Building an Online Database
Donor-data management is the bane of nonprofit existence for many of us. How on earth are we supposed to keep up with endless amounts of data clean-up -- much less data entry -- on top of our busy, multi-faceted positions that keep us moving in five different directions at once?
But this tedious work is essential in tracking the many relationships we juggle as development professionals. Good database management can bolster the effectiveness of our program, development and outreach teams, while bad database management can result in slower attainment of organizational goals and general frustration among staff members. In our high-speed, donor-satisfaction-oriented business climate, all nonprofits must view data management as an essential aspect of their work and future.
Even in the smallest of development departments, it’s important to build an appropriate system that will allow the development arm of the organization to grow and be manipulated by many people. This means that a database must be user friendly and easily accessible to all relevant staff.
Online databases are ideal for this purpose and often can be very affordable for start-ups and social entrepreneurs. Important information about personal contacts, material distributed and interactions with people that are important to fundraising and strategic development of your organization can be input to a central source by staff and board members around the world.
Allowing all the players who contribute to your fundraising efforts to use one central tracking system builds a cohesive team that will be more effective in taking advantage of the links that are developed by each team member. Furthermore, it can provide continuity when development team members change over time.
Since my suggestion is to go with an online database, specific concerns related to online security and access will be your main criteria for choosing a product: