, the better matches we can guarantee!

NPOInfo offers email, phone number, address, and employer appends. Simply send us some preliminary information about your alumni, and we’ll provide the name of your alum’s employer and whether their company offers a matching gift program. Let NPOInfo empower your organization to claim the matching gift revenue your donors are missing out on!

Want to put your alumni data to good use? Contact us for a quote!

Double the Donation

Double the Donation helps organizations generate the funding needed to focus on their core missions of education. Double the Donation helps organizations generate the funding needed to focus on their core missions of education, community enrichment, scientific research, or charitable giving. Double the Donation provides the ability to add a search to your donation form to determine if a donor’s employer provides matching gifts.

This solution then provides the donor with actionable matching gift next steps immediately after the donation process. The details of the search, including any applicable gift information, is sent to Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro Platform which allows you to track match-eligible gifts and automate outreach.

Member365

Member365 is an all-in-one membership management system. Member365 is an all-in-one membership management system. On the Member365 app, you can oversee memberships, events, email marketing, payments, and more. You can also get access to all of your membership statistics through one centralized dashboard.

Easily manage all of your contacts in one database so that you have instant access to all of your relationships, including members, prospects, volunteers, and sponsors. Member365 saves you time and money, so your organization can focus on what matters most: membership engagement.

Graduway

Graduway is a 4-in-1 virtual community to recruit and mentor students, engage alumni and volunteers, and cultivate donors.Graduway is a 4-in-1 virtual community to recruit and mentor students, engage alumni and volunteers, and cultivate donors. As the world’s leading education management and engagement software provider, Graduway serves over 2,000 clients in 80 countries. Their mission is to cultivate a network of supporters for your organization.

The foundation of this network is built on engaging students, parents, alumni, volunteers and donors before asking for anything in return. It features a customized platform to engage with alumni through an online directory, event management, and data analytics. Graduway also offers automatically curated newsletters and a business directory where alumni can connect with one another.

Vaave

Vaave is a hosted platform to create an alumni portal and an exclusive alumni network for your school or college or company. .Vaave is a hosted platform to create an alumni portal and an exclusive alumni network for your school or college or company. Their system offers all the solutions that alumni managers need: data security, member database, email marketing, event management, donation processing, targeted communications, and alumni networking resources.

Vaave is a one-stop solution to launch your own interactive alumni portal to manage your alumni relations seamlessly while keeping your alumni engaged. Request a free demo and go live in as fast as 7 days.

Wild Apricot

WildApricot is the #1 rated management software used by over 300 alumni organizations across North America. WildApricot is the #1 rated management software used by over 300 alumni organizations across North America. Manage your organization in one place. WildApricot’s platform allows you to manage contacts, process donations, send emails, register event attendees, create a website, and more.

Their powerful cloud software makes it easy for you to stay engaged and connected with alumni. Cut out complicated paperwork by creating a  web-based, mobile-friendly  form  where alumni can provide their information and donate online. You can try a free, 30-day trial of WildApricot and set up  a professional-looking website with online event registration in a matter of minutes.

Hivebrite

Hivebrite creates an exclusive space for your alumni to find, connect, and network with each other. Their mission is to unleash your alumni community. Hivebrite creates an exclusive space for your alumni to find, connect, and network with each other. Their mission is to unleash your alumni community. Boost your alumni data, foster a sense of belonging, and facilitate fundraising with Hivebrite.

This is a great platform for providing value to your alumni data. Get real-time analytics about your alumni to increase engagement and satisfaction with your alumni. When your alumni are satisfied, your sources of funding through membership renewals, fundraising campaigns, and donations will increase.

Firsthand

With Firsthand, you can turn your alumni network into a community.With Firsthand, you can turn your alumni network into a community. Trusted by leading institutions like Harvard and Cambridge, this career-engagement platform provides mentoring, enrollment, and career engagement programs in a single space. Firsthand strives to engage with more alumni and inspire them to give back.

Alumni on Firsthand are 40% more likely to volunteer or donate. This cloud-based alumni networking platform uses mentoring programs and virtual events to reach potential donors. Administrators can create online campus communities to enlist students as ambassadors or alumni as mentors and host group discussions, open houses, and one-on-one meetings on a centralized dashboard.

Almabase

Almabase is one of the highest rated alumni management software options.Almabase is one of the highest rated alumni management software options. Their team believes that alumni should be at the center of a school’s fundraising and marketing efforts. Almabase is an alumni-centric platform that strives to build lifelong relationships.

With Almabase, institutions can acquire new donors, drive event attendance, increase digital engagement and inspire new volunteers. They provide schools with the right technology and strategy to drive success.

Raklet

Raklet is a powerful nonprofit management software that serves as an all-in-one solution for higher education fundraising. Raklet is a powerful nonprofit management software that serves as an all-in-one solution for higher education fundraising. This digital platform can power your organization through its robust CRM, fundraising campaigns, email automation, and event management. With its simple and effective technology, your nonprofit can easily drive engagement and grow your impact.

Raklet is an all-in-one platform that provides everything your organization needs to manage and grow your mission. It provides alumni associations with customized membership plans and application forms as well as private social networks to reach alumni and organize events.

 

Keep these tools in mind when choosing a management platform to fit the needs of your organization and alumni.

Whether you manage your alumni in-house or outsource it to an alumni management system, like NPOInfo, your return on investment will be positive.

Wrapping Up

Whether you manage your alumni in-house or outsource it to an alumni management system, like NPOInfo, your return on investment will be positive.

NPOInfo is a fully certified data append service here to fill in the gaps in your alumni data. Our team of experts offers free quotes and resources to help your organization plan a successful campaign strategy.

Our services include:

  • Employer Appends: Using our proprietary screening and identification methods we append employer information, and oftentimes a job role, to individual records.
  • Email Appends: Email is the most cost-efficient method to promote matching gifts to a large number of donors. In order to do so, we’ll find your alumni email addresses.
  • Phone Number Appends: Our phone number append service provides you with both cellphone and landline numbers. Use this information for both your regular donation solicitations as well as matching gift reminders.
  • Date of Birth Appends: Our Date of Birth (DoB) append service helps you add age information to your database. With average match rates of 40-70%, our date of birth appending can provide you with the month and year that individuals were born.
  • Address Appends: Our screenings ensure your organization has up-to-date mailing addresses.

