Collecting data can improve your hybrid auctions and fundraising efforts.

Hybrid Auctions: 7 Metrics for Your Nonprofit to Track

Gathering data is an incredibly important part of your nonprofit’s strategic planning. While it may not feel as exhilarating as planning your next big event or as exciting as landing a well-known title sponsor, analyzing your data helps with measuring your success and honing in on the new opportunities that will take your organization to the next level.

But, what is the right data to be looking at? How often should you be looking at it? There IS such a thing as analysis paralysis, right? While only you and your team can answer some of these questions based on factors that are unique to your organization, we can provide you with some pointers.

One such opportunity to collect information that will help you succeed in future campaigns is during your organization’s hybrid silent auction.

In this guide, we’ll cover seven metrics your organization can track in conjunction with your hybrid auction; both during the event and after it ends.

1. Registration Page Conversion Rate

Before you shudder and get scared of the word “conversion,” thinking back to your high school chemistry days, observing the conversion rate of a website is very simple:

Definition: Your registration page rate = those who arrive on your registration page vs. how many “convert” by signing up.

Importance: Analyzing your conversion rate will show you how impactful your registration page is and give you insight into what you could add or take away to invite more registrations. These variables can include headlines, colors, or even the use of photos on your page.

You might even use A/B testing, allowing half of your audience to see one version of your page and the other half another version to see which converts higher. Then, you can use this information to choose the best version and imitate it in future campaigns.

Application: If people are abandoning your registration page at the last minute, it means your marketing is working to get them there, but something else is driving them away. If you can identify this factor, you’ll be able to encourage more registrations in the future.

You can also use this insight both for fundraising and online auction pages in real time throughout your event to see how many people give during the event itself. This fundraising data will also allow you to raise more money in future campaigns.

2. In-Person vs. Online Attendance

Definition: How many people attended the event in-person vs. online.

Ask your registrants how they plan to attend right at the beginning of the registration process, on the initial form. This way, you can plan ahead, and the data can be stored in your auction software.

Importance: You can use this information to measure any significant differences, such as the amount of money raised, between the two audiences.

Application: This metric is important to measure before your event, because it will help you make decisions like how much event space or food you’ll need for your in-person audience. You should also track this information in donor profiles as a part of your CRM, allowing you to see who is showing up in person vs. online. This will help you market to these audiences in ways that will get their attention and best engage them in your future campaigns.

Understanding your in-person vs. online audiences will also help you to follow up and communicate relevant messaging after your event, and better predict your audiences for future hybrid events.

3. Percent of Value Return

Definition:Winning bid amount divided by fair market value.

Importance: The percent of value return shows you which items have the highest return on value – or – which auction items will give you the biggest bang for your buck!

Application: Knowing how the winning bids matched up against each item’s value is a highly beneficial tool when evaluating your silent auction. This can show which of your items are most popular and help you determine which category of auction items your audience prefers the most. Then, you can emphasize that category in future auctions.

4. Number of Bids Per Item

Definition: How many bids each auction item received. 

Importance: Knowing how many bids were placed on each item in your auction will show you how much interest people had in your items, and whether you were able to garner some friendly competition and bidding wars.

Application: If your average number of bids per item was lower than expected, you might have a couple of issues that need to be addressed. There are two key culprits in this situation:

  • Your bidding increments are too high. According to Handbid’s Silent Auction Rules, lowering your bidding increments — especially when the auction uses mobile bidding technology — will encourage more bids and more bidding wars.
  • You have too many auction items. Next time you might want to increase competition by decreasing the number of auction items per guest.

5. Event ROI

Definition:How much you earned from your event compared to how much you spent.

Importance: When it comes to looking at a nonprofit’s financials, supporters, board members and key stakeholders like to see high efficiency. Considering the cost of an event versus its fundraising potential should be the first question you ask before diving into planning any kind of event for your organization.

Application: If your ROI is low or, heaven forbid, in the red, you can take further action to decrease your spending and increase your revenue the next time around by doing the following:

  • Collect outright corporate cash sponsorships to drastically offset your expenses and increase ROI.
  • Collect in-kind sponsorships.Often more feasible for companies than large sums of cash, in-kind donations of food, decor, and especially auction items, will help to reduce the cost of your event.
  • Create more donation opportunities for people to engage in throughout the course of your event.
  • Identify valuable and hard-to-get auction items that will wow your audience and start a bidding frenzy that will be sure to increase your ROI!

6. Attendee Retention Rate

Definition: How many of your attendees return year after year.

Importance: Retention is less expensive than acquisition. In other words, it’s more expensive to gain a new attendee than it is to get an existing attendee to come to next year’s event. Knowing your retention rate will give you insight into how much people enjoyed your event and its activities.

