Is It Time for a Check-up?
If you see major problems, it’s time to run a complete audit on your file. This can be done using an outside vendor or by purchasing audit software.
6. What can’t you do with your current database system?
Is your current system delivering the goods you need to measure, analyze and create new fundraising initiatives? Does your system allow you to work in a marketing-database environment, produce campaign analysis reports and generate other key indicator reports to benchmark each program?
If your staff and volunteers are going outside your current systems to meet their daily, weekly, monthly or annual reporting needs, this is a clear indicator that your database needs repair.
It also could be an indicator that the system is too slow or cumbersome to use. Check on this by asking the main users of your database information. They won’t be shy in articulating the problems and challenges they see in the system.
7. How well do you monitor your donor and prospecting universe?
It is imperative for nonprofits that want to improve targeting, tracking and servicing of membership activities and programs to access their entire “stock” of donor names.
Just how many names do you have on file right now? Where are these names housed? Have you incorporated your online names? In looking at your organization’s total universe, have you taken into account all the various storage areas and contact points throughout your organization?
Think beyond the standard records maintained by your fundraising and marketing departments. Don’t forget to include pertinent information from customer service, personal contacts, volunteer records and general inquiries.
8. Is your initial database plan still working?
An overall database strategy, data review and database-update process should be evaluated regularly to ensure that your nonprofit meets its goals.
How effectively have you utilized the database for segmentation, modeling and profiling? It’s important to continue to develop tools that deliver an improved database environment, including data audits, campaign management, donor-interaction management and data-mining systems.