In the meantime, explore these additional resources to continue your research on data appends and alumni management:

Interested in alumni management? Let NPOInfo help you make the most of your alumni data.

Follow this guide to learn how data collection can benefit your organization

What Data Should Nonprofits Collect? Overview & Top Tips

Far too many nonprofit organizations collect data without using analytics to drive success. In an increasingly data-driven world, it’s important to evaluate your nonprofit’s facts and figures. This process of data collection will allow your nonprofit to transform data into actionable knowledge.

Data collection is essential in measuring your nonprofit’s hard work. It reveals valuable insights such as how many people you serve, how best to target your supporters, and which campaigns are the most successful.

At NPOInfo, we strive to improve your fundraising efficiency using data. We’ve written this guide to give you insight into everything you need to know about data collection, including the importance of data analytics and the types of data your organization should be tracking.

We’ll cover the following points:

When collected and managed properly, data can be an asset to your organization. Let’s dive into the benefits of data collection.

Contact the professionals at NPOInfo to get started with data append services

Why Is Data Collection Important For Nonprofits?

According to a study by NonprofitHub, 90% of nonprofits collect data. Nonprofits can better serve their communities with a comprehensive data collection plan, as data allows nonprofits to track trends, make informed decisions, strategize for future fundraising efforts, and more.

Most nonprofits already hold valuable information about their donors, campaigns, and marketing efforts in their constituent relationship management (CRM) systems. However, nearly half of nonprofit organizations are unsure how data can support their work.

Effective data collection can help your nonprofit:

Data collection can help your nonprofit build relationships, improve communication, and more

  • Update your donor database. Collecting relevant donor data allows you to regularly update your donor database and, in turn, make informed decisions about your donor retention efforts.
  • Build relationships. Nonprofits need to build strong relationships with their supporters to survive. With the right data, your nonprofit can personalize interactions with donors, increase engagement, and solicit donations successfully.
  • Improve communication. Data empowers your nonprofit to quantify and communicate your impact to the community. This both builds your nonprofit’s credibility as a trustworthy organization to which to donate.
  • Inform decision making. Make adaptive decisions based on the data that you receive. Data can answer key questions, support or refute assumptions, and assess the efficacy of campaigns.
  • Drive marketing and fundraising efforts. Data-driven nonprofits are more likely to be financially successful. Use metrics to focus your nonprofit’s development efforts and boost donations.

From driving donations to informing decisions, data collection can be an asset to your organization. However, you don’t want to collect every data point available to your nonprofit— that would quickly grow overwhelming.

7 Types of Data That Your Nonprofit Should Be Tracking

Now that you understand the importance of data collection, it’s time to review the types of data that your organization should capture and analyze. As a general rule of thumb, prioritize growth by tracking data that will lead to more funding, quantify your impact, and help target areas for improvement.

Your nonprofit should collect information on donors, campaigns, marketing efforts, finances, website traffic, and mission

To ensure data is relevant, collect information on your donors, campaigns, marketing efforts, finances, website traffic, and mission. From mailing preferences to campaign performance metrics, these details will help your nonprofit shape engagement and retention efforts. There are countless data points that you could collect, but the following list will serve as a strong foundation for your nonprofit’s data collection process.

Donor Data

It can be difficult to strengthen donor relations without collecting or understanding your donor data.

Donor metrics reveal who your supporters are and how best to reach them. Donor data is crucial in catering to your specific audience. The data that you collect can strengthen your fundraising efforts and increase donor engagement.

To better understand your donors, start by tracking the following basic personal information:

  • Name: Address donors by their preferred name and title in your solicitations to improve your chances of receiving a response.
  • Age: Direct mail is the best way to reach donors of all ages, while younger supporters are more likely to respond to marketing outreach efforts on social media.
  • Email Address, Phone Number, and Physical Address: Updated contact information allows for regular donation solicitations and matching gift reminders.
  • Employment Status and Employer: An individual’s business affiliations can give you an idea of their net worth and potential connections. Plus, if they work for a company with a matching gift program, you can reach out to begin the gift match process.
  • Educational Background: Student involvement and areas of study will reveal the causes that your donors are most likely to support.

If any of this information is missing, your organization can invest in a nonprofit data append service which will be discussed later in the guide. Once you have an idea of who your donors are, you’ll want to dig deeper to determine their motivations and propensity for giving. Consider collecting this advanced information:

  • Giving History (Recurring, One-Time, Major Gift): Assess how recent a donor’s last gift was, the frequency of their giving, and the typical amount of their monetary contributions. This information can help you predict the timing and amount of future donations you will receive.
  • Hobbies and Interests: Apply this information to your fundraising efforts. For example, if the majority of your donors are avid readers, host a volunteering event at the library.
  • Advocacy Participation: Target potential donors that have a history of donating, volunteering, attending events, or advocating for charitable organizations more generally. Consider the organizations that your prospective donors support and focus on those whose interests align with your mission.
  • Business Connections: These connections can help you leverage major gifts since donors are more likely to respond to appeals from acquaintances.

Before gathering these facts and figures, clean your donor database by removing duplicate profiles and requesting updated contact information. That way, you can more accurately identify and communicate with donors, rather than simply adding more information to a cluttered database.

Campaign Data

Chances are your nonprofit works diligently to plan and execute campaigns. Don’t let that time and energy go to waste by neglecting campaign data. This vital information can help your organization raise donations, engagement, and event attendance in future campaigns.