Application: If your retention rate is lower than you’d like, here are a few things to consider:

  • The event’s timing: Did you change the time or day, the day of the week, or the time of year from last year to this year? This could be a key factor for attendees, based on many factors like school, work, other events, etc.
  • The event activities: Are people participating and having a good time? Do you have enough things to do throughout the course of the event? How was your event program? Was it compelling and did it flow well enough to captivate your guests’ attention?
  • Your stewardship strategiesSupporters who feel appreciated and communicated with throughout the year are more likely to come back to future events.

7. Attendee Satisfaction

Definition:How satisfied are your event attendees? 

Importance: Knowing how satisfied your event attendees are will show you if your event was engaging and impactful. If your attendees are excited about your event, think of all the free marketing (and more dollars!) that will give you when they invite their friends to next year’s event.

Application: One of the best ways to measure attendee satisfaction is to send out surveys via email after your event. Keep the survey simple, inviting them to rate each element on a scale. Then, ask for comments about what they liked and disliked at the event.

Knowing this information from your guests will help you to make adjustments for future campaigns based on their feedback. It also shows supporters you’re paying attention to them, which is excellent stewardship!

If you’re missing emails from supporters, you might decide to append email addresses so you can contact more of them with your survey and continue contacting them moving forward.

After you’ve collected this important data, save it in your CRM. Update it regularly and delete duplicate and outdated information. Properly maintaining your CRM keeps a clean database, making for more efficient communication and the possibility of both optimizing your guest list and raising more money at future fundraising events.

Learn everything you need to know about wealth screening for nonprofits.

Wealth Screening for Nonprofits: The Definitive Guide

As a nonprofit marketer, you strive to create meaningful, lasting supporter relationships, and data is a big part of that. Data-driven strategies can inform your cultivation strategies by letting you know who your donors are. In particular, wealth screening can help you determine how much someone can afford to give and how likely they are to donate to your cause based on past giving behaviors.

In a world driven by technology, donor data is more accessible and helpful than ever. You just need to know what information to collect, use the right tools to gather it, and then fold your results into your outreach strategies.

Whether you’re looking to fund a capital campaign with major gifts or level up your low- and mid-tier donors, wealth screening is a smart option. At the same time, it might seem daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the basics. This guide is here to help! So that you can tap into wealth screening, we’ll dive into these topics:

At NPOInfo, we work with all sorts of nonprofits to build robust donor profiles. With our data enrichment services, we can help you send more targeted fundraising asks and subsequently deepen donor relationships. By sharing what we know, we’re confident you’ll be equipped to leverage wealth screening at your nonprofit. Let’s get started!

Get a free quote for NPOInfo's financial data appending services.

Let's break down what donor wealth screening is.

What is wealth screening?

Wealth screening is the process of appending financial data and other wealth indicators for individuals. This process helps nonprofits identify and target prospective and existing donors with the greatest capacity to give.

Nonprofits using this service must share identifying information for individual supporters, such as their names and contact information. Then, their chosen nonprofit wealth screening service leverages public record data and propriety philanthropy databases to pull this information. When their file is returned, nonprofits can use the data to segment supporters into groups based on giving capacity and send targeted fundraising appeals.

Here's a definition of donor wealth screening.

Donor wealth screening can help you improve your fundraising efforts.

How do nonprofits use wealth screening?

Guessing who your wealthiest donors are based on hunches or inaccurate data is a risky game. Wealth screening will guarantee that you’re working with accurate data, so you can make informed decisions when planning your fundraising campaigns.

With accurate wealth data, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on the right donors, honing in on those who are likely to make a big impact on your cause. So let’s take a look at four key ways you can fold this process into your everyday marketing and fundraising.

Wealth screening helps you accomplish goals such as tapping into corporate giving and locating major donors.

1. Create realistic fundraising goals.

At its core, donor wealth screening will let you know how much your donors can give. Based on this data, you can set realistic (yet still aspirational) fundraising goals to drive your campaigns to new heights.

Otherwise, you risk underestimating your team and setting goals that are too low. Then, when you reach your campaign’s goal, support may taper off as donors won’t feel as motivated to give if they don’t think you still need donations.

On the other hand, you also risk overestimating your team if you don’t have sufficient wealth data. You may set objectives that are too far-fetched, causing your team to feel deterred when you fall short.

2. Send targeted fundraising appeals.

A well-crafted fundraising appeal is comprised of four primary components:

  • Who you’ll ask to donate
  • When you’ll ask for a donation
  • How you’ll ask for it
  • The amount you’ll ask the donor to give

Data appending allows you to address each of these areas, resulting in a higher return on your investment. Alongside other donor data, wealth screening will help you understand the individual’s giving capacity. Then, you can pair that with their communication preferences and frequency, resulting in a well-timed ask completed with a reasonable amount.

