Digging Deep to Make the Most of Your Donor Data
For example, when your organization receives a major donation, you can receive an e-mail notification as soon as the gift has been captured. Next, your CRM can prompt your development director to print and sign an acknowledgment letter your staff has customized for this expected gift. Finally, your president can get an e-mail with a phone script and a link to the donor’s phone number.
2. Automates accountability. A CRM also enables you to report on information in a way that makes sense to you and have reports sent to any decision maker automatically on a schedule that meets your needs.
“I think that we’re able to report better, and to figure out where we’re going to spot trends in ways that we were not able to do before,” says Jefferson Parker, vice president of operations at The V Foundation for Cancer Research, about his organization's CRM. “We have been able to do a lot more in working with our constituents rather than working on data about our constituents.”
3. Connects the dots between supporters. According to Jim Westfall, senior CRM consultant at Idealist Consulting, “Unless you have complete and accurate data in your database, you’re not going to be able to effectively reach and build relationships with constituents … and you’re not going to have the data to tell you how well you’re doing.”
Your CRM enables you to dig in to this critical relationship data to understand household relationships, as well as employer to employee, board member to community foundation, journalist to public official and volunteer to major donor relationships. This new visibility into how individuals and organizations are connected with each other helps you understand the big picture and what you need to do to leverage these relationships effectively.
4. Empowers your passionate employees. If your organization’s previous donor management system was not accessible via the Internet, or if it was not user-friendly, then you likely had to limit the number of staff who used it. Or perhaps there were privacy concerns about who could view what data, because your system had “all or nothing” access. Fortunately, the next-generation donor database takes minutes instead of days to learn and allows you to control permissions. Since more people in your organization can access the donor data they need, you can expect more collaboration between departments. Knowledge is power!