The following forms of campaign data will help you understand the effectiveness of your past efforts:

  • Event Attendance: Events generate a lot of data. Keep track of how many people attend your virtual or in-person events as well as how many registered in advance and opened your post-event thank you emails.
  • Supporter Satisfaction: Gathering feedback should be a top priority for your team. Information received through surveys can help supporters feel included and staff improve their efforts.
  • Donor Acquisition Cost (DAC): DAC is the financial price you pay to convince a potential donor to make a gift. To determine this cost, sum the price of appeals and marketing efforts over a given period, and divide it by the number of donors you acquired in that time.
  • Revenue: Track appeals, fundraising proceeds, matching gifts, corporate sponsorships, and online gift frequency. With this information, you can make informed decisions about your budget and strategy.
  • Campaign Conversions: Measure how many people your campaign converts into first-time donors, volunteers, newsletter subscribers, or website visitors. Use these numbers to run tests on campaign efficiency and set objectives for the future.
  • Donor and Volunteer Retention Rates: Donor retention rates reveal the successes and setbacks of your engagement efforts. Review this information with your team to discuss strategies for retaining donors and volunteers.

Campaign data is crucial in measuring the success of your fundraising and outreach efforts. Use these stats to identify trends across campaigns, manage your budget, and raise awareness for your mission going forward.

Marketing Data

Not only does marketing data clarify how best to reach your audiences, but it also assists in amplifying your mission and soliciting donations.

Nonprofit marketing encourages long-term relationships with donors and solidifies credibility. When marketing your mission, data analysis can be used to determine the appropriate marketing channels and engagement strategies for your nonprofit.

Let’s review the forms of marketing data that can be used to communicate your impact:

  • Website Traffic: Determine how many people visit your website, how they get there, and how long they stay. This information will help you to optimize your site to receive the most traffic.
  • Subscriptions: Donor retention rates increase drastically when supporters subscribe to newsletters, emails, and recurring donations. To encourage subscriptions, offer clear incentives and add pop-up forms to your website to advertise the opportunity.
  • Social Media Engagement: Social media engagement can be measured through likes, shares, comments, and link clicks. Create content that encourages the most valuable engagement.
  • Email Open Rates: According to MailChimp, the average open rate for nonprofit emails is 25%, meaning three quarters of your audience won’t open your emails. To increase your chances of reaching donors, write compelling subject lines, keep the frequency of your emails consistent, ensure subject matter is relevant, and send emails at an appropriate time.

To gather this information, conduct an audit on past marketing efforts using the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, a strategic planning technique that identifies the effectiveness of your nonprofit. To learn more about incorporating data into your marketing, check out this comprehensive guide to creating a nonprofit marketing plan.

Financial Data

Like for-profit corporations, nonprofit organizations rely on data to boost revenue and cover operating expenses. Financial data allows nonprofits to assess cash flow, maintain financial stability, and strategize budgets for future fundraising efforts. Consider the following types of data associated with accounting and budgeting:

  • Expenses: From staff salaries to campaign and fundraising costs, nonprofits can easily rack up expenses. While you might be tempted to keep expenses low, it’s important to invest in your organization. In turn, you’ll see higher rates of engagement and donations.
  • Income: Nonprofits can receive revenue through donations, membership fees, selling products, and more. Examine past expenses and revenue to project growth targets.
  • Cash-on-hand: Cash-on-hand, or the total amount of money accessible at any given time from paper bills, bank accounts, and assets, will show how long your nonprofit can survive without donations or funding. Track cash flows to determine whether or not your nonprofit has enough revenue to cover expenses.
  • Volunteer Hours: Volunteer hours reveal the labor, time, and resources needed to accomplish your goals. Log these hours to secure grants and raise awareness for your organization.

Through collecting this type of data, your nonprofit can increase return on investments and improve the quality of programs.

Website Data

Most nonprofits have a dedicated website with blog content, donation buttons, contact forms, testimonials, and more. Data analytics can be used to show which content is the most popular, determine content strategies, and create a better user experience. In order to increase traffic and prompt visitors to take action, it’s important to measure how the site performs.

If you haven’t already, start tracking these three important pieces of information:

  • Traffic Sources: Potential donors can land on your site through an organic search, a referral from another site, or a redirection from social media. Once you understand how most users get to your website, you can optimize the most-trafficked referral sources to increase site visitors over time.
  • Bounce Rate: This refers to the percentage of visitors who visit your site and leave, rather than continuing to view other pages or take action on your site. If your bounce rate is high, prioritize updating your web pages to provide a better user experience.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR is the percentage of users who click on a specific link to view a blog post, email, or advertisement. If you have a low CTR, revamp your calls-to-action and tailor messages to specific supporters.

You can use website analytics tools to track these details. Google Analytics is free for nonprofits through the Google for Nonprofits program. Plus, if you venture into PPC (pay-per-click) advertising like Google Ads, you can monitor site performance with this tool and tweak your ads with ease.

If that sounds too far out of reach, turn to an expert to help out. Marketing experts and paid advertising managers know how to leverage these tools to improve your website’s performance and drive more meaningful traffic.

What it all boils down to is that website data can help you convert visitors into donors. Using that data to optimize your website will boost your online presence and raise awareness for your mission. Make sure you’re using all available resources to monitor your website’s performance.

External Data

While collecting data from your own organization is important, harnessing information from third parties helps to promote growth and productivity. External data comes from sources outside of your organization and offers information related to your organization’s mission.

External data allows nonprofits to stay updated on field-related information. Your organization can access these facts and figures through public records or private data shared by other organizations. Examples of external data include water quality, homeless populations, and census information.

Whether a national average, industry standard, or third-party idea, external data can be used to shape decision-making and communicate your impact to the public. For example, let’s say a homeless shelter serves a community in which 56% of individuals suffer from food insecurity. That statistic becomes more powerful when compared to the national average of food insecurity, which is only 10%.

From donor data to external data, your nonprofit has plenty of information to collect, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we’ve created a list of best practices to help you achieve the maximum value from data collection.

Sponsors and Potential Corporate Partners 

Staying on top of donors’ business connections can help you identify prospects for potential corporate partnerships. However, while a major donor facilitating an introduction with a business’s leadership is helpful, successful sponsorship agreements need data to back them up. 

Before meeting a potential sponsor, ensure you have the following data ready: 

  • Philanthropic history. If a business has shown a positive affinity to causes like yours in the past, they may be inclined to support your nonprofit this time around. Most businesses proudly promote their past philanthropic initiatives by having a dedicated page or even an entire website dedicated to their philanthropic mission and the causes they’ve contributed to. Look for these resources and press releases from nonprofit organizations similar to yours about their recent sponsors. 
  • Giving capacity. What is a business partner able to give? When approaching potential sponsors, you should already know what you intend to request of them. Make sure this request, whether it’s a financial donation or free or discounted services, aligns with their giving history. If you’re unsure how much a business will be willing to contribute, consider presenting sponsorship tiers with pre-set benefits and donation requirements for them to choose from. 
  • The success of past sponsorships. When approaching businesses, emphasize the benefits of working with your nonprofit, and when possible, back it up with data from past successful sponsorships. This might include the number of guests that attended an event that featured sponsors or positive press coverage. 

Like with other types of data, keep careful records of your past deals with sponsors. Ideally, your nonprofit should ensure businesses always reach out to the same point of contact at your organization to build a relationship and provide consistency. If you experience turnover or expand your team, your records will be vital in maintaining business connections and avoiding disruptions in your ongoing sponsorships. 

Nonprofit Data Collection: Top Tips

Data collection is necessary for every organization, regardless of the size of your nonprofit. There are plenty of ways to gather information, from giving histories and surveys to management software and audits. Now that you understand the importance of strong data and the different types, it’s time to devise a data collection strategy.

These top tips will help you devise a data collection strategy for your nonprofit

In the next sections, we’ll introduce you to the best practices for data collection. Through these tips, you will learn how to audit data, organize your information, and identify areas where you can improve. Let’s get started!

Perform a data audit.

A data audit is a critical review of your organization’s data collection process. examine the quality of your nonprofit’s current data and data collection process.

Performing an audit can help you discover areas for improvement in your database and collect data more effectively going forward. Here are the four basic steps of performing a data audit:

  1. Gather: Collect quantitative and quantitative data from surveys, reports, interviews, emails, and donor profiles.
  2. Reflect: Consider the purposes for each dataset and how it can be used to better your organization.
  3. Assess: Evaluate your findings to determine if you’re collecting the right data to learn about and build relationships with supporters.
  4. Identify: Locate areas for improvement and work with your team to devise a data-driven strategy.

During a data audit, you might notice that your data is unorganized. That’s where the next step comes into play. You’ll need to optimize your information to more easily understand it.

Keep your data clean.

Prioritizing data hygiene will help your organization to remove inaccurate and unnecessary information and standardize the data collection process. Your nonprofit should focus only on harnessing high-quality information that will help you raise donations and awareness towards your mission.

Holding onto excessive or incorrect data is a detriment to your organization, as it overshadows valuable information. Don’t waste time and money sending marketing material to people who won’t answer your calls-to-action. In order to rid your data of useless information, you should remove:

  • Deceased donors.
  • Duplicate profiles.
  • Outdated contact information.
  • People on do not call or do not mail lists.

When you eliminate this extraneous information, you’re left with a clean database containing information about attainable donors. You should also work to standardize your data, ensuring numbers, abbreviations, and mailing addresses have the same format (i.e. St. verus street).

Store data in a database.

Now that you’ve optimized your data, it’s time to store this quality information in your customer relationship management (CRM) database. With the right features, your CRM can store data, track interactions, and share information with your team. In turn, this highly organized information will strengthen and grow your mission.

Here’s a closer look at the CRM features that can benefit your nonprofit’s data management:

  • Third-Party Integration: Integrate your other fundraising software directly into the CRM. That way, the CRM will function as the main database for your organization, holding the most comprehensive information.
  • Real-Time Data: Automatically track personal information about your supporters and organize that data through filters. This is a far quicker process than manually inputting information into a spreadsheet.
  • Data Visualization: Turn raw data into engaging visuals. Graphics and charts will help your organization tell data-driven stories.
  • Mobile Access: Access your CRM on the go to ensure you always have the updated information you need to drive your mission forward.
  • Searchability: Easily pull data and search for particular records using search features. This will allow you to quickly find important information.

The more functional your CRM is, the more of an asset it will be to your organization. Just make sure your database protects sensitive data like the personal information of donors and financial information. Work with your team to create protocols that implement data protection.

Our Final Tip: Invest in nonprofit data append services.

A data append is the process of adding new data points into an existing database with the goal of filling any gaps in the nonprofit’s information. Most data appending services will organize your data and set up automation for verifying it regularly. NPOInfo goes a step further.

At NPOInfo, we guarantee a high degree of accuracy in appending your donor data and ensuring your fundraising efforts are built on data you can trust. Take advantage of the following services:

  1. Employer Appends: Discover where your donors work to increase corporate matching gifts and deepen corporate relationships.
  2. Email Appends: We’ll maintain an accurate list of your donors’ email addresses, so that you can promote fundraising opportunities to supporters using correct email addresses.
  3. Phone Number Appends: Keep up-to-date phone numbers for regular donation solicitations and matching gift reminders.
  4. Date of Birth Appends: Get dates of birth to target donors in specific age brackets and improve your marketing efforts.
  5. Address Appends: Find out when your supporters move and update your database with accurate mailing addresses to more effectively reach your audience.

We’ll guide you through the appending process, making sure your nonprofit understands the data it’s collecting and how that information can be turned into meaningful action.


Data is power in the nonprofit sector. It allows you to attract donors, improve campaigns, and promote your mission. Collecting, analyzing, and cleaning data reveals what’s working and what’s not working in your organization.

NPOInfo’s team of experts offer services and resources to help your nonprofit organization make the most of its data. Get a quote today!

Want to continue your research on data collection or learn how to manage data more effectively? Explore these additional resources:

Get a quote from NPOInfo to enhance your collected data with a data append

Follow this comprehensive guide to learn how your nonprofit can use the Google Ad Grant to increase its visibility.

How Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits Can Increase Visibility

In 2003, Google launched the Google Ad Grants Program to help charitable organizations extend their reach. Since then, the program has revolutionized nonprofit marketing, offering select nonprofits free AdWords spending. More than 115,000 nonprofits across 51 countries use the Google Ad Grant to drive their mission.

Despite the wide number of Google Ad Grant recipients, there are still some nonprofits that remain hesitant about this game-changing opportunity. If your nonprofit wants to grow, the Google Ad Grant is essential. It is a powerful, cost-effective tool that will increase your nonprofit’s visibility.

To avoid any confusion or frustration, we recommend reading this comprehensive guide and working with a consultant who can streamline the grant application process. This article will cover the following topics to help your nonprofit make the most of its grant:

Let’s dive into the basics of the Google Ad Grant, so you can get started with this beneficial program.

Getting Attention can help your organization manage its Google Ad Grant.

The Google Ad Grant program awards eligible nonprofits with $10,000 a month to spend on paid search ads in Google.

What is a Google Ad Grant?

A Google Ad Grant provides free ad spend to eligible nonprofits.The Google Ad Grant program awards eligible nonprofits with $10,000 a month to spend on paid search ads in Google. That’s a generous marketing budget,  amounting to $329 per day. These ads allow your nonprofit to appear on Google when potential donors search for topics related to your mission. While regular Google Ad accounts have to pay per ad click, grant recipients can display their advertisements for free.

As a Google Ad Grant recipient, your paid search ads will appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). This means that your nonprofit will have a greater chance of reaching potential donors and increasing traffic to your website. Thus, the Google Ad Grant can expand your organization’s online presence at zero cost.​

Of course, there are certain rules that Google Grant recipients must follow. Once accepted into the grant program, your nonprofit will have to:

  • Choose highly specific keywords, abiding by the guidelines outlined by Google.
  • Run multiple ad campaigns.
  • Track the success of those campaigns using Google Analytics.

There is also a $2 cap on your maximum bidding amount meant to prevent inflation and earn your website more clicks.

As long as your organization meets and complies with the eligibility requirements, the $10,000 allotment renews monthly without a time constraint. Simply apply, maintain eligibility, and enjoy free ad spend indefinitely.

Before applying for the Google Ad Grant program, make certain that your organization is eligible.

Google Ad Grant Eligibility

Before applying for the Google Ad Grant program, make certain that your organization is eligible. Google has strict eligibility requirements to ensure that only valid nonprofits receive free advertising.

To start, your organization cannot be a hospital, school, or government entity. The remaining requirements should be simple if your nonprofit already has an established web presence and a valid nonprofit status. To enroll in the Google Ad Grant program, your nonprofit simply needs to:

Your nonprofit needs to follow these eligibility requirements to enroll in the Google Ad Grant program.

  • Hold a current and valid charity status in the country where your organization is based. In the United States, you should be registered as a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Be registered with Google for Nonprofits and TechSoup.
  • Have a functional website with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
  • Agree to the terms of service.

If your nonprofit meets these requirements, you are automatically eligible for the monthly budget of $10,000 a month. But the work doesn’t stop there. After you apply for and receive your grant, your nonprofit must maintain an active Google Ads Accounts that is in good standing with Google’s standards. Consider the following guidelines for Google Ad Grant compliance:

  • High-Quality Keywords: Keywords must have at least two or more words to increase relevancy. To disable single keywords, you can apply a keyword filter in your Google Ads Account. You should also avoid overly generic keywords that have a quality score of 1 or 2. Set up an automated rule to pause any low-quality keywords.
  • 5% Minimum Click-Through Rate: Maintain a minimum 5% click-through (CTR) rate to prove that your keywords and ads perform well. If you fail to meet the 5% CTR for two consecutive months, your account will be at risk for deactivation. If your account has been temporarily deactivated, you can request reactivation.
  • Geo-Targeting: Google requires that you target your ads to a specific geographic location. This ensures that your ads reach people in locations relevant to your organization.
  • Conversion Tracking: Conversion tracking is a free tool that tracks what a searcher does after clicking on your ad. Install Google Analytics to track conversions and maintain a healthy Google Ads Account.
  • Account Maintenance and Structure: Log into your account at least once a month and update it every 90 days. Each campaign must also contain at least two ad groups, which are a collection of keywords and ads. This proves to Google that you are an active Google Ads member.

Unlike traditional grants, which have a limited amount of funds, there is no limit on the number of nonprofits that can be approved for the Google Ad Grants program. That’s why your organization should apply if it meets the eligibility requirements. We’ll break down the benefits and application process in the next section.

There are many benefits to applying for the Google Ad Grant.

Why Apply for the Grant?

The Google Ad Grant is a low-risk, high-reward venture that can greatly improve your digital marketing strategy. It drives traffic and attention to your website and, when managed correctly, it can convert traffic into valuable action for your organization.

If your nonprofit wants to thrive in the digital space, the Google Ad Grant is your greatest asset. After you apply for the grant and receive your first month of free ad spending, you can begin reaping the benefits. The Google Ad Grant will allow your nonprofit to:

The Google Ad Grant can help your nonprofit in the following ways.

  • Reach a broader audience.
  • Promote your mission on Google.
  • Increase online conversions. 
  • Market multiple ad campaigns. 

Getting accepted into the Google Ad Grant program is straightforward. Once you sign up for a Google for Nonprofits account and register with TechSoup, the rest of the application process should be quick and easy. To apply for the Google Ad Grant, simply:

Follow these five steps when applying for the Google Ad Grant.

  1. Create a Google AdWords account.
  2. Submit a pre-qualification survey and complete ad grant training.
  3. Submit required materials for pre-qualification review.
  4. Once approved for pre-qualification, set up your first Google Ads campaign.
  5. Submit your AdWords account for final review.

To learn more about applying for the Google Ad Grant, check out this guide from Getting Attention. Now, let’s look at some real-world examples of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits.

Consider these real-world examples of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits.

4 Organizations Using the Google Ad Grant

As previously mentioned, all nonprofits— other than healthcare, education, and government organizations— can apply for the Google Ad Grant. The program is highly profitable, resulting in free promotion for your online content. Nonprofits across the globe are using Google Ad Grants to bring exposure towards their cause.