That way, you don’t risk leaving money on the table by asking for too little or much. And as we’ll explore later, you can streamline your outreach further by grouping donors with similar giving capacities, saving even more time.

3. Locate major donors.

Your organization’s major donors are the life source of your work. They’re fully invested in your cause and devote a considerable amount of their hard-earned money to keep your doors open. Donorly’s guide to major donors explains that these individuals provide your cause with its largest, most impactful gifts.

About 80% of individual donor fundraising revenue comes from just 20% of your donors.

That being said, finding these donors and cultivating relationships with them should be a top priority for your team. Wealth screening gives you the information you need to uncover them and create outreach that resonates with them.

By uncovering donors’ current assets and past giving to similar organizations, you won’t waste your time trying to level up donors who aren’t likely to give any more to your cause than they already do.

4. Tap into matching gift opportunities.

Appending financial data can provide valuable employer data, letting you know where your donors work. From here, you can research their companies, flag any that offer matching gift programs, and follow up with anyone who might be eligible.

Around 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs, but only 1.31% of individual contributions made to the average nonprofit are matched, according to Double the Donation’s fundraising statistics.

Knowing this, you likely have a few matching gift opportunities within your own CRM. By finding these opportunities, you’ll double (maybe even triple!) individuals’ contributions, multiplying their impact on your cause.

There are several types of data you can gather from wealth screening for nonprofits.

What data can you receive through wealth screening?

The type of data you’ll receive depends on your nonprofit wealth screening services provider. Pinpoint the type of information you need and then find a provider who can append that data for you. To maximize results, we recommend pairing philanthropic and wealth data, helping you find donors who can give and actually want to give to your cause.

Of course, there’s no limit on how much data you can collect, but there is a limit on how much you should collect! Several factors can point to a donor’s capacity for charitable giving, and some are more valuable than others. Let’s break down the most valuable types of data you might collect. That way, you won’t get buried under unnecessary data!

This chart shows how we can break down wealth screening data into categories.

Wealth markers

When appending financial data, focus on these wealth indicators:

  • Business affiliations. A donor’s business affiliations hint at their net worth and give insight into potential professional connections you can use for networking opportunities. This type of data includes business partnerships, a role on a board, and other types of corporate connections.
  • Profession. Someone’s profession, along with other employer data, can help you estimate their salary and disposable income, which is especially useful if they’re in a high-paying field. You’ll need to know information like their city, job title, and company, so you can research average salaries in their career field and location.
  • Stock ownership. Although these are typically liquid assets, stocks are a reliable wealth indicator that can be used to estimate prospects’ financial capacity. Start researching stock ownership by consulting portals like the one provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which maintains records on publicly traded companies.
  • Real estate investment. The amount of money someone invests in real estate can point to their net worth and signal that they value opportunities to spend their money wisely. In fact, major giving research has found that individuals who own at least $2 million in real estate are 17 times more likely to donate to charity than the average person.

Donor wealth screening research has found that those who own more real estate are more likely to donate to charity.

These wealth indicators will give you a solid foundation to launch your prospect research forward. While they’re not surefire proof of donors’ wealth, they can give you a pretty solid idea of it. Always use your best judgment when analyzing any wealth data and formulating it into your outreach strategies.

Philanthropic markers

While wealth indicators are certainly valuable, they’re not the only indicators of a donor’s giving capacity. Philanthropic indicators that can also point to giving capacity include:

  • Political giving. Political donations can be both a philanthropic and a wealth indicator. You’ll gain insight into their beliefs by determining their political affiliations, allowing you to promote relevant opportunities that align with their values.
  • Previous giving habits. Take a look at each donor’s RFM — the recency of their last gift, the frequency of their donations, and the average monetary value of their gifts. Look at the specific projects and programs they’ve funded to see which resonated with them. While a donor’s past giving to your specific nonprofit is crucial, you’ll also want to know if they’ve given to other nonprofits. This can help you identify what drives them to give and pinpoint other philanthropic-minded donors who share similar values.
  • Past engagement history. Beyond donations, look at other areas of your cause where donors are involved. Perhaps they’ve volunteered, served on your board, participated in advocacy efforts, or joined a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Extra involvement may point to a deeper commitment to your cause and therefore a higher chance of donating.

Determining philanthropic indicators is a vital part of the wealth screening process. Pairing wealth and philanthropic markers will help you determine whether someone’s willing and able to give to your cause. From there, you can craft appeals that feature the appropriate ask amounts and point to areas they’d be interested in supporting.

