Data-Driven Campaign Targeting and Stewardship
Online engagement and fundraising tools create a multitude of options for nonprofits to collect data. This data, in its raw form, represents an opportunity to know the constituent more completely and act more effectively. The catch is that the data, although it arrives in great volumes, usually does not come ready to use. One of the most straightforward ways to make sure that you can turn your data into actionable knowledge is to emphasize system integration.
As nonprofits adopt more of the available engagement options such as text messaging, social networking, chat and e-commerce, the first data challenge they face is getting all of this data accurately correlated and resident in the same system. Traditionally, data gathered from each of these channels has not always been compatible with the organization’s constituent database. The manual importing and exporting of data has become a standard practice. Even when the data gets entered into the constituent database, it can often become jumbled and lose some of its usability.
But, times have changed, and today’s fundraisers can reap all the benefits data has to offer. Fundraisers today can capture and dissect all the data a constituent provides. Open platforms have fueled this level of integration and enabled fundraisers to better use data captured from various applications. For example, fundraisers can know which constituents purchased from the e-commerce site and also have the organization on their social-networking pages. Fundraisers and marketers know that targeted campaigns, those that recognize the individuality of constituents, have a greater success rate than broad brushstroke campaigns. The more data that can be collected and integrated into a single cohesive view, the more targeted the campaigns can become, and the more success one is likely to have.
Let’s look at this in more detail. A nonprofit sells merchandise through its e-commerce system, where a portion of each sale goes to the nonprofit. An unknown constituent goes to the site and purchases a shirt. This same constituent attended the annual walk and promotes the organization on his Web site. But since the data from the e-commerce system goes into a general-use location in the database, the organization doesn’t know that he also has participated in the walk. At first glance, he just bought some shirts.