If you’re still unsure about the Google Ad Grant, consider these success stories.

Days for Girls

Days for Girls strives for equal access to menstrual care and education for women across the world. To raise awareness for their cause, they created marketing goals that included raising funds and driving email subscriptions to cultivate donor relationships. The Google Ad Grants program greatly helped to accomplish these objectives.

In just two months, Google Ad Grants generated 24 online donations, resulting in more than $5,000. Google Ads also drove 10,000 visits to the website and more than 400 conversions. The Google Ad Grant brought awareness to the Days for Girls website and successfully generated new donors due to their targeted reach.

Global Giving

Global Giving is a charitable organization that supports other nonprofits by connecting them with donors and companies. Since 2002, they have provided tools, training, and support to community-led organizations around the world. Global Giving harnessed the power of Google Ad Grants to drive their mission forward.

Over the past two decades, the nonprofit has raised $615 million dollars and reached over 1.3 million donors. With just $10,000 worth of ad spend per month, Global Giving raised awareness, attracted donors, and recruited new volunteers.

Samaritans

Founded in 1953, Samaritans offers a free emotional support helpline to people considering taking their own lives. The service is available by phone, email, and face-to-face conversations in 201 branches located in the UK and Ireland. Samaritans’ primary marketing goal is to raise awareness for their helpline and ultimately reduce suicide rates.

Samaritans used the Google Ad Grant to track and increase conversions. As a result of their efforts, the grant drove over $48,000 or 10% of the nonprofit’s online donations and prompted 1,769 volunteer sign ups over the course of a year. Investing in Google Ads allowed Samaritans to extend their support to a much broader audience.

DonorsChoose.org

DonorsChoose.org is the leading platform for giving to public schools. Teachers across the United States use the website to request resources for their students in need, and donors give to the causes that inspire them. The organization’s marketing strategy uses Google Ad Grants to connect more donors and teachers to the platform.

DonorsChoose.org measured the strength of its messaging and calls to action through the Ad Grants program. After using the Google Ad Grant for a year, the website saw 305,000 site visits and $497,000 in donations. Since then, the organization has seen continued growth and improvement

Join these organizations and take full advantage of your grant by working with a Google Grants Agency.

Take full advantage of your Google Ad Grant by working with Getting Attention.

Working with a Google Grants Agency

Whether you manage a Google Ad Grant in-house or outsource it to a Google Ad Grant certified professional, like Getting Attention, your return on investment will be positive and your marketing strategy will be strong.

Getting Attention is a fully certified ad grant agency available to guide your organization through the Google Ad Grant process. Their team of experts offers free consultations and resources to help your organization plan a successful campaign strategy.

Their services include:

  • Google Grant Application: Their trusted experts will walk you through the application process to get you approved in no time.
  • Account Hygiene: They will help you clean outdated or unnecessary data from your Google Ad Account so that you can focus on what matters.
  • Google Grant Reactivation: Don’t fret if your account has lapsed or been suspended. They can help get it reactivated.
  • Keyword Research: Their research team will target the most relevant and useful keywords to your campaigns.
  • Google Grant Management: They will work with your nonprofit to track conversions and find opportunities for growth. The goal is to keep your marketing strategy fresh and productive.

In the meantime, explore these additional resources to continue your research on Google Ad Grants:

Work with Getting Attention to make the most of your Google Ad Grant.

Donor data management is important for successful nonprofit fundraising.

Donor Data Management: A Quick Guide for Nonprofits

90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years, with no slowdown in sight. The world is both a data-filled and data-driven place— and data is only becoming more prevalent.

But, why does that matter to nonprofits? Data can help your mission-driven organization perform an action vital to its success: cultivating donors. Donors are the people who keep your nonprofit going by giving their time, money, and support to your cause, and it’s imperative you maintain your relationships with them to hold their attention and support.

However, data will only work magic for your donor relationships if it is properly managed. Incorrect contact information, statistics, and reports will do more harm than good.

That’s where we come in! Your friends at NPOInfo will cover these topics related to stellar donor data management to help your nonprofit make the most of its data:

Ready to learn the ins and outs of donor data management? Let’s dive in.

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NPOInfo defines donor data management.

What is donor data management?

Donor data management is the process of maintaining your nonprofit’s data over time, ensuring it’s accurate and well-organized.

Donor data management is important for a number of reasons. Good donor data management will ensure your nonprofit has accurate and easily accessible information to get in touch with your donors. When properly segmented, your data will let you know which ones to reach out to for which specific reasons.

Donor data management will allow you to produce thorough and exact reports detailing your nonprofit’s operations. You’ll have all the stats you need to illustrate the impressive work of your organization!

This is an ongoing process with no clear beginning or end. Your nonprofit will constantly be acquiring new donor data, updating old donor data, and using current donor data to support its initiatives.

Here’s a list of the three main components of donor data management:

  • Collecting Data: This is the step where you gather new donor information. Collecting data could be en masse, like sending out a survey that garners many responses or investing in a nonprofit data append. It could also be ongoing, like collecting donor details one at a time as they donate.
  • Maintaining Data: Maintaining data refers to checking it and making corrections as necessary. Whether it be weekly, monthly, or a different time span that suits your nonprofit, you should make a habit of regularly updating your data. For more information on maintaining your nonprofit’s database, check out this full guide to data hygiene here.
  • Using Data: Here is the part where you reap the benefits of your hard work! You can use your donor data to fundraise, generate reports, thank your donors, reach out to volunteers, advertise for an upcoming event, and more.

Now that you know what donor data management is, we’ll tell you how to keep your donor data organized.


NPOInfo gives some organization tips for donor data management.

How do you keep donor information organized?

Even if you have hundreds, or thousands, of donors to keep track of, donor data management does not have to be a scary, complicated, or intimidating process. There are many simple tips and tricks to keeping your donor information organized.

Here are seven of our most dependable strategies:

NPOInfo lists its tips for managing donor data.