Follow these tips to get more out of your wealth screening results.

Tips to Get More Out of Financial Data Appending

As you can see, wealth screening is a valuable opportunity for any organization. However, your data is only as valuable as what you do with it. So before you start collecting donor data, have some solid data management strategies in place. In turn, you’ll wind up with organized data that drives greater results for your cause.

1. Clean your database.

Your CRM can quickly become cluttered with data if you’re not careful. That’s why we suggest cleaning your database before employing wealth screening services!

To organize your donor database, we recommend taking a couple of steps, including:

  • Remove duplicate information. Otherwise, you may accidentally screen donors more than once.
  • Purge lapsed and deceased donors. Don’t spend time or money pulling data for donors who haven’t given to your cause in years or who have passed away.
  • Standardize your entries. If each constituent’s data is entered differently, it’ll be difficult to append financial data and provide results in a standardized format. Take some time upfront to put everything in a consistent format.
  • Update outdated or missing contact information. To correctly identify donors during wealth screening, make sure you have as much identifying information as possible. We recommend conducting data appends to fill in outdated or missing contact details, such as donors’ phone numbers, email addresses, and postal addresses.

You want your prospect research to start off on the right foot, and cleaner records will yield more accurate results. This is a solid first step for any nonprofit that wants to append financial data for its constituents.

2. Follow up with new business connections.

One of the most valuable pieces of data you’ll uncover from wealth screening is individuals’ business connections. When you’re smart about how you leverage this information, you can form valuable partnerships with companies and expand your donor network to like-minded individuals.

Let’s say you notice several donors work for the same company. That might point to a potential partnership or sponsorship opportunity. Reach out to one of your donors to facilitate an introduction with the company’s leadership. Then, you can also share that several of your donors work for the business when chatting about a potential partnership, indicating some alignment between your values.

Don’t forget to follow up on matching gift opportunities! Look into each employer’s guidelines to pinpoint eligible donors. If your development team has enough time on its hands, you might even start conversations with companies that don’t have a program in place already.

3. Segment your donors.

While certainly helpful, wealth screening is an extensive process. Segmenting your donors before conducting your financial data append can ease the workload and break down your expansive donor base into bite-sized pieces. For instance, you might segment your donors into categories such as:

  • Recurring donors
  • New donors
  • Event attendees

Screening by group will help your nonprofit focus on specific areas of your fundraising. Then, after you receive your results, you can segment your donors even further to send highly-relevant appeals. For instance, you can group donors based on their giving capacities and specific interests in your programs, making sure they receive the appeals most relevant to their needs.

4. Screen before events.

Leading up to an event, you can perform a wealth screening to increase registrations and create a memorable experience for attendees. For instance, you can leverage the data you gather to:

  • Know who to invite. Before you send out invitations, screen your donors to discover who will enjoy your event the most. For example, you might specifically invite major donors and major giving prospects to an auction where prizes start at high initial bids. Then, you may also invite major giving prospects to a more casual, family-friendly event to form connections with them in a less formal setting.
  • Create better seating charts. Managing guest lists and seating donors can be a logistical nightmare. You can group donors and put like-minded people together so that they can form meaningful connections at the event.
  • Know who to interact with the most at the event. Events are known for their networking opportunities. Make sure your team prioritizes cultivating relationships with those most likely to give to your cause again.

By folding wealth screening into your event management strategies, you’ll create positive environments for your donors, inspiring them to stay connected with your cause long after the event ends.

Carefully choose a financial data appending company with these tips.

Choosing Wealth Screening Services

When it comes to choosing a provider, finding the right one can make a world of difference. Going with an untrustworthy one may result in inaccurate data, which will cause misinformed fundraising strategies and may negatively impact your donor relationships.

First and foremost, you want a provider who works in your industry, so go with one that works in the nonprofit sector. These providers bring a unique understanding to the table that generic data management companies can’t.

In addition to providing the wealth screening services you’ll need, you’ll want to look for these key advantages:

Look for these key aspects in a financial data appending company.

  • Manual verification processes
  • High-quality customer service
  • Standardized formatting for results
  • Accuracy scores to let you know how reliable the data is

NPOInfo offers these benefits, so you can trust you’re receiving the most dependable information out there. Plus, we work exclusively with nonprofits, providing an unparalleled understanding of your organization’s fundraising needs. We’ll help you find the most impactful data points for your cause from publicly and privately available sources, helping you create robust donor profiles with all the donor data you need.

Between appending contact data and employer data, we’ll help you launch your donor relationships forward with our data enrichment services. Reach out to get started!

Continue learning about donor wealth screening and other strategies with these resources.

Additional Data Enrichment Resources

It’s time to stop expending your time and energy cultivating prospects who are unlikely to give to your cause. Wealth screening will illuminate high-net-worth people who are eager to support your work. That way, you can focus your efforts on groups most likely to contribute.

This ultimate guide should give you everything you need to get started, but don’t venture into the donor wealth screening world alone! NPOInfo is here to support all your data enrichment needs. Partner with us, build out your donor profiles, and cultivate more valuable supporter relationships with the right data.

In the meantime, keep exploring the vast world of data management with these resources from the NPOInfo team and other trustworthy sources:

Get a quote from NPOInfo and let our team handle your financial data appending.

5 Metrics to Track at Your Next Charity Auction: A Guide

Hosting a charity auction is no easy feat. With so many moving parts, from procuring items to reserving a venue, your nonprofit has to set aside ample time to prepare, execute, and reflect on your fundraiser. A critical part of this process is tracking performance metrics. 

Once you’ve set goals for your charity auction, tracking metrics before, during, and after your auction is a surefire way to assess your progress and modify your strategies. Metrics can give your nonprofit invaluable insight into how to maximize its ROI and leverage your events to drive higher engagement. By collecting data, you’ll be in a better position to adjust your approach and optimize your auction strategy in the future. 

To make the most out of your next charity auction and future auctions, you’ll need to pay close attention to the following metrics:

These data analytics can help you compile a list of strengths and weaknesses and find room for improvement. Then, you can revamp your fundraising strategy to drive revenue and meet your fundraising goals! Let’s dive in. 

Demographics

Understanding your target audience is pivotal to executing a successful charity auction. You’ll need to collect information about your supporters ahead of time so you can tailor your marketing strategy to them. 

An important demographic metric to look at is the average age of your target attendee. By understanding your target audience’s age, you can advertise your auction on platforms where supporters are most likely to see it. For instance, Facebook is great for older generations, while TikTok and Instagram tend to appeal more towards Generation Z and Millenials.

As people begin to register for your event, take a look at demographic breakdowns like age, gender, geographic location, and other relevant factors. This will provide you with invaluable insight into the best ways to reach your target audience and create hype around your event so attendees come ready to bid! 

Plus, you can use this information to guide your item procurement strategies. For example, if your target audience is typically parents, you can offer more family-friendly packages bound to inspire bids. 

Nonprofit involvement

You’ll also want to track supporters’ past involvement with your organization, such as looking at how frequently supporters give and the average donation amount. This can be done with your donor data management platform by creating donor profiles and tracking overall trends. 

Donors’ past involvement will help you better understand your registrants’ budget and how much they’re comfortable giving to your organization. As a result, you can procure auction items that fit their giving capacity so your nonprofit can maximize fundraising. 

For example, if your target attendees typically do not give large donations to your organization, choose cost-friendly items that donors are likely to bid on. According to the OneCause guide to charity auction ideas, popular auction items that are budget-friendly for your organization and its supporters include:

  • Gift baskets
  • Day in the life experiences
  • Local coupons
  • Nonprofit merchandise

If you’ve held an auction in the past, you can also look at metrics like the average bidding amount and number of bids per item. This will help you understand the items that most appeal to your target audience, ensuring that all of your items get a substantial amount of bids. You’ll also want to track these same metrics at your upcoming charity auction so you have this insight for future events. 

Conversion rate

Before your charity auction, you’ll need a multichannel marketing campaign to increase excitement over your event and boost the number of registrants. For example, your organization might choose to promote your charity auction on the following platforms:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Your nonprofit’s website

Each of these platforms have their own analytics that are helpful to track in order to assess your marketing performance. For example, you can track open and read rate with email, number of likes and comments on social media, and incoming organic traffic to your nonprofit’s event landing page. 

However, the most notable metric you want to pay attention to before your event is marketing conversion rate. Conversion rate is the percentage of people who take the intended next action after seeing your marketing content. This could be the number of people that donate to your auction ahead of the event or register to attend. 

Conversion rate can help you adjust your marketing strategies to create more effective marketing materials. For example, let’s say that your nonprofit sees a low conversion rate with emails that promote registration for your next charity auction. As a result, you can modify your segmentation strategy, the frequency at which you send your emails, or make your call to action stronger. Experiment with different strategies to increase conversions and boost excitement over your event! 

During the event itself, you can look at the conversions, or how many bids are placed, for your auction items. This information can then be broken down into average number of bids per item or per guest, which items attracted the most amount of bids, and which items attracted the least amount of bids. These insights will allow you to strengthen your item procurement strategy for the future. 

Retention rate

Once you’ve held your auction, take a deep dive into how many people attended and donated toward your fundraising event for the first time, and how many people were recurring attendees. Retention rate helps your nonprofit understand how effective your charity auction was at engaging past supporters and maintaining their interest in your organization. 