  • Keep your data in one place. When you need to do anything data-related, it’ll be much easier to have all your information in the same spot. Keep all your data in the same constituent relationship management (CRM) system to save yourself from constantly digging around for the data you need. Make sure your various nonprofit technologies integrate with your CRM, so data can flow seamlessly into your main donor database.
  • Use a standardized format. There are many ways to say the same thing— for instance, St. versus St versus Street. Make sure you’re staying consistent across entries so that it’s easier to find and organize information later on.
  • Develop data entry guidelines. Your nonprofit should have an outlined data entry process. Who will enter the data, one specific person or many people? Also, will you always search the database before entering to avoid duplicate entries? To see the best results and greatest efficiency, decide your rules in advance.
  • Plan for exceptions. When there’s a rule, there’s always an exception. Your nonprofit will inevitably run into a piece of information that poses a previously unconsidered problem. Go ahead and think about how you want to deal with those details in advance.
  • Review your data. Like with data maintenance, it’s important to have a routine when it comes to data review. You could go over it daily, weekly, monthly, every other month, etc., all depending on your nonprofit’s priorities. Just be sure to review it and make necessary changes— it’ll be so nice to have updated data ready when you need it as opposed to putting it off for later.
  • Train your staff. Even if not everyone will be involved with data entry, all nonprofit employees should at least be familiar with your donor data management processes. Chances are someone might need help with data in the future, and they will have the help they need if the whole organization is in the loop.
  • Segment your data. Once you have all your data organized in the same place, you should break it down into helpful categories. There are many possibilities for segmentation: location, age, frequency of giving, and more.

You’re now a data organization pro, but what kind of data should you even be organizing? Read on for our recommendations for what types of donor data to collect.


NPOInfo lists what data you should collect for donor data management purposes.

What donor data should you collect?

Donor data is an invaluable resource for your nonprofit. Within the donor data realm, there are many specific pieces of info you can gather that will be useful to your organization. There are also pieces that wouldn’t be useful at all.

Follow our guide below to get the best donor data for your nonprofit.

Demographics are a key component to donor data management.

Demographics

Demographics categorize members of a population by defining characteristics. As a nonprofit, it’s important to know who your donors are in order to figure out the best ways to reach them. Here are five types of relevant demographic data:

  • Age: Different age groups have different donation habits. For example, all ages prefer to give online via credit or debit cards, but each generation’s second preference varies greatly. Millennials prefer cash, Gen X leans toward bank/wire transfer, and baby boomers will secondarily opt for direct mail. Collect data on your donors’ ages to strategically reach them based on their birth year.
  • Gender: Donor habits vary by gender, too, making it a worthy demographic to track. Female donors are more inspired by social media marketing, whereas males respond more to emails.
  • Location: If you’re a local nonprofit, it’s safe to assume most of your donors will be from your operating area. However, for national and global nonprofits, it’s helpful to know where the majority of your donors live to design campaigns in their locations that are tailored to their interests.
  • Income: A person’s income will impact their giving capabilities. Knowing a ballpark estimate of your donors’ annual incomes will allow you to target the right donors for specific giving initiatives. To illustrate, you wouldn’t want to ask someone with limited disposable income for thousands of dollars. Instead, you’d rather reach out asking for a smaller amount they’d be equipped to send.
  • Employment: Take income a step further and learn where your donors work. With this demographic information, you can figure out which donors work at businesses that offer robust corporate matching programs. Almost $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually, so it’s not an opportunity you want to overlook.

Next, let’s take a look at the donor contact information you should collect.

Contact information is a valuable piece of donor data management.

Contact Information

In order to reach your donors, your nonprofit needs accurate and accessible contact information. Here’s a list of four reliable points of contact to gather on your donors:

So far we’ve looked at more general categories of data. Now, we’ll dive into data that’s specific to donations and engagement with your nonprofit.

Giving habits is a valuable component of donor data management.

Giving Habits

No two donors give exactly the same. For instance, some are more sporadic in their donations, and others are consistent and use monthly recurring gift programs. Collect these useful pieces of donor data related to giving habits:

  • Gift amount: Donations can range from single digits to multiple figures, and all are worthwhile. Collect this data to be sure you’re targeting each donor correctly according to their amount preferences.
  • Frequency of giving: For regular donors, their donations could come weekly, monthly, annually, or at another interval. If you know a donor’s general schedule for giving, you can easily send a reminder around the time you’re expecting their contribution.
  • Method of giving: Cash, credit, debit, PayPal, check— the options for donation format are seemingly endless. Save yourself the time of reaching out to someone via text who prefers to mail a check by keeping track of your donors’ methods of giving.
  • Lifetime value: This measurement refers to someone’s all-time total contribution to your nonprofit organization. It is helpful to know who your biggest supporters are to keep reaching out to them, as well as to thank them when they reach certain milestones.
  • Number of years as a donor: How long a person has been donating to your nonprofit is another great way to assess who your biggest advocates are. You could also thank people according to their year milestones.
  • Upgrades and downgrades: Numerically speaking, an upgrade would be someone giving more money than usual. On the other hand, a downgrade would be someone giving less than usual for them. These terms are purely numbers— all donations are valuable regardless of size! However, this info is worth keeping track of for follow-up purposes. For instance, did they donate less because their income went down, or are they feeling less drawn to your organization? It’s a question worth asking.

Tracking your donors’ giving habits will allow you to find patterns in giving and strategize your fundraising efforts based on those patterns. You could figure out who to reach out to more or less often for the greatest efficiency and even what time of year is best to reach out to certain donors.

Use this data to create a donor pyramid and use it to organize your donors. Donor pyramids are a way of conceptualizing your donors’ overall value and where they are in their giving journey with prospective donors at the bottom and major donors at the top of the pyramid. With accurate, well-managed data, a donor pyramid can be effective for visualizing your donor base and determining where to focus your efforts when reaching out to your supporters.

Interactions are a valuable component of donor data management.

Interactions

Where giving habits are limited to a person’s donation behavior, interactions describe their general engagement with your mission-driven organization. Through interactions, you can learn who your most committed supporters are in ways that go beyond money.