While donor retention and acquisition are both effective ways for nonprofits to bolster their fundraising strategy, donor retention is more cost effective and essential to building a reliable donation pipeline. If you’re seeing low retention rates, consider how you can deepen your connections with existing supporters to boost their participation. 

For example, you can modify your communication strategies with more personalized emails, invite existing supporters to an exclusive in-person component of your hybrid auction, or be more explicit about the impact of recurring donations in your marketing materials. 

Fundraising ROI

Another important metric to track after your auction wraps up is your return on investment (ROI). ROI may sound like an oxymoron for nonprofits but trust it’s important to track! 

Your nonprofit likely invested a lot of funding into hosting an auction, whether through investing in online fundraising software, booking catering, or creating marketing materials. Once you’ve wrapped up your fundraiser, determine whether you made back the money you put into the event and extra to power your mission. 

A high ROI is a great indicator that your auction was a success. If you’re running at a loss or merely breaking even, your nonprofit has to do more in the future to use budget-friendly planning strategies and increase event revenue.

One way your nonprofit can save funds is by partnering with a local company. According to 360MatchPro’s guide to corporate philanthropy, a business can help you by offering in-kind donations for auction items and packages or providing financial support. Your nonprofit can partner with a local restaurant to offer a free dining experience or coupon booklet as one of your auction items. This will save your nonprofit money so you can boost your ROI. 


Collecting data is the best way to assess your nonprofit’s fundraising progress and determine how you can improve your strategies for the future. After you collect these metrics, take the time to review them so you can build a clear roadmap for future auctions. Remember to share relevant metrics, like your total funds raised, with your nonprofit’s audience so they understand the impact of their contributions and are more likely to give again. 

How to Collect and Use the Data In Your Donation Form

Whether it’s a physical sheet of paper or a page on your organization’s website, a donation form is a crucial component of any nonprofit’s giving process.

A donation form not only allows you to accept and record donations, but when created correctly, a donation form can unlock powerful data to track fundraising trends, make informed decisions, and strategize future fundraising efforts. Moreover, donation forms can reveal valuable insights into how supporters give to your organization and how best to communicate with them in the future.

With this in mind, in this guide, we’ll answer the following frequently asked donation form-related questions:

Before diving into building a data-driven donation form to boost giving to your organization, let’s first review its core components.

What is a nonprofit donation form? 

A donation form is a key tool used by nonprofits to collect information and process contributions. Donation forms can exist both as physical forms that supporters can fill out by hand and as digital forms that supporters can fill out on your online donation page.

 

At its core, your donation form should include fields for basic contact information, gift amount, and payment details. However, many donation forms include additional fields that help nonprofits better understand, thank, and retain their donors. Below, we’ve cataloged the most essential fields to consider including in your donation forms.

What should be included in a donation form? 

  • Contact information. Ask for donors’ names, emails, phone numbers, and physical addresses to follow up with thank-yous and personalized appeals in the future.
  • Donation amount. This is a necessary field to complete a donation, but it’s also important to understanding giving trends and knowing how close you are to reaching your fundraising goal.
  • Payment information. In order for a donation to be processed, you’ll need to collect information about how a donor plans to pay. 
  • Matching gift search. Including a matching gift tool on your donation form allows donors to determine if their employer has a corporate giving program that will amplify the impact of their donation.
  • Campaign-specific survey questions. Depending on the fundraising campaign, you might ask additional questions about how donors learned about your nonprofit and why they’re donating. To make your form as streamlined as possible, consider making these questions optional.
  • Thank-you landing page. Once donors submit their donation, automatically direct them to a thank-you page that suggests other ways for them to get involved in your cause.

Using these fields to collect donor information not only helps build out your donor database but also provides vital data and insights that can improve supporter engagements and further develop relationships. 

What data should you collect from a donation form? 

Each field in your form can translate into impactful giving data. As a result, you can learn more about your donors:

    • Personal information. When someone makes their first donation, the most basic information you’ll receive is their name and contact information. As a result, your nonprofit can use this data to address donors by their preferred name and title in your future solicitations to improve your chances of receiving a response.
    • Engagement history. Assess the frequency of a donor’s contributions and their average gift amount alongside other ways (volunteering, attending events, serving on your board) that they’re involved in your organization. With this information, you can predict the timing and amount of future donations you will receive from a given group of donors. 
  • Demographic information. Information about your donors’ educational background, age, location, hobbies, interests, and reasons for giving all serve to help you better understand and connect with supporters.
    • Employment info and matching gift eligibility. 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.
    • Payment preferences. People can make donations with cash, credit, debit, online payment systems, and checks. Tracking how donors give will help you tailor your future asks and the payment options you give your donors.
  • Communication preferences. Similar to payment preferences, knowing how your donors want to receive communications from your organization allows you to target your giving requests more effectively.

Even if you’re not able to collect all of this information in your donation form, that doesn’t mean those data points are lost forever. With just a core set of basic donor data collected in your form, a third-party provider can append additional data to enhance the information in your database.

How do nonprofits collect donation form data? 

While you can certainly collect donation data with hard-copy donation forms—and some donors will prefer that!—integrated online forms and fundraising tools make it vastly more manageable for you to organize, update, and analyze your fundraising data. As a result, your team can spend less time trying to catalog data and more time responding to trends and implementing your insights.

For the most effective data-driven donation forms, your nonprofit should plan to invest in:

  • A payment processor that helps you securely collect billing information, prevent fraud, export data, and avoid hidden fees.
  • A constituent relationship management (CRM) system to ensure your donor data is centralized and accessible for both future outreach and strategic planning.
  • An online fundraising platform, such as one of these solutions recommended by Re:Charity, to easily and automatically track donor data as supporters fill out your online donation form to make their gift.

When choosing solutions to create and process your donation forms, look for those that can be integrated into your existing systems. Always customize your tools and donation forms to fit the unique needs of your organization, collect the most impactful data, and streamline the giving process. 

Once you begin collecting donation form data, you can take the next steps to use this data to optimize your form and your requests for donations. iATS’s guide to accepting donations online recommends: 

  • Removing excessive and redundant fields that can slow down the donation process and lead to form abandonment.
  • Branding your form to align with your organization’s logo, colors, images, tone, and fonts.
  • Adding suggested giving amounts and recurring gift options to encourage donors to increase support for your organization.
  • Optimizing your form to automatically adapt to be accessible across different screen sizes.
  • Automating receipts and thank-you letters to send to donors immediately after the gift is processed.

As you collect more data, continue to refine your donation form to drive more conversions and maximize gifts. Good luck!


About the Author:

This is a guest post from Peggah Azarvash at iATS Payments. Peggah is a passionate iATS Payments’ Sales Executive with 10 years of experience, providing payment solution support and guidance to nonprofits.

Why Your Nonprofit Should Be Collecting and Analyzing Data

As a nonprofit fundraising or marketing professional, you’re always looking for ways to connect more deeply with your donors and create outreach campaigns that resonate with them. Whether it’s your online fundraising pushes or awareness campaigns, you want to develop content that speaks directly to your supporters’ preferences and motivations. 

These outreach efforts all have one thing in common — they’d all be vastly improved with the incorporation of data analytics. 

Never before have nonprofits had greater access to high-quality data, such as charitable giving statistics, as well as the necessary tools to collect and understand the data. This information can help guide your organization’s fundraising and marketing efforts to ensure you’re making the most of every supporter interaction.

In this quick guide, we’ll discuss the three reasons why your nonprofit should be collecting data: 

  1. Data collection is no longer out of reach.
  2. Data helps you connect with your donors.
  3. Data can improve your fundraising. 

We’ll also highlight a few best practices for editing and organizing your data properly to ensure you’re using it to its full potential. Let’s get started. 

1. Data collection is no longer out of reach. 

The first reason your nonprofit should be collecting and assessing data is because the process has never been easier. Software solutions specifically built for nonprofits have made data collection and analysis accessible for organizations of all sizes.

Let’s take a look at a few of these solutions and how they simplify and streamline the data collection process:

  • Nonprofit CRM: Your nonprofit’s CRM is your most important tool for collecting and assessing donor-related data. Plenty of nonprofits turn to comprehensive systems like the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) in place of other solutions to store and assess donor data using a robust database. With your donor database, you can store data regarding donors’ names, contact information, past giving history, event attendance, and more. Then, you can leverage this data in outreach campaigns and donor stewardship efforts to build genuine supporter relationships. 
  • Donation software:With powerful donation software, you can not only accept online payments but also automatically collect information about the individuals submitting those gifts, such as their names, contact information, and even how they heard about you. 
  • Event management software: Your nonprofit probably hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from fundraising 5Ks to galas, auctions, and more. Event management software allows you to easily track metrics such as ticket sales, total fundraising amount, and attendance rate. 

You might think these tools are only available to large, well-funded organizations, but the truth is that nonprofits of all sizes can access them. For instance, the Salesforce NPSP offers free subscriptions for up to 10 users from your organization. 