Here are six examples of donor interaction metrics your nonprofit could track:

  • Event attendance: Event attendance is a great way to assess the success of an event. Also, by knowing the specific people who attend your events, you can figure out which audience you are attracting: young or old, men or women, families or individuals, etc.
  • Email open rates: We’re all guilty of letting our email inboxes pile up with unopened promotional materials, and your donors are no exception. With data on email open rates, figure out what types of content your donors are responding most to and what types of content they’re not interested in at all.
  • Website visits: 44% of nonprofit website visitors in 2019 arrived at the website organically. However, your nonprofit’s website visit data may look way different than the overall data. Keep track of website visits to figure out how donors arrive at your website and what makes them stick around.
  • Direct mail response rate: Direct mail can be expensive— plus, digital methods of communication are increasingly popular. To make the best use of your time, look at data around which donors respond to your direct mail. Focus your efforts there, and stop sending mail to unresponsive addresses.
  • Social media engagement: From likes to comments to shares and more, social media offers a wide variety of data for your nonprofit to gather. Like emails, you can evaluate what types of content perform best and calibrate your social media strategy from there.
  • Volunteer activity: Donations don’t only exist in the form of money— many of your donors are willing to give their time to your cause. Keep track of the individuals who volunteer both once and on a regular basis, thank them for their time, and do what you can to retain their participation.

Data on interactions, like giving habits, will also allow your nonprofit to spot patterns and adjust its marketing strategy accordingly. Use this to your advantage and raise more money with greater efficiency.

For an even more in-depth look into what data your nonprofit should be collecting, check out this guide on nonprofit data collection. But for now, you’re well on your way to creating a robust database full of useful information— next, we’ll give you a guide on the best practices for keeping up your donor database.


NPOInfo provides five of the best practices for donor data management.

Donor Database Best Practices

After reading about donor data management and what data to collect, don’t neglect the amazing donor database you’ve put together! Here are five of our donor database best practices.

NPOInfo illustrates the best practices of donor data management.

Organize Data

Donor data will not be useful to your nonprofit if it isn’t properly sorted and managed. You can keep your database organized by keeping it all in one place, using a standardized format with clear entry guidelines, regularly reviewing it, and training your staff on data management.

For a more thorough refresh on how to organize your data, refer back to our previous section here where we explain how to do so.

Collect the Right Data

Your nonprofit should focus on collecting data in these categories: demographics, contact information, giving habits, and interactions.

Also, make sure you adjust your giving forms so that they only ask for information you need. To guarantee you get the data you need and donors don’t leave items blank, make certain fields like contact information required.

Purge Your Data

If you’re like most nonprofits, 88% of your donations come from 12% of your donors. Purge your database by removing inactive donors from your contact lists— it’ll save your organization time, money, and effort. Plus, you’ll see a greater return on investment for your campaigns.

Use a Data Append Service

Data appending is the process of supplementing existing data with more information from external sources. This is valuable both to fill in gaps in your database and to check the accuracy of your existing data by comparing it against external resources.

NPOInfo is a data appending service that works specifically with nonprofits. We provide accurate, quick, and thorough data enrichment for your nonprofit.

NPOInfo offers five different types of data append services:

  • Employer appends: This type of append will verify where your donors work. With this information, get ready to double your donation amounts through corporate matching gift programs.
  • Email appends: Our email append services will verify the emails in your donor database, guaranteeing more accuracy for your email fundraising tactics.
  • Phone number appends: Just like email appends, this service will double-check your donors’ phone numbers and be sure you’re using the correct ones.
  • Date of birth appends: Date of birth appends will confirm your donors’ birthdays, and subsequently, their ages. You could run a fun Happy Birthday campaign or simply segment your donor database by age group.
  • Address appends: Did you know that more than 40 million Americans move each year? That means about 10% of addresses become outdated annually. Use our address append services to keep your donor database as up-to-date as possible.

Data append services are a great way to make sure your donor database is as correct and complete as possible. For more information on data appending and data append services, check out our complete guide here.

Incorporate a CRM System

Constituent relationship management (CRM) systems stores large amounts of constituent data for businesses and organizations.

If your nonprofit’s CRM isn’t supporting your data management efforts, it may be time to invest in a new solution. Here are four characteristics to look for when choosing the right CRM for your nonprofit:

  • How many donors it can track: Depending on the size of your nonprofit, you’ll need a CRM system that can accommodate how many donors you need to gather and store data about.
  • How many users the software allows: You’ll want a few employees involved in the process of collecting, maintaining, and viewing your data. Make sure the CRM system you select permits your ideal number of authorized users.
  • What features are available: Different CRM systems will offer different services for you to use. Investigate what’s out there and decide which features will be most useful to your organization.
  • If it has integration capabilities: Many CRMs can connect to other softwares, and with that you can send your data back and forth easily. For instance, you could send the most accurate data from your online donation software straight to your CRM instead of manually transferring the information. That will save you time, money, and stress.
  • How much it costs: You’ll want to be sure the CRM system you pick fits your nonprofit’s budget.

Now you have all the best donor database practices under your belt! Go out and work some donor data magic for your nonprofit.

NPOInfo concludes its guide to donor data management.

Wrapping Up

We’ve covered what donor data management is, how to keep donor information organized, what donor data you should be collecting, and the best practices for maintaining a donor database. Let’s take a step back and remember the why behind donor data management.

Data analytics is invaluable for nonprofits. With all the effort you put into acquiring data and managing it in the form of a database, don’t forget to use it to your benefit by deriving data-driven insights.

An insight is an intuitive understanding of a pattern found in facts. All of your nonprofit’s decisions should trace back to insights found in your data for best results. After all, data is a concrete illustration of what works. It’s an important tool to generate awareness and enthusiasm for your nonprofit among its donor base.

Want to start using data better? NPOInfo can help! Contact our team today to get a quote.

In the meantime, for more helpful nonprofit marketing information and resources, check out these three articles:

NPOInfo is a data append service that helps nonprofits with donor data management.