Also, while you may assume these tools are complicated to set up and use on an ongoing basis, that isn’t the case. The initial set-up for some of these solutions will take some work, but once they’re up and running, they can function nearly automatically and often integrate with your existing software platforms. This can save your team plenty of time and allow you to avoid any manual data entry and assessment tasks.

2. Data helps you connect with your donors.

Getting to know your supporters is probably one of the most pressing tasks you work on daily. When you prioritize building authentic relationships, it becomes much easier to ask for donations later on down the road. 

Using donor data, you can step into supporters’ shoes to understand their perspectives and figure out the best ways to reach them on a personal level. Collecting donor data allows you to: 

  • Personalize messages: You can use tools like your online donation form and CRM to store personal information that lets you get to know your donors better. Then, you can personalize outreach using donors’ names, referencing their previous involvement, and sending them new opportunities based on their past interests. 
  • Segment donors for tailored outreach: Using the donor data stored in your nonprofit CRM, you can group donors based on shared characteristics using a process called segmentation. For example, you might create groups for new donors, volunteers who haven’t yet donated, lapsed donors, and major donors. After you’ve defined these groups, you can send messages to each segment that resonate with their preferences and interests. This makes your outreach feel more relevant and relatable. 
  • Optimize marketing content: All of the marketing platforms you use, from your email marketing system to your social media pages, collect analytics about your audience’s behavior. These metrics allow you to understand which marketing messages supporters interacted with the most and why. You can capitalize on your most engaging strategies and adjust the ones that aren’t working as well to optimize your marketing content. 

Your supporters broadcast their preferences and interests constantly through the ways they interact with your organization. It’s your job to collect these data points and assess them strategically to connect with your audience more deeply. 

Supporters will feel much more inclined to continue connecting with your organization if you’ve made a serious effort to get to know them and appeal to their interests. This can help boost your donor retention rate and develop long-lasting donor relationships. 

3. Data can improve your fundraising. 

You may sometimes feel like your fundraising planning consists of a little bit of strategy and a little bit of luck. With data, you can make your campaigns more strategic by relying on hard facts rather than hunches or best guesses. 

Here are just some of the ways that data can improve your fundraising: 

  • Event analytics can help you determine why attendees decided to register, when they were most engaged throughout your events, and what influenced them to give to your mid-event fundraising pushes. Plus, you can collect data through event tools such as sign-up sheets or post-event surveys which ask supporters to provide feedback on their most and least favorite aspects of the experience. All of these factors allow you to plan a more engaging event next time around. 
  • Donation page data can help you determine your most popular donation amounts and donors’ preferred giving methods. Then, you can use this information to establish your suggested giving amounts and ensure that you have the proper payment processor system. 
  • Donor data can also allow you to craft more tailored fundraising requests. You can pull information from your CRM such as your donors’ names, titles, and past donation amounts to personalize your outreach and request an appropriate donation amount. 
  • Predictive data can help you conduct prospect research — the process of identifying potential major donors. NPOInfo’s guide to fundraising data explains that you can use your CRM to keep an eye on donor trends, such as donation size growth and increased participation in events and other opportunities. These trends might reveal that certain donors are willing and able to become major contributors. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how you can use data to optimize your fundraising campaigns. You can also keep track of overarching fundraising trends using data points such as your fundraising return on investment (ROI), online donation rate, and donor retention rate. All of these data points will give you a bird’s-eye view of the effectiveness of your fundraising strategies and where you should focus your energy. 


Before you can start collecting and leveraging data effectively, ensure your organization has a solid data hygiene strategy. Audit your existing data for irregularities, eliminate or correct errors, and establish standardized data entry procedures for your entire team to follow. 

Once your data is clean and organized, you’ll be able to rely on it for future fundraising and marketing campaigns. This can help boost your ROI since you’ll only be directing outreach to active supporters using their accurate contact information. 

When your organization has a clear plan for collecting and analyzing multiple types of data, you’ll be prepared to take on fundraising challenges with an informed, data-driven strategy. 

 


About the Author

Karin Tracy

Karin Tracy, VP of Marketing at Fíonta, is a seasoned designer and marketer with a passion for serving nonprofit organizations and being a small part of bettering the world. She is a certified Pardot Consultant and Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, a fan of automation and reporting, a lover of animals, and devourer of popcorn.

At Fíonta, Karin drives marketing efforts for all internal and external projects. Her direct service work is focused primarily on marketing strategy and automation for Fíonta’s MCAE (Pardot) clients.

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.

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.

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

Data collection can help your nonprofit track trends and make informed decisions

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.

Collect these 6 types of data to quantify your impact and inspire growth

6 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.

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.

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.

Follow these top tips to get the most out of your nonprofit's data collection

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.

Invest in a data append service like NPOInfo to ensure your fundraising efforts are built on data you can trust

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